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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 Mani Mekler Baker
Mani Mekler Baker Artistic Music Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
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Photo of Nara Hernandez
Nara Hernandez Visual Arts Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1144
Updated 8 months ago. Return to top.
Photo of Abraham Orozco
Abraham Orozco Director of Scientific Arts & IT Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x227
Updated 8 months ago. Return to top.
Photo of Monique van Willingh
Monique van Willingh YOLA at HOLA & Music Director
Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
Updated 3 months ago. Return to top.


Hip-Hop Legend & Filmmaker RZA Lends Wisdom to HOLA Youth

“Ready to give up, so I seek the old earth / Who explained working hard may help you maintain / To learn to overcome the heartaches and pain. / We got to stick up kids… Leave it up to me while I be living proof / To kick the truth to the young Black youth.” Robert Diggs aka RZA shared one of his earliest songs entitled  “C.R.E.A.M.” with YOLA at HOLA kids yesterday. RZA (de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan) also watched the jazz band and orchestra perform, […]

HOLA’s Artists Go Public in MacArthur Park

MacArthur Park will be abuzz with music and art on Sunday, since it will be the venue for HOLA’s latest public art event. Thanks to this year’s Public Artists in Residence – including members of The Distance Plan and Vincent Ramos – our artists have had the pleasure of integrating new techniques and philosophies into their own art. THE DISTANCE PLAN TEACHES CREATIVE SUSTAINABILITY   Joe Hoyt, Neil Doshi and Amy Howden-Chapman are HOLA’s Public Artists in Residence who are representing The Distance Plan. Consisting of a rotating group of artists and designers, this larger art collective […]

Summer Music Camp in the Mountains

Several of the middle and high school music students in the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at HOLA Program got a jump on their summers with a week-long music camp up in the mountains of Idyllwild. During the first week, Kevin and Miguel joined several of their peers from the YOLA at EXPO program and spent most of their time preparing for their performance with Journey and the LA Phil on opening night at the Hollywood Bowl!!! During week two, 32 YOLA at HOLA students […]

Bard and Longy MAT Students Graduate

Bard College and the Longy School of Music of Bard College held a joint celebration for the 2015 Masters of Arts in Teaching graduates. The Longy program is offered in partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, preparing musicians to become agents of change. The program is located on HOLA’s campus and provides the MAT candidates with an integrated graduate music program with hands-on learning experiences at both the LA Phil’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program and in urban public schools throughout Southern California. The […]

2015 Community Graduation

On a beautiful June evening, Heart of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks held the 5th annual Community Graduation, celebrating the accomplishments of elementary, middle, high school, college AND graduate school graduates in the Rampart District of Los Angeles. This year, 63 young men and women graduated from HOLA’s high school program and 95% of the graduates will be heading this fall to colleges and universities all over the country. Matt Toledo, the Publisher and CEO of the […]

HOLA Choir Builds Musical Bridges

On an overcast Saturday morning, the HOLA choir traveled to the beach to build musical bridges with the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Choir (SMYOC). The two choirs had a wonderful time playing and singing songs from France, Australia and the Caribbean. The day also marked the anniversary of “Heal the Bay Day” in honor of Nick Gabaldon, the first documented surfer of African American and Latino descent to break the barriers of beach segregation in the Santa Monica and Malibu beach areas, as well as […]


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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