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Program Mission: HOLA’s Arts and Culture Program encourages youth to channel their energy and emotion into creative endeavors in the visual and performing arts, developing their powers of self-expression, instilling self-confidence, and fueling their interest in learning.

HOLA provides quality programming to inner-city youth who have little or no access to such classes inside or outside of school. Each year, HOLA students have the opportunity to participate in more than 100 different classes, including ceramics, photography, painting, fashion design and sewing, hip hop and salsa dancing, theater production, choir, private music lessons and a full youth orchestra. HOLA’s facilities include three art studios, a fine arts library, music rooms, and a dance studio.

Program Goals:

  • Foster a sense of community where everyone supports each other
  • Hold high expectations for artistic and academic excellence for each child
  • Develop the whole child, not only as an artist, but as a citizen and scholar
  • Provide a flexible, fun and safe learning environment
  • Recognize the different and unique strengths of each child
  • Belief that education fosters empowerment, liberation and pride
  • Belief in the power of art as an agent of social change

Click here for enrollment dates.

Photo of Nara Hernandez
Nara Hernandez Visual Arts Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1144
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Timothy McKay HOLA Jazz Band Director
Updated 1 week ago. Return to top.
Photo of Abraham Orozco
Abraham Orozco Director of Scientific Arts & IT Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x227
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Photo of Monique van Willingh
Monique van Willingh YOLA at HOLA & Music Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
Updated 4 months ago. Return to top.


Staff Spotlight: Mark Tyson Rocks

Born in Los Angeles in 1959 into a family of musicians, Mark Tyson, HOLA music instructor and founder of our rock band, is living proof that music changes lives. Mark has been an artist his whole life, a performer for 30 years, and a teacher at HOLA since 2004. He has nurtured the talent of many budding musicians. Recently, when we caught up with him, Mark shared his thoughts on teaching, as well as a playlist of the music that has influenced him as a person and artist. Inspirations by a Music Teacher from HeartofLosAngeles on 8tracks […]

High School Photography Workshop Exhibits at LACMA

During winter break, 28 teens from 15 different schools learned the difference between making a photo and taking a photo, in the intensive and internationally known Fred Roberts Photography Workshop. Founder Fred Roberts, explained on the first day, “This is not a photography workshop. This is a practice in empowerment. The cameras are just the tools for self-expression.” With the support of Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Fred and a band of highly experienced photographers guided a course that didn’t just focus on the technical aspects of photography such as aperture settings and shutter speed. Over seven days, the students absorbed […]

National Endowment for the Arts Awards HOLA Grant for 2016

Celebrating 50 years and $5 billion in grants, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has named their 2016 list of recipients, including Heart of Los Angeles. HOLA is honored to be among the list of esteemed establishments for the 4th year in a row. The $50,000 Art Works grant works directly to support the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA. Executive Director, Tony Brown comments, “Funding our YOLA at HOLA Orchestra program has helped to ensure that hundreds of students, who are growing up amidst […]

Miguel’s Letter

Hello Friends of Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)! My name is Miguel Guendolay and I am a recent Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) alum and college student at Pasadena City College. As I reflect on this past year and where I’ve come from, my heart is filled with gratitude for HOLA and the generosity of people like you. I am proud to say that I myself will be making a donation to help continue the positive impact that HOLA’s academic, arts and athletic programs have […]

El Sistema Brings Success to Teaching Partnership

Teaching music is what gave me back my passion. After performing professionally and getting my Masters, I was completely burnt out of playing, I never wanted to pick up an instrument again. But teaching was a new challenge, a new joy. It asked me to work backwards, to go back to the basics and think about music in a way I hadn’t in a long time. It renewed my love of music.” -Katie Swaydis, Longy School of Music at Bard MAT Graduate Student HOLA’s campus is […]

Maria Guinand Lends Expertise to HOLA Choir

World-renowned teacher and conductor, Maria Guinand led a masterclass at HOLA on October 15, 2015. Ms. Guinand worked with an ensemble of co-ed middle school musicians who sing in the “Gershwin Choir.” Ms Guinand remarked on their expertly crafted sound and exquisite demeanour developed by YOLA at HOLA Singing and Solfege Specialist, Emma Joleen. The students were thrilled to sing for Ms Guinand and were even more excited to receive the positive feedback. Thank you, Maria, for generously giving up you time for our talented […]


HOLA provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.


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