Help My Voice Music Build a Community Music Center for Youth

For: My Voice Music
Portland, OR
Organizer: My Voice Music
of $30,000 goal.
Raised by 97 donors
36% Complete

The Story


We need your help to transform an empty warehouse on SE 89th and Stark St. into a songwriting and recording center for young people (ages 9-20); helping them to find and share their voice through songwriting, recording and performance.  This fundraiser will fund phase 1 of our build-out in 2018!


  • A full recording studio
  • 3 rehearsal, lesson, and recording rooms
  • 5 mobile music production workstations 
  • A community lounge / event room
  • 1 office space / reception area


  • Double the amount of youth we serve each year.
  • Open an after school drop-in music and recording center.
  • Expand Artist Mentorships for young people ages 11 - 20.  (Rock band & hip hop classes, recording & studio time, individual lessons, etc.)
  • Open an inclusive Rock Camp center for hundreds of 8 - 13 year olds living foster care, referred to us from mental health providers, and from the general public.
    Your support will be the catalyst to creating long-term relationships with young people and caring adults.* 


$10 - "Hold Us Together" - Nails & screws 

$25 - “Build our Walls” - Drywall (2 Sheets)

$50 - “Provide Support” - 2x4’s (4 8-footers)

$100 - "Open New Doors" - Doors for our rehearsal & studio rooms

$500 - "Allow Youth to be Seen" - Double-paned studio windows

$1,000 - "Help Youth to Find Their Voice" - Sound-dampened wall

$5,000 - "Join the Band" - Rehearsal rooms

$10,000 - "Take it to the Next Level" - Mobile recording stations 


My Voice Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Portland, Oregon engaging youth in music and performance to promote self-esteem, social skills, and emotional expression.

Since founding in 2008, MVM has partnered with 50 organizations and served over 10,000 young people in the process.  85% percent attend classes at MVM Studios for free based on need.  92% of summer campers live in foster care.

Our Social Outreach Programs bring songwriting, recording and performance based programs to mental health treatment centers in order to help youth to cope and heal who are facing mental health crisis; who are recovering from abuse, sex trafficking, and drug addiction; who are living in foster care, and jail; to unaccompanied migrant youth seeking refugee status in the U.S. who are estranged from their families.

Our public studio provides classes, rock camps, and a recording access to youth from the public and those from our outreach programs on a sliding scale fee so that young people from all backgrounds can attend MVM based on their shared passion for music.  No one is turned away due to financial reasons.


East Portland (defined as east of 82nd ave) "has nearly 40% of Portland’s youth and the most diverse and rapidly growing sections of the city."**  "Sections of East Portland have a 36% poverty rate while the rest of pdx is at 14%."***  Many of our student's already live here.


MVM was founded in 2008, in a mental health treatment center to help youth facing crisis to cope, heal, and thrive through music. Founder Ian Mouser was a youth treatment counselor and life skills trainer for over a decade, and drew on this experience to establish MVM’s curriculum for teaching music to youth with mental, behavioral, and/or emotional challenges. Over our first five years, we ran our programs on‐site at partner organizations’ locations. As we continued to do this work, both MVM and our partners saw a need for youth to have year‐round access to continued artistic growth and support, regardless of their institutional affiliation.

In 2013, MVM opened MVM Studios in a short‐term leased space where we built a community‐based music program in order to understand what our needs would be for a more permanent space. Our move into MVM Studios has established a student‐led and sustainable model for program growth. Together with the youth we serve, we have created an inclusive space where youth from diverse backgrounds can come together around a shared love of music to write, record, and release songs – and in the process, develop social and emotional skills they can use for the rest of their life.


  • MVM has been recognized by the City of Portland for having “greatly contributed to bringing music back into the lives of the next generation; fostering personal, social, creative, and intellectual development; and transforming marginalized youth.” 
  • 2011: Skidmore Prize from the Willamette Week, recognizing outstanding emerging nonprofit leaders making bold impact in Portland.
  • 2014:  Top of the Class Award from the National After-School Association “celebrating innovation, passion, creativity, and commitment to youth”
  • 2016: Accepted into Berklee College of Music’s City Music Network.  This is a network of 46 music programs throughout the United States committed to providing high caliber music instruction for at-risk youth.  This partnership provides MVM students with the opportunity to earn scholarships to Berklee.
  • 2016/17: Awarded support from the National Endowment for the Arts


"My Voice Music is like a second home to me." - Raiyasha

“When I first heard a recording of my music, I felt a door opening in my life.”  - Joseph

"My Voice Music got me through some of the hardest times in my life".  They saved my life." - Amber

"My Voice Music Music gives you the support to be you, and do you." - Thlolo

“When I met you I was so angry; I wasn’t speaking to anyone. Music gave me a place to share what I needed to say.  You changed my life...” - Christian

"My Voice Music is hope." - Owen


If you have any questions about our work or this project please do not hesitate to contact us directly at [email protected] or call us at 971-533-8953.


* "Resilient youth who transition from risk-filled backgrounds…are consistently distinguished by the presence of a caring adult in their life.” - The Center For Abuse Prevention, 2000

East Portland Demographics Citations:

**  "The Forgotten Portland, How East Portland Was Born... and Ignored", The Portland Mercury

***  "High Poverty Hotspots Multnomah Portland East", Oregon DHS Office of Forecasting, Research, & Analysis

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 12, 2017


Posted on December 12, 2017

We are so excited that an anonymous MVM parent and her employer are generously matching the next $4,500 of gifts received by December 20th!  If we reach this match it will put us at $20,000 which is 2/3 of the way to our goal!  Please spread the word to help us reach this matching challenge!

Posted on November 30, 2017


Posted on November 30, 2017

Thank you to everyone who contributed on #givingtuesday!  We surpassed our RE/MAX $2,500 matching gift challenge!!  

So far, we have raised $9,499 (1/3 of our goal) and are well on our way to reaching our goal by Dec. 31.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.  We can't wait to get building in our new space next year thanks to your support!

Posted on November 20, 2017


Posted on November 20, 2017

Fundraising Challenge:  

We need your help to raise $2,500 in new donations by Dec. 1st so that the RE/MAX Equity Group Foundation will kick in a match of $2,500 - DOUBLING YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS!!

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