Hollywood HEART was initially created as Camp Pacific Heartland (CPH), created by entertainment executive David Gale in 1995, the camp was founded to address the social and recreational needs of Southern California children affected by HIV/AIDS. After extensive research, Gale and the CPH board members chose to partner with the Midwest-based nonprofit organization One Heartland. Their dedicated team of counselors, doctors, nurses, social workers, and administrative staff helped provide CPH campers with optimum conditions for a healthy, sociable, and enjoyable summer camp experience.

Camp Pacific Heartland was held for 17 years in Malibu, California for kids aged 6-16 — providing them with opportunities to build skills, confidence, and hope. CPH allowed campers to take a break from the stress and stigma of living in a family impacted by HIV/AIDS while providing a safe environment in which these children can enjoy themselves and experience the normalcy they often lack in their lives.

Psychological support also addresses many non-medical issues the children at CPH may face; many campers have lost parents to AIDS and one half of them are living under the guardianship of someone other than a biological parent. Emotional tensions brought on by these painful circumstances are met with calm, understanding, and professional counsel.

The recreational activities included sports, nature programs, drama, arts and crafts, and creative writing. The Hollywood HEART movie team also provided its unique filmmaking workshop at each session of camp, during which the kids are afforded the opportunity to write, direct, produce, and star in their own short films. Past supporters include: David Arquette, Brandy, Jamar Rogers, Stacey Dash, Lil Mama, Nicole Richie, Charlize Theron, and Chris Tucker.


Created by former Executive Director Lisa Cavanaugh, The Movie Team sought to utilize the film industry backgrounds of Hollywood HEART’s founders, board members and volunteers to give children and teens the opportunity to participate in the art of filmmaking. Through the Movie Team experience, the young filmmakers learned to write, produce, and star in their own short films. The program collaborated with local social service agencies including foster homes, community groups and Boys and Girls Clubs to produce over 70 films throughout the United States and South Africa. The model has since been integrated into Camp Hollywood HEART as well as the ongoing Educational Arts Workshops.

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