LONG BEACH, Calif. – Most students within the Anaheim Elementary School District are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged. 

What You Need To Know

  • Dozens of families from the Anaheim Elementary School District were loaned imperfect instruments to decorate

  • The decorated instruments are currently for sale as art pieces

  • The money from sales will help the district continue funding its music education program

  • You can see the finished pieces for yourself at the Able ARTS Work Gallery in Long Beach through the end of April

Less than a decade ago the district was able to start a music program and they have found a creative way to ensure its survival. Dozens of families from the Anaheim Elementary School District have been loaned imperfect instruments to decorate.

The instruments were originally going to end up in the trash because they were unsellable due to damage sustained during shipping or otherwise.

Dave Jewell is the Partnerships and Alliances Manager for the Yamaha Corporation. He helped come up with the idea of transforming ruined instruments into pieces of art.

“This is the right thing to do for us as a corporate – to be able to repurpose these guitars instead of filling a landfill,” said Jewell.

Now all the finished works are for sale and the money will go back toward the district’s music education program. Usually in lean times, the arts are cut first, but the department has found a small revenue stream. Beyond the money and the educational value, AESD music curriculum specialist Mark Anderson said the program has a third benefit. 

“That’s really what arts and music programs do at schools – they bring the community together. They bring the parents together and give them that sense of community and especially during a time like this when we are all missing it. This has been very, very valuable,” said Anderson.

The creations are on display and available for purchase at the Able ARTS Work Gallery through the end of April.

The Gallery is located in Suite 150 at 6420 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach.

The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.