24th STreet Theatre and Street Symphony, a non-profit organization founded by L.A. Phil violinist and TED senior fellow Vijay Gupta that actively brings live classical musical outreach concerts to the deeply underserved mentally ill, have banded together to present “TEDxSkidRow: Mirroring Los Angeles.” Curated by Gupta with community organizer Cooper Bates and GOOD/Corps and GOOD Magazine director of strategic partnerships Grace Kim the event will take place at 24th STreet Theatre on Sunday, September 8, 2013.
“TEDxSkidRow: Mirroring Los Angeles” aims to celebrate the passion, drive and brilliance of activists who work tirelessly to bring awareness, education, health services, and the richness of theater and music to Los Angeles residents without access. Speakers will include poet-activist Steve Connell; educator and playwright Debbie Devine; pianist/composer Reena Esmail; executive director of TRUST South LA Sandra McNeill; and L.A. Phil director of educational initiatives Gretchen Nielsen who also sits on 24th STreet Theatre’s board of directors.
“24th STreet Theatre has been a beacon in the community since the early ‘90s, when artistic director Debbie Devine brought world class productions of plays specifically designed to engage an underserved and artistically starved community… for just 24 cents,” states Gupta. “Since then, the community around the theater has blossomed, with actor/educators like Jack Black coming on board to bring arts awareness into communities of all ages, colors and classes.”
Gupta is a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the founder of Street Symphony and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow. Gupta joined the LA Phil in June 2007 at the age of 19, after receiving a master’s degree in music from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Marist College. Parallel to his undergraduate studies in biology, Gupta attended the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. Gupta made his solo debut at the age of eleven in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He has performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Gupta is passionate about education and outreach, both as a musician and as an activist for mental health issues. He has the privilege of teaching violin to Nathaniel Ayers, the brilliant, schizophrenic musician portrayed by actor Jamie Foxx in “The Soloist.”
“TEDxSkidRow: Mirroring Los Angeles” takes place on Sunday, September 8 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tickets are $65 and $99, and include lunch, coffee and snacks. Call (213) 745-6516 or go to https://tedxskidrow2013.eventbrite.com/.
24th STreet Theatre is located at 1117 West 24th St. in Los Angeles (at the intersection of 24th and Hoover). Secure parking is available for $5 in the lot on the southwest corner of 24th and Hoover. The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.
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