Since 2013, Vibrant Village Foundation has supported BRAVO Youth Orchestras, a nonprofit inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela and dedicated to improving the lives of underserved children through intensive orchestral instruction.
~ Carlos Kalmar, Music Director, The Oregon Symphony
Established in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu, El Sistema is Venezuela’s national system of youth orchestras serving more than 500,000 children a year, over 80% of whom live in poverty.
El Sistema-inspired programs are now operating in more than 50 countries around the world, with nearly 100 programs in the United States. BRAVO is the first in Oregon.
Studies have shown that participation in El Sistema programs improves children’s outcomes in school attendance, academic performance, and even general health and wellbeing. Venezuela’s flagship program has positively impacted the lives of over 2 million children.
In Oregon, BRAVO is working at Rosa Parks Elementary to engage over 200 students. For the after-school program at Rosa Parks, a normal week at BRAVO includes full orchestra rehearsals for second and third graders, sectionals with a low student-to-teacher ratio, choral singing, weekly guest artists including regional and international musicians, and frequent performances at venues around Portland. Read about three of our current partnerships below.
For the in-school program at Rosa Parks, BRAVO provides half-hour Suzuki violin lessons twice each week to all 150 kindergarteners and first-graders. This develops fine motor skills, increases family/school engagement, and lays the technical foundation for the more intensive after-school program.
BRAVO is planning to expand their program to César Chavez School in North Portland in the fall of 2015.