Private Donation Brings Musical Instruments Back to the Classroom

LOS ANGELES (March 18, 2015) – The musical instrument repair shop had a large backlog of broken instruments at the end of the 2014 school year. The Los Angeles Unified School District recognized an opportunity to address this backlog over the summer months and put out a call to partners and supporters for help. 

The LA Fund for Public Education answered this call and quickly identified John Hotchkis, a philanthropist dedicated for many years to music and arts education. Mr. Hotchkis saw the need to get involved and gave a generous donation of $100,000 to the LA Fund to promote music instruction in the District. Approximately $65,000 was used to repair over 1,200 musical instruments, and the remaining funds were given as grants for the purchase of new instruments at two District middle schools that were part of high school complexes with strong music programs creating continuity.

“We are so grateful to the LA Fund and Mr. Hotchkis for his generous donation to our musical instrument repair program,” said the District’s Chief Facilities Executive Mark Hovatter. “As a result of his donation, nearly 80 percent of the backlog was repaired and put back into our schools and more students are able to benefit.  We know that learning to play music enriches students’ lives and builds confidence, and it is crucial that we continue to make music accessible to our students.”

“The LA Fund for Public Education is committed to supporting arts education in LAUSD,” said Megan Chernin, education activist and CEO of the LA Fund.  “Mr Hotchkis was a natural partner in this effort given his personal love for music and his dedication to supporting education in Los Angeles.  The Fund is so thankful to have partners like Mr. Hotchkis that recognize the importance of getting involved.  His donation will continue to enrich the experience and the lives of so many LAUSD students.”

John Hotchkis, the founder, chairman and CEO of Ramajal LLC, is a recognized leader in the business and philanthropic community in Los Angeles. His many years of leadership and public service includes chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, chairman of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, director and president of Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles and Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles, director of City Year and a trustee of the Lawrenceville School and the Robert Louis Stevenson School.