Montana Arts Council Endorses MAPS

Friday, December 21, 2012
TO: 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards
FR: The Montana Arts Council, an agency of state government
RE: Letter of recommendation for MAPS’ application

As the business development specialist for the Montana Arts Council, I am please to write to you in support of Media Arts in the Public Schools (MAPS) application for the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

Since its inception in 2004, MAPS has become not only an exemplary organization, but what we consider a Gold Standard of arts-driven youth education programming in our state. While reading the National Arts and Humanities criteria for applicants to this program the words “youth development goals…enhanced leadership skills, self-confidence, and peer relations” really jumped out at me. They might as well be written as the mission of MAPS as they are completely aligned with their core purpose.

Using relevant media tools, (writing, design, animation, video, music, et al), MAPS turns underserved students into capable media artists and communicators. The MAPS after-school program has a positive, measureable impact on Montana’s rural, often at-risk and/or economically disadvantaged middle, high school and home educated students.

And through active partnerships with national media outlets, statewide broadcasters and a roster of high-profile corporate and governmental clients, the media products developed by MAPS students have great exposure as everything from documentaries and short stories to advertisements and public service announcements, broadcast locally and nationally.

The Montana Arts Council views the MAPS program and its leaders as a shining example of what’s best about our states’ arts education. The fortitude, creativity, teaching and collaboration seen in MAPS is an example for all our arts organizations across the state. They must prove to the state their return on investment for the use of public dollars and they have consistently done so through amazing testimonials from and about their students. This is truly a life-changing program for the participants.

Respectfully submitted,

Cinda Holt
Business Development Specialist, Montana Arts Council