Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The force is within us

At-risk populations move around a lot. If current/future fellows align locally with other nucleos, it would create higher possibility of success, because we would be able to reach that population regardless of were they go and remain connected with them over time.

Similar to an epidemic spreads, El Sistema will be more effectively “contagious” by conglomerating in highly populated areas, rather than sporadic segregated growth throughout the country. Maybe comparing ES to an epidemic is not an elegant analogy, but both operate socially. That is, we look at our surroundings and follow trends. The perfect example: Facebook began by connecting a community of students, enabling instant communication between friends, leading folks to acquaintances, mutual friends, and total strangers. Your friends have it, and so do you in order to keep up with them. Like Ben Zander would say: This opens a world of possibilities.

I am excited that some of the fellows and myself are thinking of staying in Boston. The communication between CLCS, Zumix and others would become more fluid, perhaps sharing venues (a particular hall). Seemingly small things like these could really start a movement.

Initial conversations were of starting ES Boston, however the amount of capital necessary would have been enormous. No one has forbidden us from settling where other programs have settled, and perhaps we can think of the proximity of other programs as an advantage that can help narrow the search for a location.

One of the reasons El Sistema works is that it has created a continuum. Programs in Venezuela are coordinated through FESNOJIV, at local, state, and national levels. If a child moves, there is a nucleo accessible to them. This is how they created perpetuity - starting locally. This has to be our long-term goal as an ES community.

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