MVP’s Origin Story

Mountain Voices Project (MVP) was launched as a non-profit in 2019.  MVP was incubated by MANAUS, a local philanthropy fund.  Ahead of MVP, MANAUS facilitated the development of Valley Settlement, The Third Street Center in Carbondale, LaMedichi, the Rocky Mountain Preschool Initiative, and the Community Schools Initiative, among other social justice initiatives over the years.  The intention of MANAUS in launching MVP was to bring broad based community organizing to the residents who live between Aspen, Colorado, west to Parachute, Colorado.  This region shares an interdependent economic footprint, which causes families to be connected while not necessarily knowing and understanding each other.  

To guide local development of MVP, MANAUS invited local leaders from Parachute to Aspen to learn the nuances of broad-based organizing.  To help guide this work these local leaders partnered with the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in 1940, the IAF is the nation’s largest and longest-standing network of local faith and community-based organizations.

The intention of broad based organizing at the local level is to create a new capacity in the community for leadership development, citizen-led action, and relationships across the lines that often divide our communities.  MVP leaders identify interests that they have in common, and organize institutionally to develop those interests into issues that are winnable. 

We believe in…

Relational Power

The issues that we work on come out of conversations in which people share stories about their experiences and concerns.  We build on these relationships to strengthen connections between people and institutions, which is the foundation for effecting real change.

Collective Leadership

We identify and develop leaders within our institutions and across communities, so that our institutions get stronger and we can accomplish more together.  It is vital that our leadership reflects the makeup of the broader community in terms of demographics and educational, economic, and political background.


Dues from member institutions fund our organization.  We accept no government money.  This allows us the freedom to reflect the interests and values of the institutions that make up the organizations. 

Practical Solutions

We work on concrete issues that we can do something about.  Once potential issues are identified, we do research and power analysis to develop practical and achievable solutions.