As art and music programs continue to suffer from funding shortfalls, a non-profit stepped up to fill the gap with help from a casino.
In this month’s In the Room action panel, Rosie’s House CEO Becky Bell Ballard, PR Manager Daniela Vizcarra from Gila River Resorts & Casinos and Ivan Martinez Morales, who directs music at Rosie’s House, joined hosts Lloyd Hopkins and Stephanie Parra on the STN stage.
The group discussed the role the arts, specifically music, play in a child’s mental health and development and how it helps them create and achieve goals.
Becky Bell Ballard
Ivan Martinez Morales
Becky Bell Ballard
CEO – Rosie’s House
PR Manager – Gila River Resorts
Ivan Martinez Morales
Director – Rosie’s House
Kids are under a lot of stress.
The challenges that the youth in our community are facing are growing. We’re seeing more anxiety and depression.
On a Music Mission
Rosie’s House is an afterschool program. We’re a place where kids can come and learn music 100% free. We’re one of the largest 100% free music programs in the nation.
We really believe in the power of music education and how it can be a wonderful opportunity for a student to develop, their character as well as their cognition through the power of music.
There are so many scientific research papers, articles, and data around what music does for a young person. That’s what we’re really all about. We really exist because the arts and music gets cut in schools.
So Rosie’s House is an opportunity to fix that problem. Community partners like Gila River [Resorts & Casinos], who help support our mission, and make it free for families who otherwise would not have the opportunity.
“I want to help you.”
Who They Partner With
Gila River Resort and Casinos has a foundation called Gila River Cares. We are big on giving back. We love to help our organizations that specifically work with kids in education.
The process is very simple. You have to be a 501c3 based in Arizona. It can be anywhere in Arizona, not necessarily in the Valley, and show us how you have an impact on children and education.
Partnering with Rosie’s House
When we were connected with Rosie’s House, we immediately fell in love with the organization because we can see the change they are making. We can see how they’re helping their students. They’ve been around for a couple of decades and we heard so many stories and we can see the impact.
A lot of times when you work with larger nonprofits, you don’t always see where the money goes, even though they need the money. We want to actually see it; see the tangible change. So we connected with them. We love them. We love their process. What they do is so important.
For groups in need
I think it’s important to always put yourself out there. You never know who has funding available. If they don’t have funding available, they can connect you with someone else.
Don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments and your achievements.
A lot of times when you connect with nonprofits, they kind of tell you, “Well, this is what we do.” They don’t really tell you in depth. Tell everyone the good work you’re doing. Really brag about yourselves because you never know who will relate to that and say, “I want to help you.”
Building Foundational Skills
The power that I found in music was the ability to have teamwork, the ability to create discipline and the ability to create and achieve goals. When I was playing music, the biggest thing is being able to communicate using nonverbal communication.
Building teamwork that way, building rapport, building trust. That’s something I take with me every day in my software engineering career.
The other things that I take with me are building and achieving goals.
We get two concerts, maybe three concerts a year that we’re able to participate in. We choose a piece, so we define those goals, and then we backfill the rest.
We say, “Okay, I want to be able to play this piece by the end of the semester or by the end of the quarter.”
And that’s something I do every day at work. These are skills that I’m building every day because of Rosie’s House and because of music. This is something that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life. And that’s something that I hope that the students will take with them for the rest of their lives.