Future of Music with Vision program is uncertain | SteamboatToday.com

Future of Music with Vision program is uncertain

Health Partnership hopes youth-serving organization will take over program

Music with Vision, which was started by the Health Partnership two years ago, ended last month. Stephanie Monahan, executive director, said she sees value in youth resiliency programs like Music with Vision but it did not align with the areas of impact set forward by the Partnership.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As the new executive director of the Health Partnership, Stephanie Monahan sees tremendous value and potential in youth resiliency programs like Music with Vision.

But last month, the Health Partnership closed the doors on the program they helped start two years ago, saying it would be better served if it was run by an organization that specializes in youth-oriented services.

“We had a change in leadership here at the Health Partnership, and it was a great opportunity for myself, as the new executive director, and our board to rigorously evaluate our programs and services and determine what was in line with our scope, our mission and our vision —  and what wasn’t,” Monahan said.

Music with Vision was created to explore the role of creative skills, expression and relationships in preventing substance use in the youth population. The program used music to help young people learn skills to cope with problems, so that they could live full, healthy lives.

During an extensive strategic planning process, the board of directors and staff of the Health Partnership evaluated all of the programs currently being offered by the nonprofit to make sure they were fulfilling the organization’s mission, which is to “compassionately connect people to health and wellness resources, through collaboration with community partners.” 

They determined that the Music with Vision program did not align with the Health Partnership’s areas of impact, and because of that, they made the decision to end the program and close the studio.

Health Partnership reached out to youth-serving organizations to discuss possible transition opportunities with hopes that there would be a program like Music with Vision available to support youth and families in the community.

Monohan is hopeful that a version program will be re-launched down the road by another organization better suited to work with youth.

“Everyone agreed that ‘yes, there is a need.’ We had some facilitative conversation about who would be best poised to spearhead a service like that,” Monohan said. “So we have everything in storage and will be working with Partners to determine a pathway forward for that initiative.”

Partners in Routt County Executive Director Michelle Petix said her organization is in continued discussions with the Health Partnership regarding the future of Music With Vision and the possible transition of some of the equipment.

“We feel that we could help honor the investment of resources and passion that was put into developing Music with Vision by providing a temporary landing space while there are ongoing discussions for the future of sustainable programming combining creative arts and mentorship,” Petix said.

While they don’t expect Music with Vision to come back in its current form, both Petix and Monohan believe there is a need for a similar program.

“Partners has a strong record of collaboration and can help bring together interested youth, other youth service organizations, as well as the creative community, to see how it can best move forward,” Petix said. “Our future role will depend greatly on the outcome of these discussions, our organizational capacity and how well the final program design aligns with Partners’ mentoring model.”

Music with Vision was made possible by funders like the Craig Scheckman Family Foundation and others that supported prevention strategies in the community. 

“Those that attended (the July meeting) agree that there is a critical need for strategies and programs that target youth and young adult substance use prevention,” Monahan said. “We are eager to use the knowledge gained from the Music with Vision program to support a wider network of prevention strategies across the community. We passionately support the value of music and creativity for wellness across all ages.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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