In a Wednesday (4/1) post on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mark Swed writes, “In a remarkable testimony by Linda Ronstadt to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies [on] Tuesday, the pop singer made an impassioned plea for government support of the arts. And Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s soon-to-be music director, was her poster boy.” After explaining the history and tenets of El Sistema, the state-run Venezuelan music-education project, Ronstadt stated, “A driving force in Dudamel’s life is to transform communities through participation in music. He is leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA or Youth Orchestra L.A. project, which is designed to serve children who have the most need and the fewest resources. Access to quality music educations should not be only for those who can afford it. The benefits are too great.” Ronstadt’s complete testimony can be read at the Americans for the Arts website,

Posted April 2, 2009

Photo: Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra
Credit: Mathew Imaging