SANTA MONICA— As of Wednesday, June 10, Santa Monica Music Center has raised nearly $100,000 through GoFundMe. Started by members of the community, the fundraisers aim to repair, rebuild, and reopen the center. 

Santa Monica Music Center is a family-owned and operated business since 1972. It is run by Lana Negrete and her father Chico Fernandez. It sells and rents musical instruments, offers lessons, and assists school districts with their band programs.

When protests over the death of George Floyd erupted in Santa Monica on Sunday, May 31, looters attacked the store.

“They [were] taking violins that were donated for kids in our nonprofit program, throwing them onto the sidewalk, slamming cellos into the car. There was stuff all over the street. They [were] driving all over the merchandise with no regard for anything,” detailed Negrete in an account of what she witnessed during the looting.

Photo courtesy of
@JAMSInstrMusic via Twitter

On June 1, members of the community gathered to help Santa Monica Music Center pick up the pieces. Plywood boards were placed with messages like: “LOVE NOT LOOTING”, “BLM”, and “EVERYTHING GONE”. 

Santa Monica Music Center had closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three days before the looting, it began reopening by allowing limited capacity within the store. Losing a great extent of its business, its survival has been challenged. Additionally, insurance does not intend to cover the damage the looters caused.

Two fundraisers were set up through GoFundMe; the first has reached about $40,000 of its $80,000 goal, the second has reached about $60,000 of its $75,000 goal.

The @santamonicamusiccenter Instagram expressed their gratitude and assured its customers: “We will get up, we will dust ourselves off and we will rebuild. We will continue to provide a place for everyone to create music.. the beat must go on.”

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