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We want to congratulate Katie Wyatt, President, and CEO of El Sistema USA®; she has accepted a new position as Executive Director of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in her hometown of Southern Pines, NC. She has shared that this new role is a dream job for her, one that will allow her to invest in her community in a deep way, and be close to home and “on” for her two-year-old daughter Petra. She also shared with us that she has dreamed her entire life of running a music festival that embraces music-making in nature, combining her love of the outdoors and music. This is her chance, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Please join us in thanking Katie for all she’s done here at El Sistema USA®! We know our programs and our work has benefited greatly from her time with us.

El Sistema USA® welcomes former board member Angelica Cortez as Interim President and CEO starting July 1, 2021.

Angelica Cortez (she/her) is a Los Angeles-born Chicana working at the intersection of music, justice, and education. Her work centers the artists, activists, and communities actively creating a more equitable arts field. As a youth collaborator, arts administrator, and trompetista, her passion lies in creating space for young people to harness and their own gifts, challenge the world around them, and build community. Angelica is excited to step into a new role as the Interim President and CEO of El Sistema USA®, where she will collaborate with organizations around the country that provide youth development and music programming to young people who have traditionally faced barriers in accessing quality arts education. She is a Sphinx Leader in Excellence, Arts, and Diversity (LEAD) fellow, where she is one of 11 arts administrators of color selected to evolve the industry landscape through executive leadership training. She is an active speaker and teacher, most recently connecting with students at Cornell University, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Connecticut.

Cortez has held positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Juilliard School. While at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she supported the launch and conception of YOLA National programs, which included a Festival, Symposium, Institute, and a series of digital programming titled YOLA National at Home. Angelica was responsible for the development of content, programming, resources, events, and partnerships with creative youth development and music-centered learning programs around the world. She was part of a cross-organizational team that expanded academic support and professional development opportunities to students and staff and was part of production teams for large scale performances on stages around the world, including the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Barbican Centre, and Palacio de las Bellas Artes. At The Juilliard School, she supported equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, where her portfolio included supporting creating stronger systems for bias response, facilitating dialogue with staff and students to create equity-centered workshops, and collaborated with the Preparatory Division to create guidelines that support a more inclusive environment.

Angelica has degrees in trumpet performance and teaching from the University of California Davis, Longy School of Music, and Bard College. Outside of her work, she loves running, cooking, reading, and being in community.

We welcome Angelica to the El Sistema USA® staff, and thank you all so much for your friendship and support!

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