Street Symphony’s Board of Directors are the stewards of our organization, as well as leaders, artists, educators – all of them passionate and dedicated citizens. They value creating an organizational framework which allows Street Symphony to carry out our mission of connection and service through music. To learn more about the members of our Board and the incredible work they bring to life in Los Angeles beyond the work of Street Symphony alone, please see their bios below.
Vijay Gupta is a violinist and social justice advocate. An esteemed performer, communicator, and citizen-artist, Gupta is a leading advocate for the role of the arts and music to heal, inspire, provoke change, and foster social connection. Gupta is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a non-profit organization providing musical engagement, dialogue and teaching artistry for homeless and incarcerated communities in Los Angeles.
Recognized for his “dedication to bringing beauty, respite, and purpose to those all too often ignored by society while demonstrating the capacity of music to validate our shared humanity”, Vijay Gupta is a 2018 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow.
Vijay Gupta is a celebrated speaker, educator and advocate, and works as a consultant and guest lecturer with education, performance and presentation institutions across the US and Canada. He currently serves on the faculty of The Colburn School and Longy School of Music and is the Senior Program and Artistic Advisor of Young Musician’s Foundation, an LA-based musical training, performance and advocacy organization. Gupta also serves on the board of directors of the DC-based national arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, as well as Los Angeles’s beloved 24th Street Theatre.
An acclaimed violinist and seasoned international performing artist since the age of 8, Gupta made his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 11. In 2007, at 19, Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as a member of the First Violin section through 2018. He has appeared as a guest concertmaster with the Los Angeles Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and is an active recitalist, soloist and chamber musician.
Gupta holds a BS in biology from Marist College (‘05) and an MM in violin performance from the Yale School of Music (‘07). Gupta is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of La Verne and the 2017 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award from the Longy School of Music. Gupta is a 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow. Gupta is represented as a speaker by the Lavin Agency and performs on a 2015 violin made by Los Angeles maker Eric Benning.
Ndindi Kitonga, PhD is a Kenyan American educator, long-time community organizer and homeless rights advocate. She is a proud member of ARE (Association of Raza Educators), a liberatory education grassroots teacher organization. Ndindi is also the founder of Angeles Workshop School, a radical secondary school in Los Angeles with a focus on democratic learning. In addition to her work in K-12 education, Ndindi is a faculty member at Longy School of Music of Bard College where she teaches courses in critical curriculum inquiry and teaching methods. Ndindi is also a published scholar in the areas of revolutionary critical pedagogy, and democratic education.
Faith Raiguel has recently retired as Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Opera, a position she has held since 2008. Until 2017, she taught “Finance and Accounting for Non-profit Arts Organizations” for nine years at The Drucker School of Claremont Graduate University as an adjunct professor. She has also taught programs and workshops at UCLA’s Anderson School and USC’s Museum Studies program. As a Trustee of the IATSE Local 33 Pension and Welfare Trust Funds, she served for three years on the board, resigning in 2018.
From 2008 to 2014, Faith served as Chair of the Board of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, a year-round arts academy and summer program with offerings in all the arts. One of her proudest acknowledgements is having a street named after her, “Faith’s Way,” on the Idyllwild campus when she stepped down as chair. She is currently Chair of their Finance Committee. She recently joined the board of the Silkroad Project, founded by Yoyo Ma, promoting international cooperation through music. Faith has also served on the Audit Committee of Descanso Gardens in La Canada – Flintridge California.
Prior to the Opera, she was Chief Operating Officer of the Autry National Center. Throughout her professional career, she has also been CFO for the Music Center of Los Angeles County and Center Theater Group, the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theater. In life outside of non-profits, she was Vice President, Administration & Operations, Worldwide for Walt Disney Feature Animation from 1995-97, overseeing animation studios in Burbank, Orlando and Paris. Early in her career, she was a partner with Lutz and Carr, CPAs, a New York based public accounting firm with a specialty in non-profit, arts clients.
Faith has an MBA from UCLA and a BA in American History and Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is a CPA, inactive status.
She and her husband are long time residents of Silver Lake in LA, and have three adult children.
Georgia Berkovich is the Director of Public Affairs for The Midnight Mission and is responsible for their volunteer program, communications, community affairs, and community events. She created and manages Art With A Mission, Music With A Mission, and Laughter With A Mission, which are programs aimed at bringing hope to people in the Skid Row community. In recovery herself, she brings a unique perspective to her position. She speaks nationwide about her recovery and her work at The Midnight. Before being hired at The Midnight in 2010, Georgia had been volunteering with the organization since 1993 while working in the corporate and non-profit fields. In 2019, she was named Pioneer Woman of the Year by the Commission on the Status of Women and LA City Council District 14. She has served on the boards of Street Symphony since 2015 and the West End Group, Inc. since 2020. Georgia is a southern California native and resides in the Los Angeles area.
Dr. Luis Garcia is a social worker, social service administrator, and scholar practitioner. He currently works as an associate psychotherapist for Eye Cue Mental Health, providing behavioral health services in Cerritos, CA. Previously, Garcia served as the Senior Director of Programs & Services for the Weingart Center, a comprehensive human services provider designed to seamlessly transition Skid Row’s unhoused and reentry populations to permanent housing in Los Angeles County. Prior to Weingart, Dr. Garcia worked in public community mental health as the senior quality improvement analyst providing project coordination, evaluation and dissemination of annual Mental Health Services Act programs performance outcomes reporting to residents of the cities of Claremont, La Verne, and Pomona. He began his professional career working with community-based organizations, addressing emerging public health issues faced by Latino and LGBTQ+ reentry populations and seriously mentally ill state parolees in South Los Angeles.
As a scholar practitioner with over 20 years of experience, Garcia is active in the decarceration movement, building bridges of opportunity for marginalized groups. He co-created the Music for Change Program with Vijay Gupta and serves as a core project collaborator for Future IDs, a long-term social engaged art project which investigates how artist advocates can come together to respond creatively to social challenges, instigating meaningful social change.
Garcia earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in theology with a minor in psychology from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California (USC) and a doctorate in educational leadership for social justice (EdD) from LMU. Luis resides with his family in the city of Whittier where he also serves as a board member of the Whittier First Day Homeless Shelter.
Nancy Halpern Ibrahim has worked as a social justice activist in the field of women’s health and development for the past thirty-five years. Uplifting the voice and power of local communities for the attainment of basic human rights, has been at the heart of Nancy’s work. She is committed to principles of responsible, inclusive development without displacement, and the stabilization of communities strongly rooted in health and human rights. Nancy joined Esperanza Community Housing in historic South Central Los Angeles, as the founding Director of Health Programs in 1995, and developed the organization’s the model community health leadership program, Promotores de Salud, which to date has graduated nearly 600 bi-lingual women and men, and developed cadres of leaders working to address issues of health access, housing habitability and self-determination. She has established the framework for the programs at the intersection of health and housing that characterize much of Esperanza’s work. Her efforts have been central to pioneering environmental health strategies and responsible land use policies in the region, and to advancing the importance of Mercado La Paloma as a local economic development venue and a cultural and culinary hub, and proud host of many Street Symphony performances.
Walter Zooi is an award-winning arts entrepreneur and organizational leader with over 20 years of experience in program development, strategic planning and driving organizational change. As executive director of the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF), he oversaw a comprehensive refocusing and restructuring of the organization’s mission and program model to provide access to music and media arts education to those who would not have access otherwise. YMF now brings culturally responsive, long-term programming to over 5,000 students at 27 schools in underserved, under-resourced communities across Los Angeles County. He is the founder and prior executive director of South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory which he led through 12 years of dynamic growth. As director of communications at the California Institute of the Arts he oversaw the branding and development communications program for both the Institute and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Walter held a similar position with USC’s Thornton School of Music where he was part of the development that helped secure Flora L. Thornton’s $25 million naming gift to the school.