Matrisha Armitage - Executive Director
Matrisha Armitage graduated from South Eugene High School in 1999 and received an AAOT and Business Management degree from Lane Community College in 2002.
Her passion for volunteering began at the First Place Family Center working with youth in the child care facilities where she could support and understand their struggles after experiencing poverty and homelessness herself as a child. That position led to working and volunteering at other youth empowerment organizations for at-risk teens including L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, Adventure, Direction) where she managed multi year large budget grants and supported the administrative and direct service programs that provided resources to young people in need and learned about youth oppression and how to treat young people with respect and compassion.
Matrisha has managed, volunteered, and provided administrative and grant support for several nonprofit organizations including The Rainy Day Blues Society, The Dragon Family Foundation, Self-Reliant Center, Healing Harvest and Books to the People.
She has been a professional musician with her husband since high school and their band, Stereo Minds, is a mentor support band to all of the MEPAA youth programs.
After starting a successful bookkeeping company to pay the bills right out of high school, Matrisha was able to focus on her passion of supporting women and youth in the arts and began a production company to run events for local causes and create safe and supportive environments in which to book bands of all ages. This company led to contracts to manage stages and events for the Olympic Trials, Eugene Marathon and many fundraising events including Grrrlz Rock, which became her number one obsession and pride!
In 2015 she founded MEPAA and combined several local programs that were providing access to music education and supportive resources in safe spaces. Grrrlz Rock, Kidz Rock, MuseArt and the MEPAA Music Center have become important and successful programs within the MEPAA umbrella of arts resources.
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.