Members of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America ), as stated by the Corporation for National & Community Service, “bring their passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty.  The most pressing challenges we face as a nation require the most courageous and creative people to address them. An AmeriCorps VISTA member serves as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions.”


Headquartered in Ravalli County, in rural western Montana, the MAPS Media Institute became a proud AmeriCorps VISTA host site in 2016. The 2014 Census lists our county as one of the top 10 Montana counties affected by poverty.  MAPS believes that quality education is key to alleviating and eliminating poverty - period. We know that investing in our community’s youth is essential and critical to the success of education. Since 2004, MAPS has provided quality free-of-charge media arts programming and economic opportunities for Montana’s youth. We passionately believe in the creative capacity of all students and are committed to providing state-of-the-art equipment, professional instruction, and compassionate leadership.


MAPS VISTA project, MAPS Works: Connecting Community Through Media Arts incorporates all of MAPS media arts programming and expands upon it with intentional community service participation. MAPS students apply their creative technical skills by assisting with media productions for local nonprofits: 2-4 minute videos, compelling public service announcements, photographic stills and the stories of the organization, thank you videos, etc. The MAPS Works student team also assists nonprofits with social networking strategy and advice.


The MAPS Works program assists in poverty reduction in two ways: providing marketable 21st century/STEAM skills to youth, while promoting the missions of non-profit organizations . This type of collaboration helps our community THRIVE.


October 3, 2017

Every year, the Ravalli Electric Co-op sponsors one lucky Ravalli County high school student to attend the National Rural Electric's Youth Tour to Washington D.C. During the trip, over one thousand students from every state visit monuments, memorials, and museums while meeting their state's elected representatives and other student leaders.

September 6, 2017

Montana's after school programs are gems. This short film highlights some of these outstanding programs, and explains how after school programs enhance a student's whole education, as well as nourishes entire communities. After school programs around Montana benefit from the federal 21st Century program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Keeping these funds coming into the state ensures that Montana's after sch...

March 6, 2017

Special Olympics Montana (SOMT) is a statewide, non-profit organization that provides year round sports training, athletic competition, and health related programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. SOMT changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. 2017 marks the...

January 5, 2017

September 24, 2016 marked the 175th anniversary of the Jesuit missionaries' arrival to the Bitterroot Valley. For many years, St. Mary's Mission celebrates its founding with reenactments of the historical events which shaped the relationship between the Bitterroot Salish and the Jesuits. Their friendship has endured through many challenges, including the forced removal of the Salish from the valley in 1891. Their story is a te...

January 5, 2017

According to the USDA, between 1994 and 2013, farmers markets across the country grew from 1,755 to 8,144. They are the cornerstone of community. Join us as we stroll through the Hamilton Farmer's Market in Hamilton, MT, celebrating its 25th year. Meet farmers, artists, food vendors and appreciative customers!

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