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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
    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
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    Photo of  Abraham  Orozco
    Abraham Orozco Director of Scientific Arts/ Film & TV Instructor
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1148 x227
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    Photo of  Christine  Witkowski
    Christine Witkowski YOLA at HOLA & Music Director
    Work Phone: (213) 389-1166
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    HOLA Participates in MacArthur Park Festival de Otoño

    HOLA kids, parents and staff had a wonderful time participating in the MacArthur Park Festival de Otoño, a festival that included art, live music, food, Day of the Dead Activities and a Soccer Tournament for the kids. Over the past several weeks, moms participating in the art class taught by Marialice Jacob have been building […]

    Penland Resident Artists Visit HOLA

    For the third year in a row, Heart of Los Angeles has been thrilled to welcome artists from the Penland School of Crafts for a week-long teaching residency in HOLA’s Visual Arts Department. This year, Rachel Maginnes and Dustin Farnsworth spent their week at HOLA teaching workshops with the underlying theme of “Creative Problem Solving.” […]

    Fall’s in Full Swing

    Every afternoon hundreds of kids, ages 6-19, are participating in over 75 academic and enrichment classes on HOLA’s campus. In addition to daily academic support from staff, tutors and volunteers, every afternoon HOLA students have the chance to explore opportunities they can’t get anywhere else, inside or outside of school. The choices are almost limitless, […]

    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 […]


    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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