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
    Photo of  Mani Mekler Baker
    Mani Mekler Baker Artistic Music Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
    Categories: Artistic Music Director Add to Address Book. Return to top.
    Photo of  Nara  Hernandez
    Nara Hernandez Visual Arts Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1144
    Categories: Performing Arts Director, Visual Arts Director Add to Address Book. Return to top.
    Photo of  Abraham  Orozco
    Abraham Orozco Director of Scientific Arts/ Film & TV Instructor
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x227
    Categories: Film & TV Director, Scientific Arts Director Add to Address Book. Return to top.
    Photo of  Christine  Witkowski
    Christine Witkowski YOLA at HOLA & Music Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
    Categories: YOLA at HOLA & Music Director Add to Address Book. Return to top.


    Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band Visits HOLA

    Gordon Goodwin and his 18 piece Big Phat Band came down to HOLA to perform for the kids in HOLA’s Music Program. Over 200 youth, including members of the Jazz Band and Jazz Ensembles, were treated to an hour long set that brought down the house. The songs included old and new pieces and even [...]

    Local Jazz Artists Jam with HOLA’s Girls Choir

    HOLA’s Girls Choir got quite a treat this summer. Emma Joleen, the YOLA at HOLA Singing and Solfège Specialist, recruited a group of local artists to volunteer and participate in a weekly workshop. The workshop kicked off with composer and vocalist Kaley Lane Eaton. She introduced the students to the origins of jazz and blues [...]

    Choir “Happy” to Perform at Hollywood Bowl

    YOLA at HOLA’s choir had the honor of performing Pharrell’s hit song “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2″ at the Hollywood Bowl this month. The YOLA at HOLA choir teamed up with the YOLA at LACHSA choir to perform the number, which was choreographed and taught to the students by YOLA at HOLA Singing and Solfège [...]

    YOLA Welcomes New Conductor

    HOLA is very excited to welcome Juan Felipe Molano as the conductor of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. He is currently the Artistic Director of El Sistema Salinas in California and for the last 6 years has been the National Symphonic Director of Batuta Colombian National System of Youth Orchestras, where he divides his musical [...]

    It Takes a Village

    Heart of Los Angeles and Fallen Fruit have been collaborating over the past several months to create LA’s first Urban Fruit Trail. The Urban Fruit Trail is transforming the MacArthur Park neighborhood with over 150 fruit trees, combining both public and private planting opportunities. Once planted, the trees will be sustained, nurtured and harvested by [...]

    Musicians Participate in Make Music LA

    Heart of LA’s young musicians were very busy celebrating Make Music LA on June 21st. Make Music LA is a unique festival of hundreds of free concerts in public spaces throughout the city and county of Los Angeles and HOLA had musicians at three different locales. The day kicked off with performances by the Big [...]


    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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