About


mission

to empower, inspire and prepare Montana’s next generation for future success through professional media arts instruction, engaging community service and compassionate mentoring

vision

a world which values the voice and work of all youth and supports them in creating successful futures


values

EDUCATION

provide professional instruction & equipment for STEAM based media arts curriculums

MENTORSHIP

support and empower the next generation through meaningful relationships

CREATIVITY

encourage and inspire imagination, self-expression, and artistry

COMMUNITY

nurture meaningful relationships and effective collaborations

HEALTH

create an environment that supports physical, mental, social, and creative well being

DIVERSITY

recognize, understand and respect individual beliefs, cultures, abilities and perspectives

STORY

promote the sharing of stories and critical dialogue

INNOVATION

continual evolution of forward thinking strategies


crew

meet the staff who make MAPS happen


Clare Ann Harff
Executive Director

The Short:

Clare Ann (“CA”) is a devoted mom, artist, caring educator, arts advocate, community activist, bike rider, music lover, journaler, and avid book reader. 

The Long: 

CA joined the MAPS team in 2013 as a program developer and artist-instructor. She accepted the Executive Director role in 2016. Her compassionate and thoughtful leadership, coupled with MAPS’s established history and collaborative environment, has helped this educational media arts nonprofit grow, especially in other rural and First Nation communities.

Before joining MAPS, CA built a creative studio/art space (1996 – present) and was a co-owner of two Missoula galleries (2006 – 2015), 

After earning a BFA in Visual Art from the University of Montana in 1996, CA co-founded The Clay Studio of Missoula, served as its Executive Director until 2002, and served on the board of directors until 2013. 

Before 1996, CA studied at lots of arts & crafts schools, apprenticed for several years as a bread baker and pastry chef, traveled whenever she could, read and read some more, sought out the misfits and round pegs in square holes, and dove in heart first to many, many, many unknowns. Little did she know how these things would help her prepare for working in the nonprofit world…

Superpower: Juggling Bumblebees


Hunter Nickel
IT Director

Hailing from Michigan, Hunter moved to Hamilton, Montana, in 2018 and, with the help of some locals, learned about MAPS. Originally, he only planned to become a MAPS student, but with a heap of techno-experience, he was offered the position of teaching assistant on the crew. Nowadays, he helps MAPS in various ways, including assisting with facility maintenance, designing digital and print media for MAPS, and being the local IT wizard.

Superpower: Turn electricity into art


Arielle Rhodz
Lead Instructor
MT Licensed Professional Teacher

As a student-centered educator since 2004, Arielle Rhodz (M.Ed) is skilled in building strong relationships based on mutual respect. Her candid counsel encourages students to optimize self-reflection and ignite their potential for personal empowerment. Arielle has always championed MAPS and has connected students with the opportunities it provides for many years. After serving on the Board of Directors (2018 – 2023), Arielle joined the MAPS Team to share her skills and support instructors as Lead Teacher.

Superpower: Ignition Specialist


Kathy Carrette
MAPS-Lewis & Clark Site Administrator

Kathy, the parental unit of a long-time Lewis & Clark County Program MAPSter, gets inspiration from the energy and creativity of the MAPS students. A technical writer and data scientist with a background in environmental planning and engineering applications, Kathy enjoys sharing with the students how the creative skills they are learning have very concrete STEAM and practical applications for their future.


Amilia Blackcrow
Summer AmeriCorps

Amilia has wanted to be a filmmaker since childhood when she wore down VHS tapes of her favorite movies! She participated in numerous MAPS workshops from 2018 to 2022 when she attended Harlem High School near the Fort Belknap Indian Community in North Central Montana. Several of the films she co-directed won regional awards. Two were nominated for the National High Student Production Awards from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the organization behind the Emmys). The films are powerful and intimate stories exploring the struggle to preserve the Aaniiih and Nakoda ways of life, cultural identification, and blood quantum. In the summer of 2023, Amilia served with MAPS as a Summer AmeriCorps. She continues to co-design and develop workshop ideas to make sure MAPS programming is relevant and connects with all youth.

Superpower: Compassionate and BOLD storyteller


Cove Jasmin
Music Instructor
MT Licensed Career and Technical Educator

Born and raised in Montana, Cove has played music for most of his life. While Cove is a drummer by trade, he sings and plays other instruments, including piano, bass, and guitar. In his lessons, he helps students practice the fundamentals while keeping the importance of rhythm and “feel” the core of his teaching methodology. He plays with the traveling bands Shakewell and Shark Buffalo and has been deeply involved in the Missoula music scene for many years, playing with groups such as Kung Fu Kongress, Three Eared Dog, and Joan Zen and sitting in with many more. Cove believes that music has a unique power to bring people of all backgrounds together and enrich communities worldwide, and it’s his passion to help others find their own joy through creative expression.

Superpower: Sometimes mistaken for a sheltered bay area


John Springer
Tech Instructor
MT Licensed Career and Technical Educator

A citizen of the U.S. and Mexico, John is neck-deep in technology, video-making, and all things science. In addition to being featured on the Discovery and Science TV channels, John has a B.S. in Science Education from Montana State University and directs the Bitterroot College Fabrication Lab. He holds a B.A. in Science Education from Montana State University, and teaching high school across the state has honed his ability to motivate students to be capable and curious creators. John wants to help people transform the best of their imagination into real-world solutions.

Superpower: Copying and giving people’s powers to myself and others


Jules Schoebel
Tech/Design Instructor

Jules is an artist from Helena, MT, whose earliest memories include painting and drawing. She has her BFA in Media Arts and Animation, and her current digital art path includes everything from game and character design to posters. Jules is the Events Coordinator and Online Marketing Director for the Holter Museum of Art.

Superpower: Herding Catz