MAP is building awareness with focus on membership, online presence

For 18 years, the parent volunteers of Music and Art Partners (MAP) have provided support for music, art and drama programs throughout the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. MAP reps sold concessions at nearly every band and choir concert, every play performance, including the ever-popular Bongo Bar.

Those treats will be in short supply at performances this year as MAP regroups and reevaluates its priorities and approach to fundraising under a new president, Katie Topping. The only thing guaranteed to remain the same, Topping said, is MAP’s unwavering commitment to music and the arts in WL-WV schools.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - From left, Lynne Detrick, Sarah Wright and Katie Topping stand by the art wall at Cedaroak Park Primary School, one of many art projects that MAP has provided support for. “MAP is really here to make a difference in your child’s life at school through the arts,” Topping said. “We need to keep that a central part of this district. You lose that part and you’re losing something special.”

Deputy Superintendent Jane Stickney knows the district has something special in MAP too.

“MAP exemplifies community partnership,” she said. “Music and the arts are essential elements of a child’s education in West Linn-Wilsonville. MAP provides a consistent supportive leadership voice of support for vibrant music and arts programs in our schools.”

Topping said the first order of business is revamping the MAP website. Heading up that effort is Sarah Wright, who has been a part of the MAP board for 16 years and co-president for 11.

“When I first started, we were all moms who didn’t work full time,” Wright said.

“There’s no one in an active role on our board (now) who doesn’t have a full-time job. This year, we have more new board members than we’ve ever had,” Topping said. “None of us are bored; we don’t need hobbies, but we believe in this.”

“She has the business aspect,” Wright said. “That’s probably what we need. Katie will give us a professional image.”

MAP was founded during the 1995-96 school year.

“The district was going to eliminate the strings program,” founding member Lynne Detrick said. “Parents convinced the district to have a music task force. One recommendation was to form a music support group.”

Five parents each put $25 into a hat and Music Boosters was born. The name changed to MAP in 1997. Since its founding, the group has returned $750,000 to district schools, including $67,573 in the 2012-13 school year. Funds were raised through concessions, the annual Dollar for the Arts fundraiser, membership sales, grants and last year’s inaugural Evening With the Stars dinner and auction.

“Membership is an important aspect,” Detrick said. “We’d like to have more families. Ten dollars for everyone in primary schools, just to say, ‘We’re with you.’”

With website planning underway, Topping and her team are turning their attention on another key element of their plan, parent representatives.

“We want to have more of a link with reps and have them be our presence and our connection to the school,” Topping said.

MAP will continue offering grants to music and arts programs, although they will ask teachers to submit grants just twice this year, on Oct. 1 and Feb. 1, instead of year round. The organization also will continue offering scholarships to graduating seniors. Last year, MAP gave four $750 scholarships to outstanding arts students at West Linn and Wilsonville high schools.

The MAP board seeks parent input and involvement as it reorganizes.

“MAP is a really great organization that just needs a spotlight,” Topping said. “Just give us a little time.”

Parents at each school are invited to set up concession tables at concerts and plays, although MAP will no longer provide items to sell or handle the money.

“Those Bongo Bars are something special,” Detrick said. They’re available from Tigard-based Dessert of Distinction.

Learn more about MAP online at

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