Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) provides underserved youth with free, exceptional after-school 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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3 Submitted Ideas
- LEARN ·2021 Grants Challenge
Through College to Career Launch, Heart of Los Angeles will advance economic mobility for young people of color by providing them with crucial resources including mentorship, career coaching and fellowship opportunities. Building on the remarkable success of HOLA’s college access work, College to Career Launch will provide a critical job attainment framework for our students to take on leadership in LA County’s workforce, helping shape the economic landscape as vibrant and inclusive of all Angelenos.
- LEARN ·2020 Grants Challenge
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.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) is a non-profit organization that provides at-risk and underserved youth ages 6-19 living in Los Angeles with free exceptional after-school programming in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities. Since HOLA first opened its doors 24 years ago, thousands of elementary, middle and high school students have received superior academic support and enrichment activities that provide them with the tools they need to succeed. What began as a sanctuary from the streets for just a few kids is now a thriving 24,000 square foot campus serving 2,500 community youth each year. In HOLA’s Visual Arts program, over 250 students participate in 33 different visual arts classes each quarter, following a multi-level class structure that builds and advances with each successive session. This format allows young artists to progress in their skills and to build strong and lasting mentor/student relationships with their instructors. HOLA offers free classes in over 16 different art forms including ceramics, painting, drawing, screen printing, car design, printmaking, photography, architecture and fashion design. To broaden students’ appreciation for the arts, throughout the year staff engages youth in cultural field trips to museums, art institutes, private art collections, art studios and cultural landmarks, as well as curating four art shows a year featuring student work. HOLA’s Visual Arts continues to develop innovative programming that ever more deeply engages youth to explore and give back to their community. At the core of this goal is the Public Art Project, now embarking on its second year. The Public Art Project engages youth and the community through classes, workshops, artist talks, field trips and public installations in and around HOLA’s neighborhood. Each year, HOLA hires new artists or a collective to implement a public art-themed project during their residency. HOLA utilizes public art as a vehicle to connect established and emerging local artists to the Rampart and Westlake community and to collaborate with its members and LA organizations, using this culturally rich and diverse neighborhood as a canvas to create art. HOLA is located next to the prominent MacArthur Park, and has inspired dialogue in the park by designing creative and unique art installations. In its first year, artists Pearl C. Hsiung and Anna Sew Hoy collaborated with youth on We Are Talking Pyramids, a multimedia, multi-venue public art project drawing inspiration from the park and the personal histories and everyday experiences of the students. The Public Art Project exposes students to myriad art forms, engages guest artists throughout the year and encourages its students to draw inspiration through self-reflection and engagement in their environment, but reaches even beyond the experiences of HOLA’s students and artists. We Are Talking Pyramids culminated in a day of art and performance in conjunction with the LevittLA 50 Free Concerts at the Levitt Pavillion stage and various sites throughout MacArthur Park. The goals were to involve, activate and inspire local families and the community and to create new art in dialogue with the pre-existing public sculptures and murals in the park. Over 2,000 people were in attendance for the event, an incredible starting point for the nascent Public Art Project. The Visual Arts program is only one of HOLA’s nine innovative, structured and rigorous programs. HOLA’s elementary, middle school and high school programs are led by highly trained, credentialed teachers and supplemented with a wide variety of enrichment activities that include visual arts classes, a full youth orchestra and choir, private and group music lessons, premiere soccer and basketball leagues, leadership, language and culture classes. HOLA is committed to providing wrap-around services for all of its youth, from targeted homework help to counseling and family services. To promote mental health, strong families, academic achievement and emotional development, HOLA provides its most at-risk students and their families with exceptional intervention and counseling services and resources. HOLA also employs a Parent and Community Resource Director who works to support effective communication with parents and to promote parent involvement in all of HOLA’s youth development programs. HOLA’s Visual Arts program is a key component of a holistic approach to after-school enrichment. Its students receive not only a substantive arts education, but comprehensive support that helps them change their life trajectory and attain a pathway out of poverty. It is critical that HOLA continue to expand its programs and provide as many at-risk Los Angeles youth as possible with hope for a better life, a community that believes in them and a place they can call home.