As part of their efforts to level the playing field for students in Los Angeles, the Leonard Hill Charitable Trust has awarded MOCA an extraordinary $700,000 grant to support a significant expansion of its nationally renowned and longest standing education program, Contemporary Art Start. Representing the single largest gift to CAS in MOCA history, this generous contribution provides MOCA with key resources to deepen learning for students across Los Angeles County with the greatest barriers to arts education. CAS utilizes an inquiry-based approach that improves critical thinking and communication skills as well as self-confidence in its young participants—building blocks for success in all areas of life. While today the program serves 5,000 students and 100 teachers each year, the Trust’s five-year commitment paves the way for CAS to almost double its impact to over 8,500 students and 170 teachers annually.
MOCA’s partnership with the Leonard Hill Charitable Trust honors the legacy of its late namesake—a prolific television producer, real estate developer, and native Angeleno with a deep passion for social justice. Len made an indelible mark on downtown L.A. and the Arts District, including his involvement in the founding of MOCA. The expansion of CAS comes at a time when students from underserved communities need more support than ever before due to the impact of school closures and the pandemic. The CAS teacher training sessions that are core to the professional development with MOCA Educators have been renamed The Leonard Hill Classroom Coaching Program. MOCA will expand services in high-need regions and build relationships with schools not previously enrolled, integrating CAS into school communities that have been most deprived of necessary supports for students and teachers. In each classroom, CAS will grow visual literacy, as well as critical thinking and language skills, through a dynamic curriculum that examines a wide variety of contemporary artworks in context. Students will visit both Museum locations, cultivating intellectual curiosity and creativity as they take interactive tours of MOCA exhibitions. Families can also engage in other free programs including Student Art Connection. Thanks to the Leonard Hill Charitable Trust, this powerful contemporary art experience will expand to reach 70% more youth annually.
About The Leonard Hill Charitable Trust
The Leonard Hill Charitable Trust works to level the playing field for low-income students in Los Angeles through catalytic growth investments in scalable solutions with a proven track record of creating lasting and impactful change for students. Since 2016, the Trust has funded significant projects helping our most underserved students access high-quality tutoring and mentoring, successfully navigate the path to college, and close achievement gaps for students in Watts, among others.