Our Opinion: A legacy in Brown

June 12, 2002

There is no better legacy than to leave a place better than you found it.

That is the legacy Linda Brown is leaving in the Imperial Valley.

Brown, who is departing from the Imperial Valley after 11 years for a chorale music teaching job at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, did many wonderful things for the Imperial Valley.

She wrote the grant that brought the Southwest Academy of Visual and Performing Arts to the then-new Southwest High School in El Centro. That program has trained hundreds and hundreds of our young people in various aspects of the arts. She was one of the guiding forces at the high school as it put down its academic foundation, serving as a vice principal, music teacher and head of SAVAPA.

She also helped mold the Imperial Valley Master Chorale from a community college singing class into the multi-pronged, deep and talented organization it is today that includes a junior chorale and chamber singers. Twice under her direction the Imperial Valley Master Chorale performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The chorale and its associated groups now are counted upon for doing quality work around the Imperial Valley and beyond.


Brown also directed stage shows in the Valley that brought big crowds and enthusiastic receptions and found young talent and helped develop it.

Brown moved on from Southwest High a few years ago to take a job for the county Office of Education as the director of Borderlink, which is bringing technological advances in education to students throughout the Valley. That is the job she is leaving to go to Rio Hondo.

Linda Brown did all she did in the Valley as a stickler for doing things right. But she did so with a pleasant personality, usually with a smile on her face, even in strenuous times.

Upon coming to the Valley, Brown could have just done her job, gone home and spent time with her family. There is nothing wrong with that. That's what many people do.

But a community, especially a community with certain shortcomings, needs people to step forward and expend the effort to make the area better. Brown did that in the Valley, and helped transform the local arts scene into a place where performers are more treasured and young talents are better nurtured.

The arts in particular and the Valley in general are a better place because of Linda Brown's time here. That is a wonderful legacy.

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