Local Residents Form Non-Profit to Support Arts & Music Education in SOMA


Music & Arts Education Project, Inc. (MAEP) was formed to “provide support for our school district, work to influence policies and budgets, and unite with parents and other residents to advocate more arts opportunities for our students and community.”

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From MAEP, Inc.:

If you’ve ever hung up a piece of art created by a child, or attended a school play, or listened to a student choral concert, you have seen the power of the arts for students.

Music & Arts Education Project, Inc. (MAEP) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the Maplewood / South Orange community dedicated to advocating for the inclusion and broadening of the arts and music for our students and community.  Founded in October 2023, we believe it is critical to provide support for our school district, work to influence policies and budgets, and unite with parents and other residents to advocate more arts opportunities for our students and community.

We are launching publicly now, at a time when the community is coming to terms with the recent severe art and music cuts districtwide.  We will help bolster our cherished arts education ecosystem in our schools and promote the importance of arts education overall.

MAEP is seeking to help fill financial gaps for the ‘24-‘25 school year, partnering with district administration and teachers to find ways to restore arts supplies and helping fund specific teacher initiatives that create greater opportunities for students and our community.

We need your support: through donations of money, contributions of your time, active engagement in student arts events, and by helping raise visibility and awareness.



  • A federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, meaning contributions are tax deductible.
  • A place where the strength of our numbers can be leveraged to create influence.
  • Organized by local residents with experience in our district.
  • Open to supporting all students and teachers in their quest to improve arts education.
  • MAEP is the underlying 501(c)(3) organization for Maplewoodstock and other events to be announced in the future.

What MAEP is NOT:

  • Not a long-term replacement for an appropriate school budget for music and the arts.
  • Not supporting a single type of art or music education.

Who is MAEP:

MAEP was organized by committed individuals with strong ties with and experience in our district and community:

  • Brad Goldman, President
  • Anthony Mazzocchi, Vice President
  • Susan Rogers, Secretary
  • Tom Kerns, Treasurer
  • Kerry Miller, Board Member
  • Tarquin Learned, Board Member
  • Jamie Ross, Board Member

Arts education is more than learning to draw or playing an instrument.  Arts education contributes to many facets of child academic and social & emotional development. The impact of these programs has been widely documented to produce positive self-esteem, increase self-confidence and improve overall mental health. The June 2019 study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research looked at over 200 studies on the impact of arts education and found “a widespread belief that arts education contributes to children’s and adolescents’ social-emotional development.”  And this was before the pandemic impacted this generation of kids and their social-emotional development.  (https://consortium.uchicago.edu/publications/arts-education-and-social-emotional-learning-outcomes)

Recent research by Daniel Bowen and Brian Kisida found that “students who had increased arts education experiences saw improvements in writing achievement, emotional and cognitive empathy, school engagement and higher education aspirations, while they had a lower incidence of disciplinary infractions.”  (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/02/arts/design/arts-education-necessary.html)

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