Founder of music-education program honored by magazine

Posted on: May 29, 2014

The Friday (5/23) edition of Jersey Journal (Secaucus, N.J.) reports that Melina A. Garcia, founder of the Union City Music Project (UCMP), an El Sistema-inspired music education program in Union City, New Jersey, has been named one of twelve “Fun, Fearless Latinas of the Year” in the June issue of Cosmopolitan for Latinas. “Garcia was selected as one of the bi-monthly magazine’s national award winners based upon her accomplishments with the afterschool music program…. The longtime Union City resident left her job at the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2011 when she saw an urgent need for structured afterschool arts activities that would inspire her community’s mostly immigrant, non-English-speaking children and keep them out of trouble. Growing up in Venezuela, Garcia’s family members were part of El Sistema.… In March 2012, Garcia launched the UCMP as the first El Sistema program in New Jersey.… UCMP’s 10 professional teaching artists now teach 61 kids grades K through 5 to play violin, cello, percussion, flute, clarinet, and double bass, three days a week after school at Robert Waters Elementary School.” Garcia and the other honorees—who include singer Demi Lovato, actress Rosario Dawson, and congressional candidate Amanda Renteira—will be honored on June 4 in New York City. Garcia and Union City Music Project were among the El Sistema-inspired programs featured in Symphony magazine’s summer 2013 issue.

Posted May 29, 2014