Matrisha Armitage - Executive Director
Matrisha Armitage has been a notable figure in the Eugene music community for many years. In addition to running a successful bookkeeping company - Armitage Solutions, Matrisha is a professional performing musician with her band Bajuana Tea, and long-time youth leadership mentor.
Prior to founding MEPAA, Matrisha managed, volunteered, and provided grant support for several other arts and youth-focused nonprofit organizations including Leadership Education Adventure Direction (L.E.A.D.), The Dragon Family Foundation, Self-Reliant Center, and Books to the People.
In 2010, Matrisha took over the Grrrlz Rock Music & Arts Festival. Through community partnerships and donor support, Matrisha built an incredible network of performers, artists, and volunteers, gradually expanding the annual festival into what is now MEPAA and its many programs.
Amrit Khalsa - Development Coordinator
Amrit Khalsa manages MEPAA’s marketing, development, and grantmaking processes. She also works for Color Outside the Lines, a nonprofit in Portland that provides free visual arts programming to at-risk and foster youth. When she is not working in the nonprofit sector, Amrit fronts the Portland-based rock band, Doran, and runs a marketing and graphic design company - Sage House: Marketing + Design.
After earning her degree, Amrit worked for a number of arts and nonprofit organizations including Texas Democratic Party, Texas Book Festival, and several literary publications. In 2013, she became involved with the Girls Rock Camp organization, a worldwide nonprofit that provides safe, positive environments for female-identifying students to access arts education and empowerment. Mentoring these students and being part of a supportive artistic community was a life-changing experience for her, and when Amrit moved to Eugene in 2016, she immediately found and became involved with MEPAA.
Amrit enjoys writing, hiking, spending time with friends, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Noela Estrada - Workshop Coordinator
Music came into Noela’s life at the age of 8 when she started playing piano on a tiny keyboard that her mom bought for her. Since then, she has also learned viola, violin, cello, clarinet, flute, saxophone, guitar, and euphonium.
Music is Noela’s pride, joy, and job! She teaches at Music Masters, a local music studio that focuses on making music fun and accessible to people from all walks of life. She strongly believes that music should be for everyone and should bring people together rather than dividing them.
This belief is what drew her to MEPAA in the first place. By participating in MEPAA’s programs, the initial intimidation that many people experience with playing an instrument goes away—in just an hour or two! You can see how happy kids and adults are when they are creating music. This is Noela’s greatest joy in the work she does, and she loves that the entire MEPAA team feels the same way.
Aside from playing music, her hobbies include photography, cooking, making puppets, and being outside.