David Visentin has been named as founding Executive and Artistic Director of Sistema Toronto. The news of Sistema Toronto and the appointment were announced at last week's Glenn Gould Prize celebrations, which have honoured Canadian poet/singer icon Leonard Cohen as this year's recipient of the prize, now referred to as the "Nobel Prize of arts awards".
Working in collaboration with the Toronto District School Board and in close association with the original El Sistema leadership in Venezuela as well as other Sistema-based programs world-wide, Sistema Toronto plans to roll out a pilot project program in one of Toronto's priority underserved communities this September-October 2011. Sistema Toronto will, over the next five-years, build sistema "nucleos" throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario and hopes to reach over 2500 children by the year 2016.
"Sistema Toronto is an idea whose time has most certainly come! The reviews are in. The statistics are in. All of these overwhelmingly support the findings of music's transformative power in the lives of children. It is a great honour to be working together with Robert Eisenberg, leader and social activist, and a motivated passionate board in the building of this important organization here in Toronto. We are working very hard to pull children back from the brink of the downward spirals of impoverished despair and destruction. The waste of human potential is tragic; this is the reason we are calling our campaign PLAYING TO POTENTIAL".
I guess I would say that two of the most important forces in my life are the opening of oneself to experience and the disciplined development of our human potential. And these forces sometimes lead by "divining rod" to some wild and wondrous places.