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The Last Repair Shop

Despite the rain, hundreds turned . Photo by Molly O’Keeffe

Despite the rain, hundreds turned out for 

The Last Repair Shop
 Celebration at Hollywood High School on Tuesday. 

Photo by Molly O’Keeffe


Inspired by Oscar® Nominated Short ‘The Last Repair Shop,’
the LAUSD Education Foundation Launches $15 Million
Campaign To Support Musical Instrument Repair Shop

The Los Angeles Unified School District Education Foundation announced today that it will launch “The Last Repair Shop Fund,” a $15 million capital campaign to invest in the future of its previously unsung Musical Instrument Repair Shop, including a student apprenticeship program that will build the next generation of instrument technicians.


The downtown workshop, founded in 1959, is the subject of
Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’ Oscar
® nominated short documentary “The Last Repair Shop,” distributed by Searchlight Pictures and L.A. Times Studios, which profiles four of the twelve technicians who work every day to maintain over 130,000 musical instruments provided by the district to public school students. Los Angeles is the last major city in America to provide free and freely repaired instruments to its students.

Student storytellers featured in the Oscar nominated film, The Last Repair Shop,Porché Brinker, Ismerai Calcaneo, and Amanda Nova pose with co-directors Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot. Photo by Todd Williamson


Student storytellers featured in the Oscar nominated film, The Last Repair Shop, Porché Brinker, Ismerai Calcaneo, and Amanda Nova pose with co-directors Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot. Photo by Todd Williamson


“Los Angeles Unified’s investment in music has produced some of the greatest luminaries in music for decades,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “This shop is one of the cornerstones of what makes Los Angeles the creative capital of the world. Ben and Kris’ film has created extraordinary excitement and support, and the time has come to call on forward-thinking leaders in this city to ensure that no child in Los Angeles who wants to play an instrument will ever be denied that opportunity.”


The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation was an early supporter of the capital campaign. “The Last Repair Shop” introduces us to the work and care of craftspeople equipping students with the instruments that allow them to explore their musical curiosities and talents,” said Gerun Riley, president of The Broad Foundation. “We applaud LAUSD’s commitment to sustaining the repair shop, and we hope others will be inspired to help ensure LA’s students have access to high-quality instruments, music facilities, and apprenticeships for generations to come.”

Kris Bowers. Photo by: Todd Williamson


Kris Bowers, the noted composer and co-director of The Last Repair Shop ,
performs a piece he wrote on the Steinway piano he donated to his alma mater,
Third Elementary School.
Photo by Todd Williamson


“Ben and I can’t think of a better impact for our film to make,” said ‘The Last Repair Shop’ co-director Kris Bowers. “I came up learning piano on an LAUSD upright. I know firsthand what having access to a working instrument can mean for a young kid who yearns to express themselves through music. And we are so excited that the LAUSD Education Foundation and The Broad Foundation have been inspired by our film to launch this worthy campaign that will change the lives of young Angelenos for generations to come." The announcement was made during a public event on February 20 at Hollywood High School featuring a screening of The Last Repair Shop and a special musical performance by an all city marching band.


L.A.U.S.D. music students canvas honks from Highland Avenue

 traffic as 
The Last Repair Shop banners adorn Hollywood High School,

 where the $15 million capital campaign was announced.

Photo by Todd Williamson

The school is just a block away from the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards will be held on March 10. 
Photo by Todd Williamson


Co-director Kris Bowers along with Searchlight Pictures made the first gift of the campaign by giving restored 1913 Steinway & Sons K-52 upright piano to Third Street Elementary School, where Kris Bowers attended as a young man.


Steve Bagmanyan, the shop’s supervisor and one of the technicians featured in the film, was, coincidentally, the person who tuned the pianos at Bower’s elementary and Middle schools. He said of the campaign’s launch, “We get to the shop and start working before the sun rises. We do our work quietly and proudly. And so the light that “’The Last Repair Shop” has brought into our shop and lives has been both unexpected and deeply moving.” He continued, “The creation of this capital campaign is a godsend because it will enshrine this shop forever, and ensure that students who love music in Los Angeles will always have an instrument in their hand. And that’s what it’s all about.


L.A.U.S.D. music educators Vince Womack, Tony White and Erick Quintanilla were honored with framed sheet music from The Last Repair Shop ’s end credits, signed by multiple generations of L.A.U.S.D. alumni.  Photo by Molly O’Keeffe


L.A.U.S.D. music educators Vince Womack, Tony White and Erick Quintanilla were honored with framed sheet music from The Last Repair Shop ’s end credits, signed by multiple generations of L.A.U.S.D. alumni.  Photo by Molly O’Keeffe



The campaign will support investments in the Repair Shop’s infrastructure and support staff, ensuring that skill craftsmen are equipped to support the District’s music program for years to come. It will also support the development of music and arts pipelines across schools – so that students can access a continuity of music and arts programs in the
 neighborhood schools. 


The film, which has already garnered a number of major accolades including an Oscar® nod and the Critics Choice Documentary Award for best short, is available to view for free on L.A. Times’ YouTube channel, along with Disney+ and Hulu. The results of the Oscars® will be announced at the Dolby Theater on March 10.


Public donations to The Last Repair Shop Fund can be made at

About the LAUSD Education Foundation

The mission of the LAUSD Education Foundation is to maximize resources and support for the District’s core education priorities from the philanthropic community and private sector in order to improve student learning.

Incorporated in 2002, the Los Angeles Unified Education Foundation has worked hand in hand with the second largest school district in the country to enhance services and support to LA’s students. It is organized exclusively for the charitable purpose of furthering the educational goals of LAUSD.

About The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation steadfastly stewards groundbreaking institutions in education, science and the arts, while elevating organizations, initiatives and leaders that boldly address the challenges of our time and expand opportunity for Los Angeles’ historically marginalized communities.

TBF envisions a world where everyone can shape and participate in a

 sustainable, equitable economy that serves the public good and builds a

 brighter future and a city where all Angelenos have pathways and tools to grow and thrive.

To learn more, visit:

About Breakwater Studios

Founded in 2012 by Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur and Academy Award® -winning director Ben Proudfoot, Breakwater Studios has been a pioneer in the world of the short documentary, connecting with millions of people around the world through their humanist, high-quality films. The studio’s work has been recognized by the Academy Awards ®, The Emmys®, The Peabody Awards,
 The James Beard Awards, the Sundance

Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival,

 and SXSW among others.

 Learn more at


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