The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) is a free in-school or after-school arts education program designed to empower students in grades 4 through 12 with the tools they need to be active change agents in their community.

HALA's mission is to empower students through arts, cultural and academic enrichment, STEAM education and social justice projects that cultivate potential and inspire active leadership. 

HALA officially launched its pilot phase in January 2018 in partnership with schools surrounding the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood, including Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, Southeastern High School, Marcus Garvey Academy and Cesar Chavez Academy East. Through these partnerships HALA will reach more than 100 students through two consecutive 9-week in-school and after-school sessions. HALA course offerings between January and June 2018 will include: Art through Hip Hop, Writes of Passage, and Art Speaks: Mural Project.

“Art gives students a much needed outlet. It also introduces them to a world of unknown explorations. The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy is important because this program will help build my student’s knowledge of the arts and beyond”.
— Adasina Philyaw, Principal of Cesar Chavez Academy Elementary East
“ The importance of arts education is paramount to the development of the whole child. The Heidelberg Project is an iconic Detroit community arts organization and the partnership with Southeastern high school will allow our students to appreciate the history, significance and richness of the arts in the city.
— A. Washington, Assistant Principal, Southeastern High Schools
“I am excited for our students to participate in the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy because the students will have the opportunity to learn more about the arts and music. Also it is important for students to understand that art and music is social justice and can be used as a platform to better their community.”
— Dan Wolford, Assistant Director of Academic Engagement, Martin Luther King High School
“I believe that the arts are critical to integrating core content into the lives of students. Without the arts we have a fragmented understanding of reality...The arts represent the mortar that solidifies core content so students leave us with a complete understanding of the real world.”
— Dr. Ward, Director of Academic Engagement, Martin Luther King High School

See photos above from our inaugural Art Speaks: Mural Project field trip led by Viranel Cleard of the Detroit Mural Project. 


Bus transportation for our Art Speaks: Mural Project field trip is sponsored by:


If you or someone you know is an educator in the Detroit area who is interested in partnering with our HALA program in 2018-19, contact Anya Dennis by email at or by phone at (313) 458-8414.


For sponsorship opportunities, contact Keisa Davis by email at or by phone at (313) 458-8414.



The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy is supported in part by the DRESNER FOUNDATION, the MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS, and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS