Montavilla Schools Music Fund

The Montavilla Jazz Festival (MJF) would not be possible without the amazing array of talented jazz artists that call Portland home — and they, in turn, would not have blossomed into such skillful musicians without the support of teachers. For the continued vitality and vibrancy of the Portland jazz scene, it’s important to support the next generation of great Portland jazz players.

The MJF team is dedicated to enriching the lives of Montavilla children and youth by supporting education in our neighborhood public schools. As one of Portland’s largest neighborhoods, Montavilla relies on four public schools to serve neighborhood families. These schools are the lifeblood of our community. Due in part to declining funding, these schools are often able to offer only limited opportunities for music education. It is a perpetual struggle to find resources to dedicate to music education even in the best of times.

To bolster music education in our schools, MJF created the Montavilla Schools Fund (MSMF). MJF earmarks a portion of each ticket sold to this fund. Our four neighborhood public schools then have the opportunity to apply for grants funded by these proceeds. The grants help teachers develop unique, robust music programs. We envision children and youth in these programs performing music supported with MSMF funds in varied settings throughout the community for years to come.

In 2016, MSMF granted $2,000 to Bridger, Creative Science, and Vestal schools. These grants funded general music classes, purchased instruments needed to start a pop music ensemble, paid for guitar lessons, and subsidized the cost of summer music camp for those in need. “The joy of music is something that every student should have the opportunity to experience,” said Vestal Elementary Principal Emily Glasgow.

In 2017, MSMF created an independant grants selection committee charged with selecting a single award winner from four proposals, one from each of Montavilla’s neighborhood schools. The winner of this year’s top grant, Creative Science School, will be awarded $1,000, made possible with proceeds from 2016 festival ticket sales. The grant will help ensure that CSS can provide music classes for it’s Kindergarten through 5th grade students.

“The MSMF grant will allow Creative Science School to continue our current music program into the next school year. Without the grant it was unlikely the we would raise enough money to cover the entire year”, said incoming Creative Science School principal, Meisha Geisler.

We are able to support projects like these because all the money required to present MJF is raised through business sponsorships before the first note of jazz is played. This allows us to use ticket revenue to fund the MSMF. Your support of the festival, whether you’re a sponsor, volunteer, or attendee, has a direct impact on music education in Montavilla. You can further show your support by making a special contribution to the fund at the box office. Just as in a jazz band, everyone has a part to play.