Heart of Los Angeles’s (HOLA) Visual Arts Department

Each year, HOLA’s Visual Arts Department provides intensive visual arts programming to 250+ youth with limited or no access to art at school. HOLA offers over 100 classes in 22 different art forms (ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, illustration, printmaking and more). Students express themselves artistically, gain confidence, and build transferable skills. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the department has implemented remote programming with individual phone calls, weekly instructional videos and take-home art kits.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

HOLA serves youth and families living in and around the Rampart District and Westlake area of Los Angeles. Of the families HOLA serves, 96% live in poverty, and all are impacted by the neighborhood's struggling economy and culture of violence, crime, gang activity, limited school resources and inequitable educational opportunities that put youth at risk, threaten their academic success and their ability to overcome poverty. Nearly 90% of the area’s youth are enrolled in LAUSD schools which are often underperforming and understaffed, and many of HOLA’s local feeder schools have seen a significant decline in access to quality arts education programs. The recent COVID-19 crisis and subsequent closure of local schools has further exacerbated these problems: job loss among HOLA parents is widespread, and for youth already dealing with the crushing pressures of poverty, these events have a dramatic impact on learning, emotional wellbeing and physical health.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Over 30 years, HOLA has strived to give kids all they need to achieve their full potential through free, high-quality programs in a safe and nurturing environment. HOLA’s Visual Arts Department provides 250+ students with access to 100 annual art classes (ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture and more), workshops, public art projects and cultural field trips. Students have access to academic support services (tutoring, college prep courses, mentorship), college scholarships and alumni support services.

In the COVID-19 crisis, HOLA is leveraging longstanding quality relationships with students and parents to ensure an adaption and continuation of services to meet emerging and emergency needs. Weekly, the Visual Arts team conducts check-in calls with each student and provides recorded how-to videos designed to minimize screen time and using at-hand supplies. The department will use social media to share students’ art and positive stories during this socially isolating period.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 250

Indirect Impact: 500

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

HOLA’s Visual Arts programming immerses underserved youth in cultural and arts education experiences they otherwise may not experience. Believing that art can be a powerful agent of social change and that education can provide empowerment, liberation and pride, HOLA’s Visual Arts staff works to instill a creative process in each student that will last a lifetime--skills that can provide strength during times of crisis such as now. HOLA staff focuses on exposing students to diverse, inclusive modes of artistic expression and prioritizes opportunities such as art rooted in indigenous culture. A recent evaluation showed that 96% of surveyed students felt they had improved as an artist after one year of program participation.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

HOLA’s Visual Arts Department utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methods that include year-end surveys, evaluations, staff, peer and self reflections and feedback, and more. HOLA’s Visual Arts Department anticipates the following results:

Each year, HOLA’s Visual Arts Department will provide 250 youth with access to free quality arts education programs.

HOLA will provide youth with 100+ visual arts classes, public art projects, field trips, access to professional artists, access to academic and wraparound support services, and more.

By the end of each year, 85% of surveyed art-focused students will agree that they have improved as artists.

By the end of each year, 85% of surveyed art-focused students will agree that they can work together with others to make things better and strengthen their community.

During this time that students are staying home, HOLA will measure the success of its existing online-based arts programming through the number of video views and weekly individual phone calls with youth and families. HOLA will consider the programming a success if students are able to successfully complete the art projects taught in the videos, continue to develop an appreciation for art and are eager to engage in HOLA’s Visual Arts programming upon their return to our campus.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts education

Enrollment in afterschool programs

High school graduation rates

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support