Wednesday, March 27 — The Los Angeles Music and Art School demonstrated the importance of the arts while celebrating 74 years of arts education in East Los Angeles. With the backdrop of the school’s Spanish style arches at dusk and the sounds of the Great American Songbook from the LAMusArt Jazz Ensemble, guests enjoyed a reception where the historic building and the students were the focus.
For decades, LAMusArt has worked to close the gap of underrepresented youth in East Los Angeles and neighboring communities, providing them the highest quality of arts instruction that they deserve. The building itself, built in the 1960s and the classes offered within are thanks to Founder Pearle Irene Odell who worked tirelessly to create meaningful opportunities for immigrant families on the Eastside. With support from honored guests and donors such as Jane and Lou Castruccio, Bank of Hope, Tatania and William Minguet and Longo Toyota-Lexus, the 50-year old building underwent a year-long, four-phase upgrade that was completed in March 2019 to create a safe and enriching environment for over 650 students that walk the halls each week.
From the newly floored, lit and equipped dance rooms to the upgraded private piano rehearsal rooms, the stories of past students are embedded within LAMusArt’s humble campus. Guests of the event joined tours led by student tour guides Lana, Lauren and Adriana who proudly shared stories of their personal experiences at LAMusArt. LAMusArt alumnus, Claudia Gallardo toured the school and memories of the feeling of being in the rehearsal room with the “big, tall windows” came flooding back.
To commemorate 74 years, on behalf of Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Chief of Staff George Esparza and District Coordinator, Mayra Alvarez awarded a certificate to Board Chair, Cynthia Pearson and Executive Director, Manuel Prieto. Following the presentation, LAMusArt was proud to welcome Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti’s East Area Representative, Edna Degollado, an East Los Angeles-resident as she presented a certificate of commemoration on her second day in office. Thanking the community and supporters of LAMusArt for the welcome, she spoke of the 100,000 students that the school has served over the years.
Still, to this day, the economic barriers that face our families perpetuate our need to develop programs that serve to be transformative for our youth. Room naming opportunities are still available for individuals, families, and corporations to make their mark on our school for years to come. Please contact Kathleen Jequinto, Development Associate or visit our campus to take a personal tour and find your room.
Photos by CBGRAPHY