A recent article by Leah Swann Hollingsworth looks at the proliferation of El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States, in particular those receiving Education and Community Investment grants from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (via the League of American Orchestras).
Play On, Philly! supports three youth orchestras, about 200 students, and two sites. “We are building a community that celebrates these kids for what they are doing, what they are able to do,” Thompson says. “No one would have invited these kids to their house unless they had a violin under their chin—but now kids in our city are doing positive things and working really hard. I want each neighborhood to fall in love with their orchestra of their kids.”
[Stanford] Thompson and [Katie] Wyatt are alums of New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program, a tuition-free, one-year postgraduate program founded in 2009 that admits ten musicians per year seeking careers that connect music, youth, and social change. Program Director Heath Marlow reports that the fellows not only learn about El Sistema, but “think deeply about how its core values may translate into programs in other cultures,” and are provided the time to think about their personal goals as musicians, administrators, and “citizenartists.” Nearly all alumni are now involved in Sistema-inspired programs, and about one-third have already founded new programs in the U.S.
Read the article in its entirety by clicking here.