Our Mission

The Music Education Initiative exists to engage, educate, elevate and prepare, the next generation of professionals in the business of music and entertainment.

Our Story

The Music Education Initiative is a diverse-led and founded nonprofit that operates as a 501(c)(3). We share the music and entertainment industry expertise, experience, empathy, relationships, professionalism, and first-class programs of our founding team and advisors, to develop creativity, expression, and performance in artists, students, and entertainers to add value to the music ecosystem, the community and quality of life in Northwest Arkansas.

We engage in several distinct but related activities 


Educational & Developmental Training / Content Development


Artist Development Workshops and Accelerator


Workforce Development for Technical and Production


Public Presentation and Workshops

Our Team

 The Music Education Initiative works within a variety of virtual environments and physical venues, both educational and professional, and our team has the longevity, experience, expertise, and empathy to deliver exceptional results and experiences.

Orson Weems


Executive Director & Co-Founder


Orson Weems is the co-founder and executive director of The Music Education Initiative. Prior to heading this diverse-led and founded nonprofit, Orson worked as the chief operating officer with the legendary music and entertainment icon, Al Bell, and his global music, entertainment, and artist development company, Al Bell Presents. Since 2006, Orson has been the president and majority shareholder of Land Improvement Company, a company founded in 1965 that specializes in construction management, civil construction/site preparation, small building demolition, and industrial services for federal, state, and local projects and government contracts.


Orson currently serves on the Advisory Board of The National Cold War Center and has served on numerous boards, including the Razorback Lettermen's Club Board of Directors, the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Walton College of Business, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, the University of Arkansas Chancellor's Council on Diversity. 


He is a graduate of The University of Arkansas, Fulbright College of Arts and Science, with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations), and a minor in English. He was also a Razorback offensive lineman and three-year letterman (‘81, ‘82, ‘83) under the legendary coach, Lou Holtz. 


An enthusiastic sports fan, Orson also enjoys traveling, cooking, good food, great music, and estate sales. He resides in Rogers, Arkansas with his wife, Karen, they have a son, a daughter, and one grandson.

Board of Directors

The Music Education Initiative is honored to have a devoted Board of Directors who support the organization with their talents, time, guidance, and professional expertise.

Greg "GT" Thompson

Board Chair


Downtown Springdale Alliance, Director of Events, Al Bell Presents, Chief Creative Officer - Bentonville, AR





Former Soulsville Foundation, Director of Operations, and Former Director of The Stax Museum of American Soul Music - Jackson, TN


Dwayne Thomas, MBA


Managing Partner & Chief Executive Office, MTI Consulting Group, Construction - Springdale, AR





Out Of The Box Management, Owner - Traverse City, Michigan and Nashville, TN

NWA Leadership Pledege - Northwest Arkansas Council

Key Projects NWA Leadership Pledge Diversity and inclusion are vital to the well-being and success of our employees, communities and businesses. We stand committed to fostering and expanding an more just, equitable and inclusive region for all by purposefully addressing systemic racism in the communities in which we operate.  
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Thankful for Our Generous SponsorS

Mr. Ramsay Ball

Mr. Hank Henderson

The Bigbee Family Office, LLC

Teresa "d" HerrolD, CPA,CGMA


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