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Sistema Tulsa: Education, Enrichment, Mentoring, Empowerment, and Social Change...Through Music

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Aired on Monday, August 31st.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the nonprofit program known as Sistema Tulsa. Per its website, Sistema Tulsa "envisions how a comprehensive and inclusive music program can positively impact the social, cognitive, and aesthetic realms of youth development. Supported by partnerships with the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and the Tulsa Public Schools, Sistema Tulsa plans to provide a model for accessible, ensemble-based music programs that enrich the lives of local youth across varied underserved communities. Inspired by the philosophy and values of El Sistema in Venezuela, the program aspires to grow and support youth musical ensembles that exemplify and nurture the pursuit of excellence and high aspiration.... The program is slated to begin in September of 2015." Our guest is José Luis Hernández-Estrada, founding director of Sistema Tulsa, who is also a musician and education advocate with degrees in music from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas Pan-American. Hernández-Estrada, who was also an orchestral conducting fellow at Bard College Conservatory of Music and received post-graduate training in piano at the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona, speaks both eloquently and incisively about the profound ways in which music can enrich the lives of students -- as well as the families and communities of those students. He further talks about how three fully-funded, distinct-yet-interrelated Sistema Tulsa programs (each intended for 4th and 5th graders) will soon get underway within the TPS district: at Burroughs, Chouteau, and Lee Elementary Schools.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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