In 1975, Dr. José Antonio Abreu founded the revolutionary music program ’El Sistema‘, designed to uplift the poorest children from Caracas, Venezuela. The plan aimed to take kids off the streets and place them in youth orchestras, rescuing and protecting them from the violence and drug abuse of the slums while developing musical and social skills. El Sistema has been a massive success, altering the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, providing them with the platform to a brighter future, and saving them from falling into lives of crime and violence.
Since its foundation, the program has attained international recognition and similar initiatives are even being organized around the world. El Sistema is a beacon of hope and a model for social development and the potential of music. Alexander Bernstein, son of famed American composer Leonard Bernstein, has said of El Sistema; “This is something we need in the United States”, though there has been no consolidated effort to implement any such program in the US. Ever since learning about El Sistema, I have thought that a similar project should be developed with hip hop as a focus.
A few weeks ago I came across Sessions LA, a project founded in 2005 designed to empower and educate youth via the medium of hip hop. Instantly I thought of the parallels between Sessions and El Sistema. Sessions is dedicated to developing critical thinking and social awareness for the younger generation. With mentors like Trebles & Blues, Bambu, Jay Black, DJ Phatrick and many more, Sessions presents a magnificent opportunity for kids to grow and develop musically and consciously. An example of the wonderful work they do can be seen on the free album ’Bad Man’s World‘ we posted a few weeks ago.
Though Sessions have been working hard for years, their multi-year government grant has finally expired and due to the recent economic downturn, securing further funding has been difficult. For this program to continue, it is now up to individuals to provide support!
Sessions have organized a great package of incentives for donating to ‘Save Sessions LA’ ranging from autographed CD copies of ‘Bad Man’s World’, T-shirts, and even a live performance by Bambu and DJ Phatrick.
This is a program that MUST be supported. By pledging money to this cause you not only get great material in return for your money, but you also support hip hop, future generations of humans, and social reform. So get out your credit cards and visit the IndieGoGo campaign site for more information.
If you are in any doubt as to what a program like this can do, then do a bit of research about El Sistema and you will understand the potential of ideas like this. Projects such as Sessions and El Sistema can help propel our society towards an enlightened future. Supporting these initiatives is crucial.