Since its founding in the Lehigh Valley nearly 15 years ago, the Hispanic American League of Artists has made it possible for more than 2000 young people to experience firsthand the richness and variety of Latino culture and heritage, using the arts as its primary vehicle. Rooted in the richness of the Lehigh Valley’s diversity, HALA has reached out to provide education in the performing and visual arts to youngsters of all backgrounds, anchoring them firmly in Latino heritage within the full context of American experience and education.
HALA classes are offered free or at very minimal cost, so that even youngsters from struggling families have the opportunity to study Latin dance, participate in theatrical productions, learn to draw or create videos, or be a part of the Lehigh Valley Mural Project that has had such a dramatic impact on Center City Allentown. Their involvement in performances, with dance recitals in venues such as Musikfest and Mayfair, motivates them to work and hard and impart pride and confidence.
Engagement in the creative arts makes a tremendous impact on a child’s developmental growth and helps to level the learning field across socioeconomic, language, and cultural boundaries.
HALA helps young people to appreciate the arts through hands-on experience, to stretch, to grow, to dream. HALA teachers are role models, many of whom attended HALA classes as children. HALA participation provides a structure that reinforces the importance of education and citizenship—while participating in HALA programs, youths must maintain an acceptable grade point average in school and consistently demonstrate good behavior. It is noteworthy that HALA students typically pursue post-secondary education, and many HALA alumni are now making important contributions to the prosperity and solidity of the Lehigh Valley. HALA has also helped many at-risk children to succeed in school and after graduation.
HALA isn’t only for children. HALA also provides cultural programming, dance classes for adults, and special events such as Spanish-language films that are open to the entire Lehigh Valley population.
HALA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Our mission is to cultivate, educate, present, promote and collaborate with artists of all ages, employing the universal language of the arts to build strong communities and preserve the richness of our Latino cultural heritage.
Our Vision and Values
The key values that shape our vision for the future are:
Sandra Van Ardenne–Executive Director
Board of Directors