Live Nation Expands Partnership In New Tech, Entertainment Center For Youth In South LA

LNxSOLA Center Rendering
Courtesy Live Nation

Live Nation is expanding its partnership with the affiliated foundation of social-impact real estate fund SoLa Impact on a second state-of-the-art youth center, which will provide fully subsidized educational and workforce training opportunities in the entertainment and technology sectors.

Live Nation’s contribution enables the completion of the new campus known as the 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, a 195-unit workforce and affordable housing development.

The SoLa Foundation is the affiliated foundation of SoLa Impact, a social-impact real estate fund.

The center will host the Live Nation Next Gen Program, an 18-week paid apprenticeship where historically excluded youth (ages 16-21) from South LA explore entertainment and production careers and learn directly from Live Nation staff and executives about various aspects of live entertainment – from booking to marketing, operations and more. The program will work in partnership with Live Nation’s School of Live. The program culminates with the group promoting, ticketing and producing their own 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. Thanks to Live Nation, the Crenshaw-LAX Corridor will become a hub of tech and career training. And we’re just getting started.”

The new facility will provide technology and entertainment career education access to more than 1,000 students annually, with a long-term goal to close the access gap and inspire future generations to pursue careers in 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.

“We created our School of Live because live music isn’t a standard part of most schools and colleges, even though it continues to be a growing industry,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, 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.”

Creating the next generation of live professionals — and looking for those future pros in typically underrepresented communities — was a focus of a panel discussion at 2022’s Production Live! conference, with panelists calling for programs like the School of Live to expand to provide hands-on, practical training.