The September edition of Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth's publication chronicling the emerging field of El Sistema-inspired activity in the US and beyond, and featuring an essay by Lorrie Heagy, Sistema Fellow '10, is found here.
The fifth class of Sistema Fellows was incredibly privileged to experience El Sistema in Venezuela for four weeks in November and December 2013. The five classes of the Fellowship were granted unprecedented access to observe and engage with different aspects of programming as well as meetings with key members of management.
Given the immense interest in El Sistema, I have written up my notes of this visit to help inform others of the activities of the program. This is not academic research but personal impressions. Enjoy!
We returned to Caracas for our final week in Venezuela.We were hoping to meet with members of El Sistema senior management, members of the team responsible for research, evaluation, and formulating a plan for a new higher education institution, whilst also visiting the Simon Bolivar Conservatory. Unfortunately, as it was the week of municipal elections, the nucleos and the conservatory were closed.
There are 250 staff (all Venezuelan) working at the head office of the Foundacion which runs El Sistema. We were able to meet with three out of the five members of senior management – Eduardo Mendez (Executive Director ), Valdemar Rodriguez (Deputy Executive Director) and, to our great delight, Dr. Abreu (Founding Director)...