Sistema Revolution

The program is called El Sistema. Every day after school, half a million Venezuelan children receive the gift of music education for free. Not only is this programming turning out world class musicians from the barrios of Caracas, it’s producing world-class citizens, too.

Case Study:

Hemmings House was able to work with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) to secure the funding to join NBYO President and CEO Ken MacLeod on a research expedition to Caracas, Venezuela. What was captured on film as a result of that journey was the miracle of El Sistema — the program that was changing lives through musical education.

Within a month of returning to Canada in June 2009, the film made its rounds. Through the summer, the film was used to raise the money to start the first Sistema program in New Brunswick in September of that same year — making Sistema New Brunswick the second El Sistema program outside of Venezuela. CBC soon commissioned a documentary to follow the success of the first year of the program. Hemmings House produced Sistema Revolution, a film that has now been seen in countries around the world. South Korea had the film translated to share with its own Ministry of Education.

The film has won several Film Festival awards, and is credited with helping Ken and his team build the movement to get El Sistema off the ground. Today, nearly a decade later, Sistema New Brunswick has multiple sites across the province, and has mentored and helped grow other Sistema programs across North America and the world. Today, there are nearly one thousand children enrolled in the program.

Case Study Video 

Sistema Revolution

Despite studying El Sistema for two years, Ken was hitting a wall with getting enough people to believe in the vision of how a program built in another country and designed for children of a completely different culture on a different continent could work in Canada.

Hemmings House was able to work with NBYO to secure enough funding for him and his film crew to join Ken and other board members on a research expedition to Caracas. What they saw impacted them deeply. The joy in the children's eyes, the high level of musical competence, the resilience of a people living in a challenged environment, we all elements that Hemmings House was able to capture on camera. They were able capture the music miracle of El Sistema in a way that people back home could relate to.

RESULTS

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Within a month of returning to Canada in June of 2009, the short film made its rounds, but this time to viewers, supporters and decision makers who could know SEE with their own eyes the possibility. Through the summer the film was used to raise enough money to start the first Sistema program in September, making Sistema New Brunswick the 2nd El Sistema program outside of Venezuela. CBC soon commissioned a documentary to follow the success of the first year of the program. Hemmings House produced Sistema Revolution, a film that has now been seen in countries around the world. Korea had the film translated to share with it's own ministry of education. The film has won film festival awards, and is credited to helping Ken and his team build a significant movement to get this program off the ground. Now, almost a decade later, Sistema New Brunswick has multiple sites across the province of New Brunswick, and has mentored the start-up over other Sistema programs across North America and the world. Today there is almost 1000 children in the program learning classical music every day after school for free giving them a chance to hope, dream and be all they can be.