Posted on August 18, 2020

young musicians playing guitar

Ethos is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides music lessons, group classes, camps, multicultural performances and workshops to more than 7,000 students across Oregon each year. Ethos focuses on healing the gap between students’ access to music programming and socioeconomic status/geographical location, race, ethnicity, religious belief, country of origin, abilities or disabilities, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Through their partnership with AmeriCorps they have developed the Music Corps – Urban Outreach program, the Ethos Rural Outreach program, and the Pass the Mic- Immigrant Outreach program.

In 1998, Ethos began as a direct response to budget cuts that eliminated arts education from public schools in Oregon. Their first home was within the basement of the University of Portland and has since grown into a 13-classroom headquarters on Killingsworth and Williams. They are founded on the belief that “music education has the power to create community and our differences should be valued, fostered, and appreciated”.

The Rural Outreach program is a partnership between Ethos and AmeriCorps to place members in schools as music educators and facilitators. By way of a generous grant from the Oregon Community Foundation, the Rural Outreach Program is able to bring performers from all over the state to perform for students and community members, with no cost to the community or school. Some of their past and current Rural Outreach Program schools include: Condon, Dufur, Elkton, Falls City, Fossil, Lakeview, Long Creek, Madras, Monument, and Spray. For more information about the Rural Outreach program, please contact Amorèe Lovell, Ethos’ Rural Outreach Program Director at: 503-283-8467 ext. 106, or via email:

Music Corps is a unique artist-in-residence program that assists in establishing music programs at schools and community centers. This program makes music lessons more accessible to a greater number of students by conducting classes at schools or after-school programs. Music Corps is funded in part through the Portland Children’s Levy and “provides dynamic, direct, and sustained music education to thousands of kids each year”. To learn more about Music Corps, please contact Ethos’ Program Director Adam Goodwin, at 971-717-6901 or

Pass the Mic is a free program that is an opportunity for immigrant youth to obtain high-quality and culturally responsive music education and mentorship. Students work with experienced Portland musicians and are encouraged to express themselves in front of their peers and communities. Pass the Mic functions through two components: the after-school program with both APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) and David Douglas High School, and then a summer camp held at an area school. To learn more about Pass the Mic, please contact Program Director Wilson Vediner at