LA Phil Unveils New Design for YOLA Center in Inglewood

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) is getting a new home in Inglewood.

Reaffirming its commitment to the mission of music education and community service, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) unveiled legendary architect Frank Gehry’s design for the $14.5-million Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood.

The 25,000-sq. ft. project within the civic center will be, in effect, a third venue for LA Phil, alongside Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The facility will host rehearsals, classes and performances, and also serve as the focal point of the LA Phil’s commitment to community engagement in the area.

Founded in 2007, YOLA has grown to become one of the most influential community-based music education after-school programs in the United States. Inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema program and led by LA Phil music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, YOLA currently serves more than 1,200 students in South L.A., the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East L.A., providing free, high-quality music training and academic support.

“As a young child in Venezuela, I joined El Sistema and learned firsthand that music has the power to change people’s lives,” Dudamel said. “Now the LA Phil is doing just that through YOLA. We know that our engagement with young people in our classes in the Rampart District or East L.A. is every bit as important as our involvement with the audiences in Walt Disney Concert Hall. In fact, one side of what we do is incomplete without the other. That’s why it’s so important to build this permanent home for YOLA, and why I’m so grateful to Frank Gehry for understanding the LA Phil’s hopes and the dreams of our students.”

“It’s a privilege for me to work with Gustavo to create a place where students can feel comfortable, secure, and welcome as they learn to express themselves through music,” Gehry said. “We hope that the building will become a center for the community to gather to hear performances of all types. I designed the Center to be a world-class instrument for the community, and I can’t wait to see how they use it.”

Through YOLA, the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, said, “For over a decade, YOLA has provided thousands of our underserved youth with a world-class education in music that might otherwise have been out of reach, while also teaching them about citizenship, leadership, and social engagement. I am thrilled that the legendary Frank Gehry has designed a new home for YOLA in Inglewood, where young musicians can prepare to take center stage in our vibrant creative economy, and use the power of the arts to tackle challenging social problems.”

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, said, “On behalf of the entire City of Inglewood, we are excited to welcome the LA Phil family as the newest member of our extraordinary community.”