Live Nation has expanded its partnership with SoLa Impact’s SoLa Foundation, funding a major investment in SoLa’s second state-of-the-art youth center in L.A. and a program that will provide fully subsidized educational and workforce training opportunities in music and technology.
The touring giant has agreed to finance the completion of the new campus, which will be named SoLa Tech and Entertainment Center Powered by Live Nation. Opening in early 2025, the new 8,500-square-foot technology and entertainment center will be located on the ground floor of the “Crenshaw Lofts,” SoLa Impact’s new 195-unit workforce and affordable housing development located near Crenshaw and Leimert Blvds.
The center will host the 18-week Live Nation Next Gen Program, which offers paid apprenticeships for historically excluded youth (ages 16-21) from South L.A. The program helps students explore entertainment and production careers and learn directly from Live Nation staff and executives about various aspects of live entertainment — from booking to marketing to operations and more. The program, which will work in partnership with Live Nation’s School of Live, will culminate with the group promoting, ticketing and producing a community concert.
“We are incredibly inspired and encouraged by Live Nation’s continued partnership and their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the live music industry and beyond,” said Sherri Francois, SoLa Impact’s chief impact officer and executive director of the SoLa Foundation. “This is another amazing example of the power of mission-aligned corporate and nonprofit partners working together with focus and determination to solve seemingly intractable challenges.”
The new SoLa Tech and Entertainment Center Powered by Live Nation will service more than 1,000 students annually, with a long-term goal to close the socio-economic access gap for careers in the entertainment, science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields. Within the music sector, students will also be trained in the business and technology of the live entertainment industry, audio engineering and recording, coding, 3D modeling and animation, graphic design, digital content creation, entrepreneurship, and practical life and career skills. The center will also be a space for cultural, economic and civic events for the wider community.
“Live music isn’t a standard part of most schools and colleges, even though it continues to be a growing industry,” added Michael Rapino, president/CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. “By partnering together with SoLa, kids learn the business of music and we help them get first-hand experience, which unlocks a whole new world of careers, which has been incredible to be part of.”