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The entire YOLA at HOLA staff and Veronica Matos, HOLA’s Parent and Community Resource Director, participated in and facilitated workshops during the first annual Take A Stand Symposium held in Los Angeles during the first week of February. The Symposium focused on driving the collective thinking of the El Sistema movement forward. Through inspiring speakers, interactive workshops, and global networking opportunities, attendees explored compelling tools to turn inspiration into action. The Symposium was capped off with a keynote conversation among the the leaders of the Take a Stand Partnership, Deborah Borda, President of the LA Phil, Leon Botstein, President of Bard College and Karen Zorn, President of the Longy School of Music. At the close of the conversation, the crowd was brought to their feet by a surprise appearance by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder and leader of the El Sistema movement. If that wasn’t enough, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel took a break from preparing for the completion of the Mahler Project by joining his mentor on stage.


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