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MAPS Year in Review - Instilling a lifelong passion for learning in Montana's future leaders

August 10, 2016View for printing

Academic End-of-Year Report (September, 2015 - August 2016)

What we do?

Since 2004, MAPS (Media Arts in the Public Schools) http://www.mapsmediainstitute.com/ has a myriad of goals and objectives. But as it states in our mission statement, our primary purpose has been to improve the quality of life for Bitterroot youth ages 12-17. We do this by providing a rigorous, hands-on program designed to instill a lifelong passion for learning and to equip students with the skills and confidence for academic, social and professional success.

How we do it?

The MAPS program runs year around, five days a week. From September through May; our 32 weeks of instruction are divided into four 8 week sub-courses to allow students to participate in other school activities (sports, speech and debate, etc.) and then return to MAPS. During the summer, MAPS offers a Monday through Friday 4-week course. In addition to their proactive course work (film, design, entrepreneur, technology and music), students learn many essential life skills, among them: critical thinking, innovation, communication abilities, teamwork, problem solving, leadership etc.

The most significant results were the continued growth in student skill sets and maturation as young adults. NOTE: 10% of our students have learning disabilities. MAPS emphasis is about teamwork, inclusiveness and nurturing each and every individual works regardless of a student's situation. This paradigm has attracted attention (and praise) from around the country, some examples.

1) In 2014 and 2016 MAPS was honored as one of the TOP 50 after-school programs in the U.S. by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

2) MAPS student work won two "Awards of Excellence" (the equivalent of an Emmy Award) for two projects produced in partnership with the Montana Film Office.

3) MAPS founder, Peter Rosten, was inducted into the "Silver Circle" of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest. This honor recognized and rewarded his 25 year career in the 'industry'.

4) MAPS announced its first student spinoff: GRANDEUR PICTURES. MAPS grads and Emmy winners, Caleb Hallahan and Wyatt Campbell have started their own company. MAPS modest investment in getting them started is reflective of our entrepreneurial spirit.

5) Peter was honored by the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce as "Business Person of the Year". This award reflects MAPS contributions to our community.

6) MAPS is honored to be a host site for a year long AmeriCorps VISTA service member. The VISTA will assist with developing a new community based, service learning class, MAPS Works: Connecting Community Through Media Arts. (MAPS has the option to renew the Vista service member for an additional two years.)

Passing the torch.

There were several significant staff changes. While Peter remains CEO, MAPS program director, Clare Ann Harff, has been promoted to President and will guide MAPS for many years to come. Clare Ann is a remarkable woman who combines vision, heart, ambition and seemingly endless energy to our students, their parents, their projects, the community etc.

Tim Kolberg (current music and technology instructor) was elevated to Vice President. Again, like Clare Ann, he has given so much to the program and will be a vital component of our continued expansion and growth. His IT management and production skills are vital components to MAPS continued expansion and growth.

Dru Carr has replaced long time film teacher, Christian Ackerman. Dru is a documentary filmmaker in Missoula, Montana. After receiving his M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 1996, he co-founded the independent filmmaking team High Plains Films in 2000. He was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy Award in 2008 as a co-director of the film Libby, Montana, and received the True/False West Visionary Award, given to filmmakers who have "placed an indelible mark on the world of documentary filmmaking". Carr is also a founding board member of the Big Sky Film Institute, which runs the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

New projects/goals for 2016 - 2017.

1) Create a MAPS program in Pablo, MT in partnership with the Salish-Kootenai College. Although MAPS has sponsored other MAPS-like programs, this will be the first one officially sanctioned by our program.

2) We continue to travel to other Montana locations via our partnership with GEAR UP Montana. This year, in addition to St. Ignatius, we will add Browning.

3) MAPS students played and performed "Everybody Needs Love". Here's the link: https://vimeo.com/167566420. We sent the video to one of our long time funders, the Harry Chapin Foundation. They were very impressed by the quality of the production, they offered us the opportunity to re-make any of Harry's song catalog. The first will be "Cat's in the Cradle". Finally, our new Vista service project: For many years, MAPS has provided pro-bono services to a wide variety of worthy causes throughout the state. It is our belief that the time is right to expand this effort to include statewide groups and our Vista service member will focus a lot of her time (with MAPS staff) in this developing this effort. Here is a video that describes this effort: https://vimeo.com/164651475

Thank you for your support.

Peter Rosten Founder/CEO


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