L.A. Phil's CEO Simon Woods Visits HOLA


By Carla Juarez, Development Assistant

For eight years, Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) has been the home to the incredible Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA program. YOLA was initiated by the talented Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, who brought from Venezuela the groundbreaking “El Sistema” music education program, as detailed in The LA Times, to children in the Rampart neighborhood who had been attending HOLA. The partnership with the L.A. Phil and Dudamel has opened up doors for local underserved youth, giving them the opportunity to learn classical instruments, engage in high quality programming, and stimulate their emotional, social, and cognitive development. The program now serves 270 young musicians at HOLA, with more and more kids eager to become part of the cohort. To meet this growing need, we will soon be opening an Arts and Recreation Center in Lafayette Park. This 25,000 square foot building will provide additional space for young musicians, as well as activity rooms, community rooms, and creative lab spaces. HOLA CEO Tony Brown expresses, “there was a lot of thoughtfulness and community listening, [so] this project is going to be that much more special for future generations to come.” As we celebrated the beginning of a new era for HOLA, we also welcomed the L.A. Phil’s new CEO, Simon Woods, during his visit our campus.

On March 12th, we met with Woods to get to know him, learn about his vision, as well as show him our community. It was an exciting first meeting, as he saw firsthand the YOLA at HOLA’s new home being built. Coming from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Woods enters a new city, ready to root himself and the L.A. Phil deeper into the surrounding communities.

“HOLA is an extraordinary organization, and we are immensely proud to be their partner in building stronger communities through the power of music. It takes my breath away to know that HOLA is expanding how it serves its community in the heart of the City through the new HOLA Arts and Recreation Center. With a performance space that opens onto the surrounding park, the Center promises to unify the community in new ways and bring inspiration to ever more young people and families. The L.A. Phil is honored to count HOLA among our partners and friends!” - Simon Woods

As we enter a new era of change and opportunities, we are excited to continue our partnership with the L.A. Phil. Together we can foster a thriving and tight-knit community for future generations of young musicians!


March 30, 2018