Watts-Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club
Mission, History, and Program
The structure of the Conservatory was carefully developed by Billy Mitchell, SAPPA executive director, Dr. Charles Dickerson, founder and director of the Inner-City Youth Orchestra, and Les Jones, executive director of the WWBGC. Organizations such as the Harmony Project and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) have offered expert advice in a cooperative effort to use the best practices and the best teachers in this new project. concept and pedagogy of theThe Watts-Willowbrook
Participants attend after school, 1-hour classes at the clubhouse twice a week, where they learn to read music and play symphonic instruments provided to them at no cost. Parent engagement is key to the program’s success. They must attend at least two classes with their children and sign a contract, which requires them to ensure their children practice at home. In the first year, 50 students attained basic performance level on the violin, which was the first instrument taught.
These pilot satellite programs are designed to be the network of instrumental instruction programs that will form the core of a first class youth symphony orchestra made up entirely of youngsters from the South Central LA and Watts community: the Watts-Willowbrook Youth Symphony.
Our program is parent driven. We involve parents in our program by providing information and giving the parent the opportunity to participate. The family support systems will allow the inner-city arts community to grow and operate at a competitive, consistent level.