El Sistema, a program adopted by the East Chicago Arts Initiative (ECAI), isn’t just a music and performing arts program. The end goal of El Sistema is to educate students in the areas of art and music to help them to one day become productive citizens in East Chicago.


The program, which is utilized internationally, has produced results in nearly every setting. For example, El Sistema Scotland showed increases in school attendance for participants. The program is also recognized for providing safety for their participants. El Sistema and other programs through the East Chicago Carnegie Performing Arts Center provide a supervised environment for students after school. Additionally, bus services ensure that students get home safely after daylight hours.


El Sistema students regularly exhibit improvements in various areas of development such as: attitude towards school, life satisfaction, self-esteem related to musical ability and school achievement. Other areas of benefit within the community deal with parental involvement. El Sistema parents tend to be more invested in their children’s education and extra-curricular activities.


It is estimated that 66 students participate in the East Chicago El Sistema program. These students come from a variety of ethnic, financial and religious backgrounds and the El Sistema program strives to teach families that, though people have different experiences, they need to work together to succeed.


ECAI adopted the El Sistema program with the help of the Foundations of East Chicago. To learn more about East Chicago community organizations, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.