Professional Development

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Engaging Youth in Music and Performance: Ian Mouser

Ian Mouser, My Voice Music Founder and Executive Director and member of the National Afterschool Association's 2014 class of Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders, has been announced as one of three recipients of the Lewis Prize for Music Accelerator Award!

The Lewis Prize for Music believes music in the lives of young people is a catalytic force to drive positive change in our society and is committed to investing in leaders who are advancing positive change for young people through music. With the prize comes a $500,000 seed investment in MVM.

Mouser compared his reaction to finding out he was among those selected for the award to one of the most exciting times of his year: creating MVM's annual budgets.

"It's a time to think ambitiously toward the future. One of the scariest moments of the year is when the Board of Directors approves the budget, because that's when the real work begins!" Mouser said. "When I heard I was a finalist for the award—before becoming an 'awardee'—I cried. It was powerful to have My Voice Music's work with young people affirmed in such a significant and unexpected way."

Mouser says MVM believes transformation begins with human-to-human moments; moments without expectation of one another, where our common humanity is shared, and the joys and sorrows that we carry are acknowledged.

"That simple act changes lives. At our free studio, and through outreach programs for youth living in rehabilitation facilities, we create these moments while writing, recording, and performing songs with young people," explained Mouser. "The Lewis Prize for Music will seed opportunities to deepen our work in Portland and share our methodology and philosophies to youth programs and individuals throughout Oregon and beyond."

The Lewis Prize for Music, along with the continued support of foundations, businesses and individuals, will allow MVM to:

  • Build a state-of-the-art studio in East Portland, where the greatest amount of young people live, with the least amount of afterschool opportunities.
  • Launch a statewide initiative to ensure youth living in facilities across Oregon have programs like MVM.
  • Publish their methods and philosophies and the research that supports them.

Join us in congratulating Ian and learn more about what he and MVM plan to do with The Lewis Prize for Music award at My Voice Music.

Courtesy of NAA.