City Hearts Celebrates Highly Successful Benefit Auction at Leica Gallery

Sherry and Bob Jason, State Senator Henry Stern, Douglas and Françoise Kirkland, James Chressanthis. Photo by Anna Wilding, The Kalon Group

The Topanga non-profit teamed up with fine artists, celebrities, and politicians to put a fresh focus on arts education.

Topanga’s own City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts recently capped off its Sixth Annual Fresh Focus Benefit Photography Auction with rousing success.

City Hearts—founded by Topangans and former criminal defense attorneys, Sherry and Bob Jason—is an organization dedicated to providing the highest quality Arts education and enrichment programs to underserved youth throughout the city. They have been based in Topanga for more than 34 years, and helping at-risk children across L.A. County since their inception in 1984. Events like the recent Fresh Focus auction help to provide the crucial funding needed to continue and expand their important educational programs to the next great generation of thinkers, and community activists.

This year’s Fresh Focus auction saw some of the biggest names in art and politics coming together to support City Hearts’ mission and get involved in shaping the future of not only our city, but the creative world at large.

Legendary photographer Douglas Kirkland, most known for his iconic images of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, and Audrey Hepburn, received commendations for all of the amazing work he has been doing recently with City Hearts, including individually mentoring students and teaching special courses in photography.

Kirkland was also presented with an award, together with his wife Françoise Kirkland, for their creation of the Douglas Kirkland Scholarship Fund, supporting City Hearts’ photography program.

The awards were presented by Susan Ng, from L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office, and State Senator Henry Stern. Stern was in attendance and personally presented his official Senate commendations to City Hearts founders for their incredible work in educating and inspiring the youth of Los Angeles.

Jonathan & Julianne Cake, Jeff Garlin. Photo by Morgan Chen

The event also saw some of Hollywood’s most familiar faces in emcee Jeff Garlin, as well as Topangans Jonathan Cake and Julianne Nicholson, and City Hearts Board Members James Chressanthis, Joe Grassi, and Ed O’Neill, who came out to show their support for this amazing cause.

To learn more about the incredible Arts Education programs at City Hearts, visit


The Jasons will also be producing and performing in the 38th annual Topanga Nutcracker, another special program near and dear to their hearts and especially to the community as a whole. The first Topanga Nutcracker debuted in 1981, and this charming Canyon favorite will be performing the weekend of  December 7, 8, 9.


Find more information:


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.