Acclaimed Photographers Raise Thousands for Arts Education

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City Hearts’ recent Fresh Focus photography charity auction raised thousands for their arts education programs aimed at helping at-risk children

On September 8, City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts and West Hollywood’s Leica Gallery hosted the Seventh Annual Fresh Focus Photography Charity Auction with special Emcee, Jeff Garlin with catering by Petrossian, as the organization continues its mission of providing vital arts to the Los Angeles County area.

“Fresh Focus fuels the work of City Hearts, and we could not do it without the caliber of photography and the support of the photographers and our partners at Leica,” Sherry Jason, Co-Founder and Executive Director of City Hearts, said. 

“We are inspired every single day by the students as they embrace the opportunities Fresh Focus presents to them. It is no exaggeration to say that Fresh Focus changes lives—we’ve seen the impact in countless kids’ experiences. To those collectors and photography lovers who buy the art, your love of Photography does no less than power the future.”

Last year, legendary photographer Douglas Kirkland generously shared his time, talent, and passion for photography with City Hearts students by individually mentoring some of the children and teaching special courses in photography. Douglas was so impressed with City Hearts’ work, he created a scholarship fund in his name to benefit the “Fresh Focus: A New Shot at Life” photography program, ensuring that hundreds of children can continue to be inspired. 

“The generosity of these outstanding artists is making a difference in the lives of so many children,” Jason said.

The event featured more than 45 world-renowned photographers from all walks of life, who have contributed their stunning and impressive images to benefit City Hearts’ efforts. Donated works by the artists included Nick Ut’s celebrated image “Japanese Snow Monkey Bathing,” Herb Ritts’ striking photo of Elton John in repose, a 1966 photo of John Lennon by Douglas Kirkland, as well as the works of several noted Cinematographers from ASC including Emmy-winning cinematographer, John Simmons, ASC, and Topanga’s own James Chressanthis, ASC, GSC.

City Hearts: City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts is a non-profit organization that has been transforming lives through the Arts for over 35 years. Founded in 1984, by Topangans, Sherry and Bob Jason (of Topanga Nutcracker Ballet), City Hearts provides Arts education and enrichment to at-risk youth spanning a broad range of artistic expression from Dance and Musical Theatre, to World Music, Shakespeare, and Photography, all at no cost to the children or their families. Recently, City Hearts has partnered with


For more information, or if you’d like to contribute to Douglas Kirkland’s Fund, or City Hearts directly, visit the City Hearts website:; or contact: Sherry Jason:; (310)455-2898.


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