The Urban Voices Project (UVP) Choir is composed of artists and performers from the Skid Row neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles, currently or formerly disenfranchised by the condition of homelessness. Throughout the year, they share music and its healing power with many audiences inside and outside the neighborhood of Skid Row. Through UVP Choir’s outreach, the group shares the stories and the successes of integrating music and community singing into a holistic system for combating the homelessness crisis. UVP Choir is only the face of the program, as the heart of the work is in the form of several workshops offered weekly in Skid Row and around Los Angeles County by a talented and highly trained faculty in both music healing and education.
Founded by Colburn School teaching artist, Leeav Sofer–recognized as Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal’s 30 under 30–directs the choir and UVP programs. His co-founder, Christopher Mack, aka “The Urban Sage,” is a singing community outreach coordinator walking the streets of Skid Row for Wesley Health Centers for the past 14 years. Kate Richards Geller, a music therapy consultant, advises the project and offers a strong foundation in healing and wellness across the organization. UVP has found recognition in the front page of the Los Angeles Times, NBC’s Today Show and Dateline Special and was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. The Choir has had the privilege to collaborate with many partners, including Street Symphony and their Annual Messiah Project, singing shoulder to shoulder with Los Angeles Master Chorale singers, accompanied by Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians. The Choir has been featured at multiple discussion panels, government inaugurations, gala events and international community healthcare conferences. They have sung on stages from Skid Row’s streets, all the way to venues such Los Angeles’ Ace Hotel Theater. The choir enjoys collaborations with celebrities such as Mr. Dick Van Dyke and Bootsy Collins.
For more information, visit urbanvoicesproject.org