Orchkids, short for Orchestra kids, is a program of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, developed by Marin Alsop, the symphony’s music director. It was adapted to fit Baltimore from a Venezuelan program known as ‘El Sistema’ which is a successful model of just how a music program, started early, can change the lives of a nation’s neediest kids. Orchkids has been recognized on CBS’ 60 Minutes, PBS, New York Times, Washington Post and received the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Nick Skinner, believes fervently in the concept of music education as a means of social change. He began with Orchkids when it was only 30 kids; it has now grown to serve about 850 kids in more than 20 schools in East and West Baltimore who otherwise would not have access to musical instruments or music instruction.
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