December 10, 2018

El Sistema USA

El Sistema is an evidence-based system of music education for social change. Founded in Venezuela in 1975, El Sistema and its worldwide replications create an environment of opportunity through the collective practice of orchestral playing and choral singing as a model for personal, social, academic and musical development. Through a focus on low-income youth, these programs serve a long-term agenda to combat systemic and intergenerational poverty.

Since its inception, El Sistema has transformed the lives of millions of children. El Sistema USA (ESUSA) is the U.S. national alliance of individuals, programs and organizations based on the Venezuelan model. El Sistema-inspired programs are broadly defined as intensive youth music programs that seek to affect social change by empowering children with the fewest resources and greatest need through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.

With 160 nonprofit members and affiliates, ESUSA was founded in 2014 and is led by Katie Wyatt, an adjunct faculty member of public policy and music at Duke. Since 2016 ESUSA, the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts have partnered to incubate ESUSA at Duke in order to support member programs through research, conferences, advocacy and talent development.

A summer internship with El Sistema USA would focus on the implementation of the 2019 Census of the 160 El Sistema-inspired programs nationwide, which would include data collection and analysis, interviews, and report design. Additional opportunities include attending and supporting meetings of the national board of directors, supporting regional activities of El Sistema USA member programs including concerts and professional development workshops, web design, and social media internships.

Ideal applicants will be interested in:

  • Relational networking
  • Relationship development
  • Fundraising
  • Coalition building

Ideal applicants will have:

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Prior experience in working with teams
  • Some public speaking experience
  • Some database management experience