The East Chicago Arts Initiative (ECAI) wanted to bring music education back to the students of East Chicago. For this task, they chose the El Sistema Orchestra program, originally created by Dr. Jose Abreu.


Dr. Abreu wanted to “create and document a special training program for at least 50 gifted young musicians, passionate for their art and for social justice, and dedicated to developing El Sistema in the US and in other countries.” In 2009, Dr. Jose Abreu was awarded a TED Prize for his creation of this program.


Check out this video to see how El Sistema came to be such an impactful program and the influence behind Dr. Jose Abreu’s work.

For more information about the El Sistema program at ECAI, visit