Our Story

In the summer of 1995, when the AIDS epidemic in the United States was at its height and children living with HIV were suffering from stigma and ostracism, a small group of Los Angeles residents, many in the film and TV business, came together to launch a summer camp program to offer them the “best week of their lives.”

Hosted at Camp Hilltop in the beautiful Malibu hills, and facilitated through a partnership with the newly founded Camp Heartland out of Milwaukee, Camp Pacific Heartland welcomed 58 children, ages 5 – 12, to our very first summer camp session: seven fun-filled days of love, acceptance and support.

Over the course of the past twenty-five years, Camp Pacific Heartland morphed into Hollywood HEART, adding a unique year round filmmaking program called The Movie Team, and, in 2008, transitioning our summer camp into Camp Hollywood HEART: a week-long arts-focused program for teens and young adults, ages 15 – 20, impacted by HIV/AIDS. Since 2011, Hollywood HEART has offered additional year-round arts education workshops and programming to Los Angeles area youth, through partnerships with a variety of social service agencies and educational organizations.

Throughout all of our quarter century of programming and outreach, Hollywood HEART has retained the magic of that first summer, when we reached out to support children who needed a chance to be understood and embraced ~ and to just feel like kids. Our programming today seeks to continue that legacy of love, creativity and acceptance.