Youth advocate, musician and educator specializing in community-centered arts education
Christine Witkowski is a musician, educator and youth advocate specializing in community-centered arts education. Recognizing that astute intentionality is critical for deeply impactful programming, Christine supports local and international initiatives through her expertise in program culture, program standards, community building, non-profit leadership, teacher training, music education and program sustainability.
As a consultant, Christine aims to promote program quality, organizational effectiveness and cultural competencies, in order to ensure that initiatives are fulfilling their missions in meaningful and empowering ways. Christine draws on El Sistema’s philosophy to inform processes that yield actionable results for organizational adjustment and improvement.
Christine designed, implemented and led Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)- an intensive, free music and youth development program located in the city’s most diverse and underserved neighborhood. With a dedicated teaching faculty, grassroots parental support and multiple partner organizations, YOLA at HOLA became a model El Sistema-inspired program, serving hundreds of K-12 students and hosting visitors from over 25 countries. In 2016, Christine compiled and published a collection of essays on adapting El Sistema’s unique philosophy to new communities in the United States and abroad, entitled “El Sistema: Music for Social Change.”
Christine holds a certification in community counseling from the Southern California Counseling Center, a master’s degree from McGill University, a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and was one of the inaugural Sistema Fellows at New England Conservatory of Music.