LAMusArt Celebrates 70 Remarkable Years!

Isela Sotelo retired from her role as Executive Director in 2015, and Manuel Prieto was named the new Executive Director by the board.

LAMusArt’s past executive director Isela Sotelo and current executive director Manuel Prieto.

On Saturday, September 12, 2015, LAMusArt hosted its annual benefit concert, Stars for the Arts Gran Fiesta! at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage to celebrate and commemorate the school’s 70th anniversary as an arts education provider in East Los Angeles.

LAMusArt’s 70th anniversary brought together past and present donors, sponsors, members of the community, parents, and students to recognize the impact of the School’s artistic programs and honor the champions that have supported its mission.

Miriam Hernandez of ABC7’s Eyewitness News was the gracious host for the evening, thanking and welcoming all in attendance for their contribution and support of the arts in the community. She introduced Manuel Prieto, Executive Director of LAMusArt, who thanked members of the LAMusArt Board of Directors, Young Professionals Advisory Board, staff and teaching artists, and Diamond Stars Sponsors for their support and diligence in executing the event.

He also spoke about the importance and need for educational arts programs in the community, mentioning that, “to designate the arts as a luxury for a select few is dismissive and limiting of the immense diversity that surrounds us. We must choose to embrace the arts as an integral part of our continuing development and support their value in our lives.”

Miriam Hernandez from ABC News Channel 7 was our emcee for the evening.

Miriam Hernandez from ABC News Channel 7,  emcee for the evening.

Prieto then introduced a commemorative video showcasing LAMusArt’s history that featured interviews with current and past students, and the many champions that have been benefactors of the School throughout the years.

LAMusArt champion and previous Executive Director of LAMusArt, Isela Sotelo, was honored for her remarkable 18 year tenure with a medley song performance by students Briana Rancour, Tiffany Cruz, and Anna Osuna. Sotelo was presented with the LAMusArt Creative Paths, Creative Futures Awards by Board President, Dr. Efrain Fuentes who thanked her for her service and dedication to the students and school.

Student performances also included “I Know It’s Today” from Camp MusArt’s 2015 production of Shrek the Musical Jr. and student soloist, Tiffany Cruz. The premiere of New Directions for 70 Years music video, a specially commissioned orchestral score composed by LAMusArt alum Jason Castillo featuring the LAMusArt Youth Orchestra, made its debut to the delight of audience members. The collaborative piece between past and current students also included LAMusArt Music Director, Dr. Gideon Rubin, and veteran-music producer and teaching artist, Magic Moreno.

Award-winning journalist, author, producer, and CEO, Bel Hernandez Castillo was presented with the LAMusArt Creative Paths in Leadership Award.