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At this year’s Arts Education Partnership National Forum SDYS received a large amount of recognition for our ongoing success to restore music education to schools in San Diego County. The first of these came from the National Endowment for the Arts Chair Jane Chu in her opening remarks naming our Community Opus Project a national example. This acknowledgement came just two weeks after SDYS’ Community Opus Project was featured on the NEA Blog highlighting our story as one “not just of individual impact, but of systemic change.”

Jane Chu also highlighted our achievements during a radio interview with WQED. Listen to the interview at minutes 7:45 and 11:00 here.

“It was exciting to have SDYS and Opus held up as a national example of effectively addressing the opportunity gap that exists between students who have and don’t have access to music and arts education learning experiences,” says Dalouge Smith, SDYS President and CEO.

Dalouge Smith attended the Forum to speak on a panel titled “Restoring Arts Education Capacity to California’s Largest K-6 School District: El Sistema and the Community Opus Project” with Russell Sperling, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education, Dr. John Nelson, Assistant Superintendent, Chula Vista Elementary School District and moderator Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, League of American Orchestras.

Following the panel discussion, Heather Noonan focused heavily on the positive work of SDYS’ Community Opus Project, El Sistema, and El Sistema in the US in an interview by WQED radio’s “Voices of the Arts.” Listen to the interview here.

From left to right: Russ Sperling, VAPA Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education, Chair Jane Chu, National Endowment for the Arts, and Dalouge Smith, President & CEO, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
San Diego Youth Symphony