Change Lives One Note At A Time

Chicago, IL   |


The Musical Arts Institute (MAI) is a nonprofit, 501(c)3, community-minded organization based on the south side of Chicago. MAI provides intensive private and group music training, after school music programming and other specialized performance opportunities for youth and adults. We serve culturally and economically under served communities where access to high quality music education is limited or nonexistent.

Notes from the nonprofit

It goes without saying that we live in a period of dynamic social change. Through its work with underserved children, MAI is an organization that is helping to drive this change. I've included a PP deck that further outlines MAI's services and achievements.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Michael Joseph Manson

Co Director

Mrs. Lana J Manson

Main address

9244 S Lafayette Ave %Michael Manson

Chicago, IL 60620 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Music Groups, Bands, Ensembles (A6C)

Music (A68)

Performing Arts Schools (A6E)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2021.
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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Board Development and Engagement. We currently have board members that excel in way of oversight and governance. We are currently addressing the issue of philanthropy. We are transitioning the culture of fundraising and marketing , furthering the positive narrative of the Musical Arts Institute.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

One on One (Private) Music Instruction

Private study in voice, keyboard, strings, woodwind, brass, percussion. Such study is designed to meet the artistic, technical, collegiate readiness needs of the student.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work


Top Rated 2020

Great Non Profits

Affiliations & memberships

Illinois Music Educators Association 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of classes offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status, People of African descent

Related Program

One on One (Private) Music Instruction

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

There were fewer classes in 2020 due to the covid 19 pandemic. Both one on one, class, and group instruction is represented,

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

MAI endeavors to be the premier provider of music performance training in alignment with standards for college readiness and professional benchmarks.
We will provide:
1.An exceptional level of Music Performance training
2.Affordable, accessible, and available Music Instruction
3.Assistance with instrument procurement for students
4.Exposure to proven pedagogical methods & musical nomenclature
5.A nurturing environment for competitive training
6.Opportunities for participation in high quality music ensembles and peer collaboration
In addition, our goal is to expand community awareness of the Arts through culturally enriching workshops and live performances.

At its core, the Musical Arts Institute is tremendously committed to the idea of social and economic justice and equality in the arts. Our mission is to provide the same (or better) quality music education that is found in more affluent communities. Parody in resources for the arts is a core belief at MAI. MAI embraces diversity among members of the staff as well as the genres of music taught and explored. MAI promotes extremely high levels of creativity with the expectation that our students will have a global impact within the music industry as music professionals. We believe that the community youth of all races should have safe and well-resourced spaces to express their artistic selves with no fear of the negative social morays that plague our community. In addition, excellence in their chosen art form should be on display, performed by artists that resemble themselves.

The Musical Arts Institute offers high-quality programs and classes in music that not only expose the community to the gift of music but also fosters a sense of excellence and achievement. Monitoring and evaluation are paramount to our programming.

The Musical Arts Institute also partners with community public schools and organizations to further expose our students to music. In addition, we screen the students that we have direct contact, in regards to music aptitude and natural talent, in order to identify students that would benefit from more intense instruction and performance.

We also offer elite level classes and ensembles to students that are on our collegiate track. The students are in our College prep level courses and ensembles. These ensembles also provide Community service for events and functions for which they are asked to perform. These performances garner both individual recognition for each student as well as additional exposure for the musical arts Institute.

The ASMP (After School Music Program ): MAI partners with CPS schools and other community youth programs to provide music education programming for over 1200 students per week. Musical programming such as drum line, piano, chorus, and guitar classes are taught by the MAI teaching artist, with guidance and support from the MAI staff. Students have an opportunity to create, express, and perform their music knowledge. Students are evaluated by semester to ensure musical, academic, and emotional-social goals are being achieved.

The Musical Arts Institute Music Conservatory Program: Of the 1200 students served weekly, approximately 5% of the enrollment is also enrolled with the MAI Conservatory. These students are served with intense college prep training. Conservatory students and families have made a significant commitment to rigorous training and achievement in music. Performance, artistry, creativity, and music literacy are stressed with these students. These students perform at community events inclusive of student recitals and music competitions. This program also facilitates three performance ensembles.
The Musical Arts Institute Chamber String Ensemble
The Musical Arts Institute Jazz Combo
The Musical Arrts Institute Julibate singers
Community Music Classes: As a significant tenet of the Musical Arts Institute provide provides music instruction to all who desire to learn regardless of their ability to pay. MAI offers community classes that are tuition-free and open to all youths of the community to come and explore and experience the power of music. Group classes in beginner piano, guitar, and music production are offered. Students and families are encouraged to participate. The Musical Arts Institute is a music education service. The organization boasts a level of quality instruction to the community and its stakeholders. Student musical performance, academic improvement, and social-emotional learning are measuring tools for program impact.
Musical Performance - Individual and group student performance "juries" (performance evaluations) are recorded and adjudicated based on concepts and objectives presented in the National Music Standards created by NAfME (National Association for Music Education).
Academic improvement - Parental surveys are collected, providing information on student academic status and progress. Data is collected at the beginning and the end of the academic year.
Social-emotional learning - Student surveys are collected to provide data on their values regarding music, the collaborative process, and their overall feelings regarding their music performance.

The Musical Arts Institute program's impact allows 1200 youths to participate in weekly music education services. 95% of students will complete their daily practice/homework assignments. Thirty students see a one-grade increase on their quarterly report cards. Ten percent of students see a two-grade increase on their report cards. 100% of youths participate weekly in educational enrichment activities. 95% of youth master the musical skill sets presented in each enrichment activity. 5% of the total enrollment are enrolled in the MAI Conservatory Program.
Assessments take place from Daily logs and administrative reports, and the teaching artists' weekly administrative reports turned into the program director have been used to monitor the tutoring and enrichment outcomes.
Additionally, the music students who benefit from the Musical Arts Institute Conservatory Program express themselves artistically, are musically literate and work well in a group of collaborators ready to attend college on a scholarship. All students participate in our "jury" evaluation. Performance and verbal exams are administered by a team of MAI teaching artists and administrators to assess achievement in correlation to MAI goals and Illinois State Board of Education standards and benchmarks. 99% of graduates are accepted into college and offered scholarships



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 05/05/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Herbert Allen

Robertson Lowstuter, Inc

Term: 2016 - 2019

Sharon Johnson

Cook County Judicial Board

Erick Nickerson

FBI Retired

Delvert Cole

Cole Transportation

Dr. Debra Eldridge

Eldridge Dentistry

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.