El Sistema USA 2023 National Symposium March 9-11, 2023: Equity & Excellence in Music Education

El Sistema USA 2023 National Symposium March 9-11, 2023

El Sistema USA® will host an in person symposium March 9-11, 2023 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana to engage our 140 member organizations which employ 1,500 Teaching Artists and serve 20,000 students nationally. El Sistema USA is the largest and only music education movement in the US to center equity within music education on a systemic level, reimagining the role of music in the lives of youth and their communities.

Why Equity and Excellence?

This year’s theme, Equity and Excellence in Music Education, will focus the conversation around ESUSA’s vision statement – to be a national voice for the intersection of excellence and equity in music education with a focus on student voice. We will explore the many ways in which these two elements work together to create impact and manifest themselves within all areas of programming, from organizational policies, to fundraising, to curriculum. The symposium is an opportunity to drive forward the national conversation and movement around equity and musical excellence, specifically elevating the voices of BIPOC students and leaders. It is a chance for the field to convene and share best practices, receive professional development, program support, and inspiration.

Symposium Highlights

Image of Dr. Bettina L. Love
Dr. Bettina L. Love

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bettina L. Love

Dr. Bettina Love will deliver a keynote address on March 9 at 6:00 PM.

Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and the William F. Russell Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her writing, research, teaching, and educational advocacy work meet at the intersection of disrupting education reform and strengthening public education through abolitionist teaching, Black joy, and anti-racism. The aim of her scholarship is twofold: firstly, to advance how the field of education understands and critiques school reform and the systemic and structural racism of public education within the U.S.; and secondly, to advocate for abolitionist approaches in the field of education that seek new possibilities for educational justice. In the pursuit of making her scholarship a reality, she works with activists, communities, youth, families, and school districts to build communal, civically-engaged schools rooted in the aspirations of abolitionist strategies that love and affirm Black and Brown children. Towards that end, in 2020, Dr. Love co-founded the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN). ATN’s mission is to develop and support teachers and parents to fight injustice within their schools and communities. To date, ATN has granted over $160,000 to abolitionists around the country. She is also the creator of the Hip Hop civics curriculum GET FREE. Learn more about Dr. Bettina Love.

Members of the Gateways Brass Collective
Gateways Brass Collective

Musical Guest: Gateways Brass Collective

The Gateways Brass Collective will perform and present at the ESUSA National Symposium on March 11.

Through dynamic performances and inspirational educational programs, the Gateways Brass Collective (GBC) inspires artists and audiences of all backgrounds. Each GBC member’s journey to the stage demonstrates perseverance, a love for the art form, and a genuine interest in paving the way for others to succeed in music.  The GBC strives to support diverse communities, encourages everyone to be a part of the larger musical discourse, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with artists from all backgrounds. Learn more about Gateways Brass Collective.

Youth Ambassador Cohort

El Sistema USA Alumni Leader Ebonie
El Sistema USA Alumni Leader Ebonie
Image of Dr. Bettina L. Love
El Sistema USA Alumni Leader Elizabeth

El Sistema USA is proud to announce the launch of the 2023 Youth Ambassador Program. ESUSA will select eight high school youth ambassadors to prepare and present content at the National Symposium. The Youth Ambassador Program will be led by two ESUSA Alumni – Elizabeth Perez-Hickman, Ebonie Pierce, and Daniel Trahey.

Pre-Conference Teacher Training

ESUSA will host teacher training sessions on March 9 with partner organizations.

Indianapolis Public School Teachers to Attend Symposium

This year, Indianapolis Public School teachers are invited to attend the symposium free of charge through partnership with Butler University. This partnership will broaden the audience and increase attendance.