LA Phil unveils Inglewood home of youth orchestra

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

Simon Woods, CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said, “We are honored and humbled to work with Mayor Butts and the City of Inglewood to establish this venue and carry forward our mission to engage deeply with the communities of Los Angeles. Over time, this new facility will provide thousands of young people the opportunity to realize their creativity, to take a first step toward a career in music, or simply to find camaraderie and confidence together.”

“Its a privilege for me to work with Gustavo to create a place where students can feel comfortable, secure, and welcome as they learn to express themselves through music," Ghery said. "We hope that the building will become a center for the community to gather to hear performances of all types. I designed the Center to be a world-class instrument for the community, and I cant wait to see how they use it.”

Through YOLA, the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. Over the years, the original YOLA@EXPO Center, established in 2007 in partnership with Harmony Project and the EXPO Center, a facility of the Recreation and Parks Department of Los Angeles, has been joined by YOLA@HOLA (2010, with Heart of Los Angeles), YOLA@LACHSA (2014, with the Los Angeles County Office of Education), and YOLA@Camino Nuevo (2017, with Camino Nuevo Charter Academy). These existing YOLA programs serve students ages five to eighteen, who learn in a total of eight orchestras.

The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center@Inglewood will not only enable the LA Phil to expand its program and root them permanently but will also elevate the organizations commitment to the students families and to the broader community. As YOLA is predominantly an after-school program, the new Center will come with significant opportunities for morning uses that bring people together and address community needs. Todays announcement signals the beginning of a period of community engagement that will run in parallel with detailed design and construction, and which will allow the LA Phil to understand how it can most effectively contribute to the Inglewood community and its civic ambition.

The new YOLA Center is being realized thanks to a leadership gift from Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen. The LA Phil has acquired the site from the City of Inglewood with the support of Mayor James T. Butts and the City Council, as well as the encouragement of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The LA Phil expects to begin construction in spring 2019.

Jay Rasulo, chairperson of the board of directors for LA Phil, said, “I want to express our deepest thanks to the Beckmens, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Butts, and especially Frank Gehry for making it possible for us to give YOLA this wonderful permanent home. Over the next year, as we celebrate our orchestras Centennial, were going to have dozens of exciting concerts, programs, and special events at Walt Disney Concert Hall and across Los Angeles for the public to enjoy. But if you ask where the LA Phil is going in the next hundred years, one of the best answers is starting to take shape at the new YOLA Center in Inglewood.”