Who We Are:
The Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides East Los Angeles youth with creative paths to creative futures by means of arts education programs. Pearle Irene Odell founded LAMusArt in 1945, offering pay-what-you-can music lessons to local schoolchildren in Boyle Heights. In the mid-1960s, LAMusArt expanded its programs and moved to its East 3rd Street Facility in East Los Angeles where it remains to this day.
72 remarkable years later, LAMusArt has served over 100,000 students and continues its promise of providing financially accessible arts programs to its community members. As our programs continue to expand, our initial goal remains: to instill the value of the arts and use them to help our community members achieve happy, successful futures.
Who We Serve:
LAMusArt is dedicated to the underserved but vibrant community of greater East Los Angeles, impacting approximately 605 students each month and providing services to a total of 660 unduplicated students in 2014-2015. Approximately 95% of our students reside in the City and County of Los Angeles, predominantly East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Downtown and South Los Angeles neighborhoods, along with the adjacent communities of Montebello, Monterey Park and Whittier. 70% of our student population comes from low/moderate income homes comprised of 66% females and 34% males and reflects the people we serve – 86% Latino, 3% Asian, 1% Caucasian and 2% African-American (see chart below). Approximately two-thirds of our children qualify for free/reduced lunch in school, and 22% come from households receiving some sort of government assistance, with the average household income being $34,000. Our students face these and other challenges, including gang-related violence and high drop-out rates. We offer children a world beyond what the outside community has to, invaluable and life-affirming arts education and activities.
What We Do:
LAMusArt provides affordable, multidisciplinary and sequential arts instruction during non-school hours to predominantly K-12 students residing in the greater East Los Angeles area. Programming is offered Mondays thorough Thursdays from 2pm- 8pm and on Saturdays from 8am-6pm in our 11,000 square foot facility that features 20 classroooms, four multi-purpose rooms, and a recording studio.
Arts education programs are often the first to be cut when public school funding is limited, leaving many students without equal access to an arts education. Although engagement in the arts alone cannot be an indicating factor of the future success of students, studies have shown that immersion in creative arts programs can enhance aspects of students’ overall personal, academic, and professional lives (Arts Education Partnership).