The inspiration for HEAL comes from the founder's experience growing up in Miami, FL, where he discovered the power of the arts to nurture his aspirations for the future. The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center was where Harvey Lockhart first discovered his love for the arts through the instruction and mentoring he received in music, art, theater, dance, and photography. As band director at Riverview Gardens High School and Performing Arts Coordinator of Secondary Education for the district, Harvey realized the lack of professional arts training and opportunities for his students and many other young people living in low-income areas of St.Louis, MO. Recognizing the opportunity to reach more students by tapping into the fertile arts community in St. Louis, and by creating an arts center that is open to children of all ages, HEAL was created.
HEAL Center for the Arts was awarded 501(c)(3) status in December of 2016. Located in Grand Center with incubator support from the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, HEAL will operate in partnership with local school districts to provide a safe and supportive space where students of urban communities have access to high quality mentoring, tutoring, and arts education.