Los Angeles, CA– White Hall Arts Academy held a ‘Rock The Block’ party and community celebration Jul. 31 in honor of their ten year anniversary. White Hall Arts Academy Founder and CEO Tanisha Hall has remained committed to making sure music lessons are accessible to Los Angeles youth.
Founded in 2011, White Hall Arts Academy sits in a two-story brick building on 54th near Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. Tanisha Hall’s grandmother operated her White House Beauty Salon in the same space after her grandparents, Marvin and Fannie White, bought the building in 1978.
A main stage was the anchor of ‘Rock The Block’ party, sitting directly in front of White Hall Arts Academy, with DJ R-Tistic setting the vibe.
There were performances from several artists on the main stage including Guordan Banks, DJ QwessCoast, DJ Bad, BOFiya, Chaneé and Musé. Rock The Block also had performances by White Hall Arts Academy Youth.
Powered by Chase, a panel on ‘Incorporating Your Hustle,” was hosted by KBLA’s Don Amiche with panelist Lia Dias founder of Hype Hair Magazine and Girl Cave LA, Keep it Run Hundred founder Alrick Augustine, White Hall Arts Academy founder Tanisha Hall and The Shade Room founder Angelica Nwandu.
Lisa Dixon Stevens, a Vice President and Senior Business Consultant with Chase was also a panelist. The bank recently launched a new initiative to address the structural and economic challenges, as part of their $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and provide economic opportunity (LA Sentinel).
While working with Chaka Khan’s foundation, Hall was surprised at the amount of kids who did not have the same access to musical lessons she did as a child. Music has always been a huge part of Hall’s development, whose musical journey began when she started playing the piano at age 1.
“I really didn’t understand the disparities because I had moved here as an import and all of my work was north of Pico,” Hall discussed during the panel.
Hall has mentored countless students throughout the decade, immersing them in various types of musical genres. Her main goal is keeping White Hall Arts programs affordable, to ensure children from all backgrounds can have access to the arts.
Several of Hall’s students have found success in the music industry, including GRAMMY winner Ant Clemons and “The Voice” contestant Jordyn Simone.
As a foster parent herself, Hall holds a special place in her heart for foster children and she understands the systemic barriers for those who have aged out of the system. Barriers which include the rampant homelessness for former foster youth in Los Angeles.
This is why White Hall Arts Academy offers free enrollment for any kids in foster care.
Rock The Block was really centered around celebrating the local community. There were various activation zones from community partners, along with vendors focused on education, wellness and family services.
There was also a kids zone, with various jumpers so local youth could bounce around and interact with each other. The zone also had live entertainment with clown dancing also known as “krumping.”
This style of dance was made popular by Tommy the Clown in 1992, where he would pull up with his Hip-Hop clowns and do street performances to enhance birthday experiences for kids in South Central.
The current White Hall Arts building will soon undergo $2 million in redevelopment–a project Hall is completely self-funding without the assistance of loans.
Hall has remained committed to local Los Angeles youth despite the opportunities to do music lessons in more affluent areas. Her reasoning is simple. They don’t need her. But the kids in South Central, South L.A and Watts do need the opportunity to create positive change through the impact of music.
White Hall Arts Academy was recently awarded $50,000 as a recipient of the Lewis Prize for Music’s 2022 Accelerator Awards. They have also received a $50,000 grant from Council member Marqueece Harris Dawson’s office.
Check out some more photos from White Hall Arts Academy’s Rock The Block 10 Year Celebration below: