The Los Angeles Music and Art School’s third annual Connect, Cultivate & Create at City Club kicked off the school’s 70th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday evening.
LAMusArt’s Circle of Friends, Board of Directors, Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) members, and guests convened to celebrate the school’s accomplishments, future developments, and to rally support for the continuance of creative arts programs in East Los Angeles.
Isela Sotelo, LAMusArt Executive Director, welcomed guests and thanked gracious host George L. Pla, CEO of Cordoba Corporation, for hosting the evening reception. Romie Vega, Senior Executive Assistant to Mr. Pla, and Elaine Vega, Office Manager, were also thanked for their efforts in coordinating the event.
Speaking on behalf of the importance and relevance of the arts in our communities, Sotelo quoted a recent publishing by LAUSD Board Member, Steve Zimmer, which stated that “access to arts education has really become not a right, but a privilege for the affluent or the lucky.”
Illustrating the powerful impact of an arts education, LAMusArt alumna Maira Solis and Mariachi Luz de Luna gave an exhilarating performance to the delight of the audience. Solis began her music education at LAMusArt when she was ten years old and credits her experience at LAMusArt essential to helping make her “musical endeavors come true.” Her dedicated studies and talent recently earned her a spot with the first all-female Grammy-nominated, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles and she currently is a senior at Occidental College pursuing a degree in Political Science with a minor in music.
Their performance was followed by the announcement of LAMusArt’s new state-of-the-art Recording Studio. A music video presentation of the first-ever student ensemble recording of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” accompanied the announcement, and everyone in attendance received a CD copy of the song recording.
LAMusArt Deputy Director, Manuel Prieto, next officially introduced members of the Young Professionals Advisory Board, a group of professionals between the ages of 24 and 40 who have chosen to become LAMusArt ambassadors and who represent future Board of Directors members in-the-making. Alisa De Los Santos, YPAB Vice Chair, and Dwayne Rice, YPAB member, shared brief stories of their experience with the arts and their desire to bring arts opportunities to students in the East Los Angeles community.
Following the young professionals was LAMusArt Board President, Efrain Fuentes and Isela Sotelo, who enthusiastically announced this year’s Stars for the Arts: Gran Fiesta. Attendees were encouraged to continue celebrating at the upcoming September Gran Fiesta by attending and sponsoring the event.
As the evening program drew to a close and dinner courses were starting to be served, Fuentes spoke, “¡Buen Provecho!,” inviting guests to converse with each other, enjoy the views, and establish new friendships.