Musicians reading this blog are likely to be familiar with the revolutionary Venezuelan music program El Sistema. Started in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu, El Sistema has survived eight separate Venezuelan governments (not simply new presidents, but actual governments). Adaptistration blogger (and fellow Inside The Arts network member) Drew McManus wrote a four-part series (   ) for the Partial Observer in 2005 on this music program and the profound social change that result when art music is a catalyst in young people’s lives.
Art Music as a Catalyst for Social Change
Can art music truly lift up a country’s fortunes? El Sistema makes a great case for it. 300,000 Venezuelan students currently participate in the system, and this number is predicted to rise close to 1,000,000 in the coming years. These students come from extreme poverty, and watching how music gives direction and meaning to their lives is profoundly moving. If you’ve ever doubted music’s transformative power, this video is sure to reinvigorate your faith.
El Sistema website: http://www.fesnojiv.org/
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