After school music program celebrates grand reopening

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On November 5th, Rosie’s House held a public Grand Opening of its new $6.5 million, 15,000 square foot new home, located at 919 E. Jefferson in downtown Phoenix. Rosie’s House offers the largest free after-school music program in the United States.

Ivan Martinez Morales, a Rosie’s House alum, attended the program as a teenager and played with their Saxophone Quartet. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and then enrolled at ASU where he was a NASA Space Grant Scholar. He is now a Software Engineer at Plaid and founder of Papago Software.

Becky Bell Ballard, CEO of Rosie’s House and Morales spoke with us about the grand reopening and what this means for its students.

“We’ll have 25,000 free music lessons provided to the community this year,” Ballard said.

Rosie’s House started over 25 years ago as a local non-profit. It was a safe place for kids around the neighborhood to come and take music lessons. It has since grown from the humble beginnings of around 20 kids, according to Ballard.

Morales’s band teacher urged him to receive lessons for playing saxophone, but unfortunately, that was not in his budget at the time. Rosie’s House provided those lessons, which is what got him interested.

Many children have the same story as Ivan, but many families find Rosie’s House because their schools do not offer programs for music education, Ballard said.

“We are now located at 9th Street and Jefferson. It’s a 15,000 square foot facility, we’ve been working hard on the building for the last two years. The community has supported us greatly,” Ballard said. It is right in downtown Phoenix.

“It gave me a sense of belonging very early on. Through Rosie’s House, I was able to meet some of my closest friends and peers. I still keep in contact with them, we were on the Saxophone quartet together, and it gave me a sense of self where I could be expressive creatively and also be around people who were also interested in music too,” Morales said.

Becky Bell Ballard/CEO of Rosie's House; Ivan Martinez Morales/Rosie's House alum

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