play / 2020
Harmony Project Music Program
Harmony Project will expand by enrolling more students into our music program. We will provide a safe and secure place for more than 3,500 students to go after school and on Saturdays. The program will engage students in sequential music instruction, opportunities to learn alongside their peers through ensembles, and comprehensive academic and social support. Additionally, we will promote strong communities through the incorporation of parent engagement, student performances open and advertised to the public, and a strong network of partners.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
- LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Harmony Projects seeks to empower communities through high quality arts experiences and in doing so, create a touchpoint for holistic support and resources. After school programs are essential in fostering safe communities. The period between 3:00-7:00 p.m. are peak hours for juvenile crime or victimization and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. We use this time to help students grow, develop skills, and foster safe, positive community spaces.
Our students come from historically marginalized communities and as a result, many face socioeconomic barriers, including inadequate educational and supportive resources. Our leadership recognized that we could not adequately serve our youth if we focused solely on music learning and glossed over the unique vulnerabilities our students face. In response, we established the Community and Relational Engagement (CARE) team, which provides educational workshops, community resources, as well as social emotional support.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Harmony Project has been involved in this work for nearly 20 years. Our program is unique in that we engage students throughout their entire childhood–from kindergarten through 12th grade and that we are dedicated to the social emotional needs of our students and families. These two aspects of our programming truly sets us apart in the landscape of music learning. We recognize that our students may be dealing with challenges and we give them the space and resources to address them in order to thrive in our music program.
Further, collaboration is integral to the effectiveness of our program. Each of our 17 program hubs works in partnership with network of partners and we weave together the many resources each community offers. We have more than 50 partners who share our commitment to the communities we serve, including LA County Department of Parks and Recreation, the Compton Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell, and LA Phil.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
While we know that music education is transformational, our work runs much deeper. We recognize that the children and families we work with face systemic inequities that can be difficult to overcome. Above all, Harmony Project provides safe spaces for children after school and on Saturdays, where they are shown a pathway to achieve their ambitions, no matter what those are. We envision a Los Angeles where every child has access to after school experiences that foster excellence and provide guidance, where community members have access to arts and culture experiences, and where community entities create a robust network of opportunity and support for their neighbors.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Our vision for success entails increasing our service population by enrolling students off our extensive waitlist of 1000+ students, simultaneously maintaining the high quality of our program and comprehensive wraparound services. We aim to create an equitable playing field for our students while also cultivating strong communities through public performances and activating partnerships with entities that take stake in our communities.
Throughout Harmony Project’s history, we have achieved a high retention rate year to year and a high attendance rate. We will continue to see this as a sign of impact and success. Additionally, survey results show that 92% of parents feel their child is safe when in Harmony Project classes and 87% of parents feel that Harmony Project has had a positive impact on their connection to their community.
Evaluation of our program is an organizational priority. Our data manager oversees the collection and reporting of evaluations, which allows us to inform our program in real time, effectively evaluate the needs of our population, as well as identify opportunities for tailored improvement. We will measure the wider engagement of the communities we serve through audience attendance, parent engagement, and partner involvement.
Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?
- Prevalence of trauma and adverse childhood experiences
- Students' sense of safety at and on the way to school
- Perceived neighborhood safety
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to CREATE
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation