How Music Saved Venezuela’s Children
El Sistema is an extraordinary music and social project which has been running in Venezuela in an attempt to transform the lives of the nations poorest children. While abroad in Venezuela, Revolution of Hope Founder David France was profoundly impacted by the transformative impact that El Sistema has had on the lives of children in Venezuela – David’s work today with Revolution of Hope seeks to emulate that of El Sistema.
Revolution of Hope exists in a thriving international network of orchestras and choirs inspired by the social change phenomenon in Venezuela known as El Sistema. Started in the 1970’s by economist, musician and social reformer Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema has grown to nearly 400,000 participants. While over 70% of them live in poverty, the orchestras in El Sistema have achieved a level of artistic excellence giving them invitations to perform in the world’s most prestigious concert halls. El Sistema was featured on the CBS program 60 Minutes and in other notable publications. In 2009, Dr. Abreu won the esteemed TED prize and donated the proceeds to bring El Sistema to the United States. Executive Director David France, is a recipient of the prestigious Sistema Fellowship at the New England Conservatory. Fellowship alumni are impassioned leaders in a growing international movement. Programs led by Sistema Fellows have already seen dramatic increases in the test scores of participants, and classroom teachers have noted behavioral differences in the students involved in these ensemble-based programs