El Sistema USA, an offshoot of a Venezuelan-based music education movement, infuses music into the lives of a community's neediest children in an effort to teach valuable life skills.
Launched in the United States at New England Conservatory (NEC) in 2009, el Sistema USA's mission is two-fold: grow the movement within the U.S. and train future el Sistema teachers.
The Abreu Fellows program, a teaching component named after el Sistema founder Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, provides tuition-free training and a living stipend for 10 postgraduate musicians who are "passionate for their art and for social justice." The year-long program, funded by local, national, and international supporters, is supposed to remain at New England Conservatory until 2014, training a total of 50 Abreu Fellows.
But recently, el Sistema USA feels the program must expand in order to keep up with demand. NEC has pledged to honor its commitment to support the current staff and Abreu fellows program until 2014, but has made it clear that it cannot devote any additional resources to the program.
So, will the revolutionary music program leave Boston? We take a closer look.
This segment aired on January 6, 2011.