About Us


Hollywood HEART develops character strengths, confidence, and resiliency in at-risk youth through purposeful engagement in the arts.

Hollywood HEART teaching artists work as Creative Co-Authors by partnering with youth (Artists) through collaborative instruction and exploration in visual arts, acting, creative writing, photography, music and vocal performance, fashion, spoken-word, and film-making.

All HH programs focus on character strength and resiliency as defined by (6) specific factors: Grit, Self Control, Zest, Social Intelligence, Optimism, and Curiosity. We currently offer year­ round Artist Journey workshops as well as an annual summer arts camp for youth who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Hollywood HEART is proud to be recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Community Need:

Since 1995, HH has recognized a great need for services for young people in the 13­-24 age group. While many arts education programs focus primarily on arts and academia, HH programs are founded in the research that supports the positive correlation between specific character strengths and later academic success and life satisfaction. At HH, we passionately believe that destinies are malleable and that even life stories of trauma and tragedy can be re-written. Through creative and collaborative Co-Authorship, young artists increase their understanding of character and resiliency and build on their current strengths through experiential activities in the arts and curriculum that gives them a purposeful vocabulary and set of tools to create their successes individually and in the context of community.

Hollywood HEART Arts and Resiliency Programs, develop additional, specific skills including: emotional regulation, concentration, persistence, compassion, expression of emotion, motivation, critical thinking, problem solving, empathy, professionalism, self-concept, openness to experience,curiosity, innovation, help-seeking behavior, cross-cultural understanding, communication, gratitude, and collaboration—skills key to meeting the emotional, intellectual and professional challenges that young people encounter in today’s society. HH designs programs for youth that enhance and develop strengths of character through kind, collaborative, and creative processes.

Arts and Resiliency Programs:

HH offers two programs which partner with youth to celebrate their creative processes, enhance character strengths, and develop specific skills they will need as they transition successfully into adulthood:

Artist Journey Workshops provide 1 Day, weekend, after school, and school-based (10 week) formats for youth in the Los Angeles area ages 13­ to 21 to participate in Art and Resiliency. The goal is to provide purposeful learning and sharing experiences with working professionals in the arts and entertainment industries to enhance character, experience the joy of creating and belonging to an artistic community while also developing and practicing skills in the arts. Our Arts and Resiliency Workshops provided experiences that foster a sense of Belongingness, Usefulness, and Competency in each participating young artist.

Camp Hollywood HEART (CHH) is a week­ long arts camp that partners HIV/AIDS affected youth, ages 15 to ­20 with arts and entertainment industry professionals for an intensive, educational, and inspirational artistic experience. The week in Malibu culminates in a professionally produced live performance, empowering our young artists to showcase their creativity and artistic expression. Youth express their creative “voices” through the visual arts, music, film-making, acting, fashion design, creative writing, and spoken-word. The evening is a transformational experience for the young artists, staff, volunteers, and all who come to share in magic of this event.

Our Staff


Director of Programs

Alanna has had a decade-long career as a professional dancer performing with artists and companies such as Tokyo Disneyland, Cirque du Soleil, Bolshoi Ballet, Michael Bublé, Jay Leno, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Holland America Cruise Line, MGM Macau China and the Vancouver Winter Olympics. She has spent time teaching children and running summer programs at the Glendale Montessori Elementary School as their Summer Program Director and at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School for 200+ students. Alanna is currently in the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals program through Saint Mary’s College of California and is gearing up for rehearsals with the Los Angeles Opera in their production of Nabucco.




Grant Coordinator

Phillip is a performance poet who says, reading poetry out loud is to bring words alive. To perform the emotions in poetry is to deliver a poem directly to the soul of an audience. It’s risky, meditative, challenging and thrilling to alight people with the power of poetry. Phillip is very excited to be working with Hollywood HEART!






Our Board of Directors

David Gale, Founder and Chairman of the Board (Co-founder of We Are The Mighty)

David Shulman, Vice President and Treasurer of the Board (CEO, International Society of Hospitality Purchasers Group)

Laura Bushley, E.A., Secretary of the Board (Owner of Bushley and Associates)

Kesila Childers, Board Member (Director of Original Content, Vimeo)

Rodney Clark, Board Member (Foundation Consultant at Northwestern Mutual)

Andy Fiedler, Board Member (Head of Production at Six Point Harness)

John Gatins, Board Member and Writing Team Leader at Camp HH (Academy Nominated Screen Writer and Director)

Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr., Board Member and Music Team Leader at Camp HH (CEO, Urban Nation Academy for the Performing Arts)

Jody Simon, Board Member (Entertainment Lawyer, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP)


Advisory Board

Lisa Cavanaugh, Former Executive Director and The Movie Team and Camp Hollywood HEART Founder

Heather Dorak, Owner, Pilates Plus HBV

Jay Henneberry, Secretary and Attorney, Chadbourne & Parke LLP

Alexandra Mora, International Social Media Coordinator at TOMS

Pete Sepenuk, Voice Over Actor @ William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC

Jeanne Kekesi, Visual Arts Captain at Camp HH (Occupational Therapist)


Executive Leadership Council

Katharine Crnko

Andrew Dominguez

Jordan Duke

Monica Shapiro