See Endorsements Below

News Events

MAPS Works gives students the tools to shine

MAPS Welcomes New season with Open House

MAPS Success Leads to Promotions for Staff

MAPS Ranked in Top 50 of Afterschool Programs

Variety: MAPS Offers World of Opportunities

MAPS Founder Receives Silver Circle Award

MAPS Set to Host Film Festival Program

DUI Taskforce and MAPS Collaborate on PSA about Over-serving Alcohol

MAPS to have booth at county fair

MAPS founder Peter Rosten joins MT Ambassadors

MAPS program wins more awards for student films

Two MAPS films nominated Arts and Entertainment awards

The MAPS Mobile: Media on the Move

Ravalli County Declares April 16 'MAPS Day'

The New York Times: Retiree Story on MAPS Founder

MAPS offering entrepreneur class

MAPS to produce videos encouraging tourism

MAPS graduate receives three Emmy Awards

‘GRIMM’ program delights MAPS students

MAPS Appears in Emmy Magazine

MAPS Documentary Darby Breakfast Program

MAPS National Award Finalist

Purpose Prize Award

Academy Awards Education Grants

MAPS produces PSAs for two clients

MAPS film nominated for regional Emmy

MAPS produces videos for variety of clients

Students attend Hatch Festival 2011

Jake Rowley Merit Award Recipients

Photos from Student Film Festival 2011

MAPS to present student film festival at Pharaohplex

MAPS students produce documentary to air on PBS

Photos: Film Class 2011

MAPS program turns pro-bono work into class

Paramount Pictures Marketing Executive Jeremy Sauter visits MAPS

Nancy Schweitzer ad production stills

Parade photos

MAPS featured in Main Street Montana

County health video to be filmed by MAPS


Montana Arts Council

Steele-Reese Foundation

Montana Gear Up


MAPS Parent

HHS Principal

Montana Gear Up

Bitterroot Youth Home


Montana Arts Council

Hamilton School District

Purpose Prize Committee

Montana Arts Council

MT Office of Public Instruction

State Farm

US Department of Education

North Valley Public Library

MAPS Chronicles

MAPS begins production


Lights, Camera, Education

MAPS Media Institiute shifts into high gear

Retiree Finds Meaning Serving the Needs of his Community

From The New York Times • By JOHN F. WASIK


      Peter Rosten, founder of the MAPS Media Institute, offers some advice to
      Markus Schoellen, a student musician. Credit Perry Backus for The New York Times

DESPITE what F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe said, you can go home again and you can have a second act — or a third. And you can even find meaning, purpose and social justice along the way.

Volunteering to do difficult and meaningful work is part of this new path. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a government agency that runs the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs, some 24 percent of older adults volunteered in 2013, providing nearly 190 million hours of service. Despite the disruption of a recession six years ago, that rate has held fairly steady over the past decade.

At-risk students and the sense of finding a spiritual home attracted Peter Rosten, 66, a former Hollywood movie and TV producer, writer and film editor. After 35 years in an ultracompetitive business, he moved to Darby, Mont., in the shadow of the Bitterroot Mountains.

Seeing a lack of arts and career education and opportunity in the local school districts, Mr. Rosten started MAPS: Media Arts in the Public Schools with $10,000 of his own money. The program teaches film, technology, music and entrepreneurship.

Now in its 11th year, Mr. Rosten’s organization offers free after-school courses in filmmaking to some 150 students in the area. His students have even received paid work, producing public service announcements on topics including the value of high school graduation, the dangers of teenage smoking and the benefits of studying math and science.

“Similar to the rest of the country, some Montana kids come from challenging, heartbreaking environments,” Mr. Rosten said. “We help them find their voice so they can personally experience success and know how to achieve it in the future.”

Mr. Rosten was executive producer and creator of the 1989 film “True Believer,” which starred Robert Downey Jr., and associate producer of the television series “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” but has also had his share of failures. He once owned the film rights to the Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays stories, and the best-selling Carlos Castaneda books, but could not find interest in Hollywood.

“Hollywood is a very interesting environment,” Mr. Rosten adds. “In a way, I’ve always been a ‘true believer,’ but like many projects, the studios didn’t believe in them as much as I did. By my mid-50s, and having more yesterdays than tomorrows; it was time to make a change.”

Crediting his passionate parents as his inspiration to help others, Mr. Rosten — who describes himself as a “recycled hippie,” and a “nice Jewish boy, and now a Buddhist born in Brooklyn” — has found his home in Montana, taking the guidance he received from his parents and instilling it in teenagers in the Rockies.

“It only takes one ‘yes’ to change a life,” Mr. Rosten said. “Be realistic, but demand the impossible.”