My name is Dr. Joshua Wentz and I am a Professor at Los Angeles Mission College, a Hispanic-serving institution of higher learning, in Sylmar. A few years ago, I realized that the students coming into my music classes from the NE San Fernando Valley were seriously lacking in musical background, experience, and education. I wondered why students over the years were coming to college less prepared and struggling to do well academically. When I began digging, I realized that most of our feeder schools didn't have strong music programs — many had no music programs at ALL!
This was a major factor that helped me realize the need for music education in the SFV and led to the creation of Mission Opera. This lack of music education, paired with the absence of performance opportunities and hands-on training for community college students, and I realized that we could target multiple disadvantaged communities. Mission Opera is a performing arts education nonprofit who produces 3-4 full, mainstage operas each year. Also, part of our mission is to create music programs to go into low-funded schools in and around LA to teach children about various types of instrumental and vocal music. Currently, we're working on a virtual program to assist teachers in teaching music during the COVID pandemic.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, we lost our major funding source — ticket sales. We are in jeopardy of folding, due to the circumstances surrounding this virus, but we are not giving up yet. Instead, we're turning to foundations, grantors, corporate sponsors, and private donors like YOU who believe in our mission and want to see more high-level performances in San Fernando and Santa Clarita, and who believe in improving education for minority students in LA.
To help us survive and thrive, please consider making a tax-deductible donation, of ANY amount, today!