Guitars Not Guns graduates first class since 2020

Photo by Jeff Weisinger

Calen Aragon tunes his guitar before playing during Guitars Not Guns’ graduation ceremony on March 8.

ANTIOCH – Brothers Elvis and Eduardo Quintana could be the next rock stars to come out of Antioch, let alone Contra Costa County, and for that matter, the Bay Area. If they do find themselves on the big stage when they get older, they can thank a certain program for giving them their start.

Elvis, 7, and Eduardo, 10, were just two of eight students who graduated from the Guitars Not Guns program recently at the Family Justice Center in Antioch. Guitars Not Guns is a music-based program that takes in at-risk and foster youth and teaches them how to play guitar. At the end of the program, the kids play a song they learned over the course and then get gift bags and certificates.

“There’s a lot of kids that are not athletic, per se,” said Barbara Gorin, the director of the Contra Costa County Chapter of Guitars Not Guns and a professional guitarist. “We need to give them something to do. Bringing music to their lives it’s giving them something that’s a universal language and giving them the basic tools to write their own music.”


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