The Miami Music Project recently announced that Anna Klimala has been promoted to the president of the organization.
Her promotion was approved unanimously in June by the board of trustees, who believe Klimala is equipped with the broad experience and deep confidence to lead the organization into the future. Based on her track record, she is the best person to ensure Miami Music Project’s future success.
Starting from a humble beginning in 2008 to increase children’s exposure to classical music, Klimala has spent 11 years leading with humility, inner confidence, and grace, while lifting everyone around her and helping them shine. Her unparalleled dedication and deep personal commitment to the mission of the organization helped revolutionize a project that started with only 13 students in a warehouse as a classroom, into an organization that has transformed an entire county — changing lives through music for all Miami children and youth, regardless of income, socio-economic background, or zip code.
“No one could have more honestly earned and deserved the promotion to president of our organization than Anna,” said distinguished British conductor James Judd, founder of the Miami Music Project. “Since the early days of the Miami Music Project, she has worked tirelessly and imaginatively to develop the organization from the ground up, always giving 100 percent of her time and energy to the community.
As a result of this and thanks to her dedication, thousands of young lives are enriched through music.”
Klimala indeed possesses the greatness she seeks in others and is an extraordinary visionary and female leader. As a child who grew up during communism, a woman who picked a musical instrument primarily played by men, and an immigrant who came to this country with just a few dollars in her pocket, the constant building of resilience was her normal.
She is ready to take the Miami Music Project forward as the organization continues to navigate some of the challenges faced as a result of the new landscape in which the world is operating. Working alongside the board of trustees, she reimagined the organization’s vision and mission, reinventing the program’s methodology and maintaining it through a new online virtual format. She ensured all teaching artists were financially secure, showing not only her passion for the project in totality but her unique ability to improvise and keep the best interest of those around her.
“Anna is an expert in music education, understands our mission, and knows how to turn it into action,” said Maria Pia Leon, board chair of the Miami Music Project. “However, I am a firm believer that what differentiates all great leaders is the connective tissue they develop with people. The relationships Anna has established with her team, our students, their parents, and community partners are unique. She understands we are working with human beings and firsthand the impact the Miami Music Project has on their lives. Therefore, she doesn’t hesitate to go beyond her duties to fulfill their needs. That is what makes her a great leader for our organization.”
Looking back, her journey could have been considered an impossible one. Taking a considerable risk by leaving home at 15 to pursue her passion for music, she turned her back on everything she knew. She moved to a country where the native tongue was a second language and continuously adapted to the world as it was changing around her. With no formal business administration training, she taught herself finance, accounting, fundraising, project management, and human resources. Later, she won scholarships to attend Columbia and Harvard universities’ business schools to continue her executive education.
As an immigrant and a woman in a leadership role, she has consistently shattered barriers of stereotypes and inequities. Continuously transforming herself and growing into a true embodiment of authentic leadership, she rapidly rose through the ranks and became the head of the organization in January 2010.
With 30,000 children going through the program in the past decade, 100 percent of the students who have gone through Miami Music Project’s programs graduated high school and continued on to higher education. Many have moved on to esteemed colleges and universities.
Under Kilmala’s direction, the Miami Music Project has begun implementing its 10-year strategic vision of expanding to 12 community sites. She is positioned to guide the organization and its team as they continue to inspire and empower Miami’s underserved youth to become the best versions of themselves, despite the odds stacked against them.