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LA Phil unveils Inglewood home of youth orchestra

Merdies Hayes Editor In Chief | 9/6/2018, midnight

In reaffirming its commitment to the mission of music education and community service, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has unveiled the architectural design by Gehry Partners, LLC, for its new Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood in representing the first permanent facility for Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA).

Established by the LA Phil in 2007 and led by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, YOLA serves more than 1,200 students in South L.A., the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East L.A. They provide free, high-quality music training and academic support.

As the LA Phil prepares this month to celebrate its centennial year, it is aiming to double the number of students that YOLA serves by establishing a permanent base for the program. The new center will be, in effect, a third venue for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, alongside Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

“This marks another amazing accomplishment for the City of Inglewood. Id like to welcome the internationally renowned Youth Orchestra Los Angeles—YOLA—to your new home in the heart of downtown Inglewood,” Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts said a the announcement. “World-class cities attract world-class donors and talent. We are especially grateful to Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen for their generosity, and to Gustavo Dudamel and Frank Gehry for bringing their incredible legacies to this great city. And, on behalf of the entire City of Inglewood, we are excited to welcome the LA Phil family as the newest member of our extraordinary community. We look forward to the involvement of Inglewood youth with YOLA.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas added, “For over a decade, YOLA has provided thousands of our underserved youth with a world-class education in music that might otherwise have been out of reach, while also teaching them about citizenship, leadership, and social engagement. I am thrilled that the legendary Frank Gehry has designed a new home for YOLA in Inglewood, where young musicians can prepare to take center stage in our vibrant, creative economy and use the power of the arts to tackle challenging social problems.”

The 25,000-square-foot, $14.5 million construction project will transform the former branch office of Security Pacific Bank located at 101 S. La Brea Ave. Frank Gehry, the world-renowned architect who designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, has developed the design for the center in collaboration with Dudamel, creating a light-filled, flexible facility for rehearsals, classes, and performances. It will serve as many as 500 students a year from Inglewood and surrounding communities; provide a gathering place for students from existing and future YOLA sites and music educators from across the nation and serve as a cultural resource for Inglewood and surrounding areas.

“As a young child in Venezuela, I joined El Sistema and learned firsthand that music has the power to change peoples lives,” Dudamel said. “Now the LA Phil is doing just that through YOLA. We know that our engagement with young people in our classes in the Rampart District or East L.A. is every bit as important as our involvement with the audiences in Walt Disney Concert Hall. In fact, one side of what we do is incomplete without the other. Thats why its so important to build this permanent home for YOLA, and why Im so grateful to Frank Gehry for understanding the LA Phils hopes and the dreams of our students.”