“The poverty rate is over 35%…. At least 30 gangs roam the streets,” writes Jessica Gelt in Monday’s (4/3) Los Angeles Times. “That’s the state of affairs in Westlake, Pico Union and Koreatown, according to the organization Heart of Los Angeles. The group reaches more than 2,000 kids in those neighborhoods…. Its crowning achievement is its partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at Heart of Los Angeles, or YOLA at HOLA…. YOLA at HOLA has received $270,000 in the form of five successive annual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts since 2013. The program provides intensive orchestral instruction, including classes on music creativity, singing and ensemble rehearsals, to 250 students in 1st through 12th grades. … An hour of academic tutoring is thrown in each afternoon … ‘This program is using music for social change. It’s not that it’s trying to create the next Gustavo Dudamel or first-chair violinist, but it is trying to give voice to a community and kids in that community,” said HOLA Executive Director Tony Brown…. Of the 63 students in those programs who were high school seniors in 2015, 100% of them graduated, and 97% went on to college.”


Posted April 4, 2017

Pictured: Jackie DesRosier conducts a YOLA at HOLA youth orchestra concert