The East Chicago Carnegie Performing Arts Center Inc., a division of the East Chicago Arts Initiative (ECAI), has selected the El Sistema Orchestra program, an initiative that informs the youth about social change and how it is affected by musical performance, to add to its offerings.


Though the ECAI version of the program is not a “one-stop shop”, like the original, they decided to adopt the fundamentals from El Sistema because it offers extensive sharing resources, information and consultancy through local contacts and websites. Some of these fundamentals to be implemented into the program are as follows:


Social Change: One of the primary objectives of the program is to recognize the possibility of social transformation through the pursuit of artistic excellence.


Ensembles: Group experience is the focus of El Sistema.


Accessibility: Programs are free.


Connectivity: Every location where El Sistema is offered is linked to form a network of services and opportunities available to students everywhere.


Family: Family plays an essential role in El Sistema.


Frequency: The opportunity to be engaged will present itself on a consistent basis because of the amount of involvement by adult role models and guides. The students will experience small group instruction with attentive leaders who will emphasize active participation. Parents will also feel the effects of the program by participating as audience members and watching their children grow.


ECAI understands the importance of having art in the lives of developing children. Studies show that students who participate in meaningful arts activities are more likely to succeed in school and life. To learn more about ECAI and other organizations impacting the community of East Chicago, visit