Without Peter Rosten, there would be no MAPS.


Peter Rosten, son of Irwin and Florence Rosten, was born in Brooklyn, New York. His mother was a gifted visual artist and his father produced documentary films. The family moved to Los Angeles during Peter’s youth. After a series of colorful and eclectic jobs, Peter crafted a successful career in the Hollywood film industry as a writer, director, producer, and entrepreneur.


His life took a dramatic turn when visiting Montana in the 1990’s. Retiring from the Hollywood hustle was on his horizon and the deal was sealed with purchasing a cabin. In 2002, the stars aligned and Peter moved his life to Montana. Not long after, he had another life-changing turn when his path crossed with that of Susan Latimer (Rosten). In Susan, Peter finally met his match and the love of his life.


After Peter and Susan married, she encouraged him to use his creative talents in ways that would benefit the small, rural communities of the Bitterroot Valley. Peter was open, and the idea of MAPS (Media Arts in the Public Schools) began.


Using his own funds and resources, Peter taught the first MAPS program at Corvallis High School in 2004. Due to student and community demand, MAPS transitioned in 2009 to a completely free-of-charge independent media arts program with five teaching artists serving four school districts, as well as home, faith-based and private school students.  At that time MAPS was designated as a federal 21st Century Community Learning Center, receiving five years of federal funding to provide services to area students.


Fast forward to 2017. MAPS Media Institute is now a nationally recognized and award-winning independent media arts program with educational outreach across Montana. MAPS supporters and funders represent a diverse cross-section of local, state and national organizations, both private and public.


Throughout Peter’s history with MAPS he himself won numerous honors and recognition for his inspiring work and dedication. Recent awards include:


  • Montana Outreach Ambassador of the Year, Montana Office of the Governor (posthumously awarded 2017 )

  • Silver Circle Inductee, NATAS, NW (2016)

  • Business Person of the Year, Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce (2015)

  • Purpose Prize Fellowship, Encore.Org (2013)


Peter Rosten passed away in April 2017. While leaving a huge hole in our hearts, he left in place every resource and connection for MAPS to continue, grow and serve more youth across Montana. Susan and the MAPS Team are honored to be carrying forth his vision.


In the words of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, “Peter Rosten was always willing to share his talents to make the world around him a better place. From fighting childhood hunger to fostering a brighter future for Montana kids by opening doors of imagination and possibility, Peter’s impact on Montana will be felt far into our future.” (2017)



Peter Rosten Obituary