El Sistema USA

Founder of the original El Sistema in Venezuela, Jose Antonio Abreu, with Mark Churchill, Director of El Sistema USA.

In 2009, José Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, was awarded the TED Prize. He was awarded $100,000 and one wish to change the world. His wish was to “Create and document a special training program for 50 gifted young musicians passionate about their art and social justice and dedicated to bringing El Sistema to the United States and the world.”

Consequently, El Sistema USA was born and in partnership with the New England Conservatory Of Music in Boston, the Abreu Fellows Program began in the fall of 2009. Dantes Rameau, co-founder and executive director of the Atlanta Music Project, was a member of the inaugural class of the Abreu Fellows program.

From El Sistema USA’s homepage:

El Sistema USA is a support and advocacy network for people and organizations inspired by Venezuela’s monumental music education program. It will grow to provide comprehensive information on the El Sistema philosophy and methodology, and host a variety of resources that will aid those building, expanding and supporting El Sistema programs in the US and beyond.