Hollywood Arts is a one-of-a-kind educational facility that uses arts, music and performance-based education to help homeless young people prepare for productive and successful futures. Classes at Hollywood Arts provide a foundation for life-long learning and professional practices in music, fashion, entertainment, and (coming soon) electronic arts by teaching fundamental thinking and knowledge-based skills that enable our students to become adept, well-informed makers and participators in both the creative disciplines and in larger societal conversations.
We at Hollywood Arts believe that the creative experience, for both makers and participants, is inseparable from healthy emotional and intellectual development. Specifically we believe that experiences with the arts provide young people with a place to feel safe; become better thinkers; experience accomplishments that lead to improved self-esteem; teach relationship management through group exercises and projects; and help young people master basic educational concepts. The ability to manage these aspects of one’s life helps individuals to become healthy, successful people who are empowered to change their own lives, helping to break the cycle of poverty
Dylan Kendall founded Hollywood Arts in 2005. After locating her personal ceramics studio in Hollywood and inviting “street youth” to take classes, she quickly discovered that the young people on the streets of Hollywood weren’t kids nor were they interested in ceramics. An idea came to her after remembering her own days living hand-to-mouth in Paris and sneaking in to attend classes at Parsons Art School. She closed down her ceramics studio and built Hollywood Arts, the first educational facility in the nation to use arts, music and performance-based education to help homeless kids change their lives. The idea started as an off-site program at local shelters and drop-in centers but within months she opened the doors to Hollywood Arts, creating a space with a computer lab, a fully-equipped music studio and wall-to-wall art and writing supplies.
In year one, over 300 homeless young adults had attended free classes at the facility, many of them returning for months, some transitioning to jobs. The vision to create a school that would, as Mary Poppins said, “make the education go down with honey” worked. Hollywood Arts continues to reach more young people yearly helping them develop emotional maturity, improve self-esteem, and master basic life and vocational skills.