Ten Fun and Artsy Things to Do in Hollywood

Got Art? Want Art?  Need your fix of Seeing, Hearing, Doing or Making Art?  Hollywood’s Got Art!

To see and experience amazing art, there is, of course, the award-winning Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, where you’ll find ever-changing, unique exhibitions of local and international artists. (See our in-depth article on the Center in this issue.)

And there’s the Young Circle ArtsPark, with its in-house artisans, pop-up museum exhibits, concerts, and events.  Be sure to check out the Downtown Hollywood Art Walk on the third Saturday night of every month, and the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project; here’s a map and info: http://www.hollywoodcra.org/DocumentCenter/View/172

But beyond these City institutions, there are a multitude of art-related businesses in Hollywood, where you can stop, shop, look, listen, create, play, get your hands dirty, or just be a kid again — and sometimes, actually walk away with something useful or pretty that you made all by yourself!

Here are some of them: 

(Editor’s note: Most of these businesses offer private lessons, private parties, custom commissions and more.  Most recommend or require reservations.  Call them directly for the best information.)

Make some Noise at Scratch DJ Academy

Ever picture yourself up on the DJ stand at a club, or as the front man at a wedding, or hard at work in a studio, mastering the music?  

Whatever your dream, if you really love music, DJing could be your next step.

It’s a new level of creating music, said Jamie Keogh, aka DJ Immortal, director of Scratch DJ Academy here in Hollywood.   Founded in 2002 by Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, Scratch is the world’s leader in DJing & music production and has taught over 500,000 aspiring DJs and producers worldwide.

Scratch DJ Academy Hollywood offers courses from private lessons to a full Certification curriculum which can prepare you for a new, sometimes very lucrative and world-traveling, career.  All students have unlimited access to Scratch Academy’s full state-of-the-art facility for practice.  And, added Keogh, classes or lessons make amazing gifts for music lovers who have everything.

Scratch DJ Academy
2017 Harrison Street
754 757 0015

 I Think We Can Make It — at AR Workshop® Hollywood

When Hollywood resident Wendy Weimer attended an AR Workshop® last year, she knew right away that she wanted to run one of these boutique DIY workshops for herself.  And within just a few months, she and her husband Don opened AR Workshop® Hollywood on Harrison Street.  

This spinoff of design firm Anders Ruff® gives anyone, even those with limited skills, the opportunity to create custom home decor items from start to finish.  Among the 1000+ items currently available are canvas pillows, tote bags, wall hangings, wood signs, frames, clocks, trays and decorative ladders, chalkboards, chunky knit blankets, stamped personalized metal jewelry and more.  New items are added monthly.


Guests select their item and design and are instructed step by step as they build the item starting from raw materials to personalization to finishing. In one workshop, they can create a completed item that is ready to use or give as a gift. Custom items are also available.

In addition to the products supplied by the franchise, Weimer noted that they plan to add some other specialty workshops and Meet-ups to build on Hollywood’s artisan vibe and attract some new people into the fold.

AR Workshop® Hollywood
2029 Harrison St
954 282 5060

Artsiness and AC for the Less Active at Cinema Paradiso Hollywood

Okay, not every artistic person wants to get their hands dirty.  Some prefer to sit back and watch. For those, welcome to Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, an outpost of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.  

During FLIFF, which is held in the fall, Cinema Paradiso Hollywood is one of the main venues for the new and independent films.  But the theatre is open all year long, to delight lovers of all movie genres, said Gregory von Hausch, President & CEO of Savor Cinema, Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, and the entire Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.  

Throughout the rest of the year, they present an impressive lineup of indie and foreign language cinema, usually films that would not play down here at all if it weren’t for the film festival or Cinema Paradiso.   In January through March, the theatre goes more mainstream and plays films spotlighted in the Awards Season. 

From time to time, von Hausch added,  the theatre will host filmmaker Q&A sessions after a screening, wine tastings, free buffets and other special late-night screening and special,  open to the public, events.  And, he added, the popcorn is the best available, east of 441. 

Cinema Paradiso Hollywood
2008 Hollywood Blvd.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot at Hollywood Hot Glass

When Brenna Baker Brown, a native of Corning New York, went to work at the Corning Glass Company at age 14, like a lot of people in her town, she knew she was artistic and she knew she wanted to work in glass.  But she didn’t even dream that one day she would become the proprietor of one of Hollywood, Florida’s hottest (please pardon the pun) art workshops.

Hotglassbrenna e

Since 2013, Hollywood Hot Glass, located in the Visual Arts Pavilion in the ArtsPark at Young Circle, has welcomed thousands of visitors who, in just about  20 minutes and with the help of a highly-trained instructor/artist, create unique and beautiful glass sculptures.

Beginners can choose from ten beautiful items, while more experienced students can sign on to tackle larger projects.   Anyone can watch the free glass blowing demonstration or shop in the on-site gallery.  And if it’s cold outside, just come on in and warm up!

Hollywood Hot Glass also offers a new service, Cremation Creations, where a client can create a piece containing the ashes of a loved one or pet, to keep them near you forever.

No matter what you choose, you’ll soon be the owner of a truly gorgeous glass piece, that you’ll be proud to own, display, or give as a gift and say that you actually made it yourself!

Hollywood Hot Glass
Visual Arts Pavilion Young Circle ArtsPark
954 732 7231

Getting your Market Share at L/Mercado Studios

Maybe Dorandy Mercado was fated to own some kind of market just by virtue of her name, Mercado.  But she never intended it to be that way.  She is an artist, and was not interested in business. 

Then she and her friend Laura Gasper, another artist with whom she worked at a pottery studio, decided to look for flexible studio space where they could expand their artistic endeavors.  What they found were other people who needed the same thing, and no places where it already existed.  So they decided to create it, and L/Mercado Studios was born.  Three years later, the business is flourishing.

L/Mercado Studios offers the opportunity for both new and experienced artists to be a part of an arts community with a small gallery/boutique, studio rentals and a full schedule of one-day workshops and ongoing classes, in four basic types of art: Ceramics, Painting and Drawing, PrintMaking and Glass Fusion. For the working artist, L/Mercado has private and common area workspaces for rent, plus a glaze room and a kiln room with two large ceramic kilns and one for glass. There is a common space for group classes and practice space for all students.

Mercado stressed that the studio is appropriate for all age groups, stating that she’s worked with artists as young as 3 and some over 70, and that anyone, artist or novice, is welcome to come in and take a class and learn.

L/Mercado Studios
2000 Harrison Street, suites 8 & 9
754 217 4713

Go for the Gold at Ana Esther Designs

Here’s a little secret you may not know: Right behind Hollywood Hot Glass in the Visual Arts Pavilion in the ArtsPark at Young Circle, behind closed doors, there are two very talented artists at work, like little elves hidden in a tree.  Behind the first door is Esther Soued, known an award-winning metalsmith and jewelry designer,  who is actually the official Head Jeweler for the City of Hollywood.  

Since the opening of the park, she’s been working in the metals studio, creating beautiful pieces of wearable art in precious and base metals, giving group classes and private lessons to budding and experienced artists, preparing exhibitions for galleries and museums around the country, and selling her one-of-a-kind designs to locals and visitors alike.   And she’s ready to teach you how to create a metal piece “like in a store” from beginning to end, she said.

There’s a basic series of group classes, as well as more advanced lessons available.  However, she stresses, some finished pieces, like beaded necklaces and lariats, can be completed in one class.  

Go in and see what she, and you, can create.

Ana Esther Designs
The Visual Arts Pavilion at Young Circle ArtsPark
305 450 5125

Get Soft and Fluffy Art at the Fiber and Video Arts Studio by Jen Clay

Right next to Ana Esther Designs, open the door that says Fiber and Video Arts Studio, and you’ll find yourself in a kind of surreal, high-ceilinged space filled with oversized creatures and bright colors and one smiling young artist who is ready to share her art and show you what she’s doing, and invite you to play along!

Jen Clay, the new Young Circle artist in residence, combines textiles, Claymation and animation to create videos, performances, costumed creatures, art installations and much much more.  And four evenings a week, on  Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 5 to 10 pm, she invites everyone to visit and play.   She does coloring and drawing, sticker making, drawing with yarn tufting, and has even led a “make your own video game” class.  And it’s all free of charge! No reservations required!

These days, Clay is preparing for a big interactive textile and video exhibit that will open in April at the Young At Art Museum in Davie, but will always take time to show people what she’s working on and have them contribute to her Sticker Wall, touch and examine her fabric creations and learn a little about what it’s like to make art and be an artist for a living.

After April, she will be scheduling some classes, events, and workshops in rug-making and other specialties.  Send her an email — she promises to get back to everyone quickly — and get put on her mailing list.  You can check out her website to get an idea of the kind of things she does as a professional artist, but you’ve really got to stop in and see it for yourself to understand.

Fiber and Video Arts Studio by Jen Clay
The Visual Arts Pavilion at Young Circle ArtsPark

Off the Beaten Path — i.e. There’s More to Hollywood than Just Downtown!

Feeling a little adventurous? Those who dare to venture a little off the main drags of Hollywood and Harrison will find themselves a few more places that promise to delight their artistic senses and pique their creativity.  

Get Colorful at MIY (Make It Yourself) Ceramics & Glass

On Dixie Highway just a few blocks south of Harrison, it’s easy to find MIY Ceramics and Glass — just look for the fun, colorful hand-painted door on the East side of the tracks.  Inside, you’ll be dazzled by the plethora of colored glass, jewelry, pottery and home decor pieces that fill the bright, spacious workshop and you’ll feel instantly welcomed by the warm, gracious members of the studio.  

MIY has been around for 23 years, 10 years in the current space.  The studio offers a wide range of classes and events in many categories of arts and crafts for children and adults.  For walk-in customers, there are paint-it-yourself ceramics that are inexpensive and can be completed in one day.  If you’re inclined to take on something bigger, the studio offers classes in every kind of ceramics, pottery, hand building and glazing, glass fusing, lamp-working. painting and mosaics.  They also teach Boy Scouts pottery merit badge classes, run ceramics summer camps, offer kiln firing services, sell supplies and tools and restore artwork. And their special events and holiday classes are maybe even a bit more unique and interesting than others.

Of course, the studio is complete with a student gallery/gift shop.  Classes run for various lengths of time and lessons are available for beginners to advanced artists.  The studio also hosts workshops, monthly Meet-Ups, and quarterly juried exhibitions

MIY Ceramics and Glass
723 S Dixie Highway
954 927 7300

Go West, Young (and Not-So-Young) Artists, to Harris Art Studio

You may or may not find gold, but you will find a really good art school, where the mission is “To provide a fun, safe, comfortable environment where people with an interest, a passion, an appreciation or just a curiosity for Art, can explore creativity and express creatively.” And for the past seven years, owner Kyle B Harris has been doing just that, helping kids and adults have a great time while learning about and expanding their own creative instincts.

Ten fun and artsy things to do in hollywood

Harris studied art in high school and college but feeling confined by desks and books, soon switched her focus to television production and journalism.  After 30 years as a journalist, though, her passion returned and brought her back to her first love, making art. 

As a teacher, she said, she’s still always learning, especially all the new techniques and supplies, and is constantly inspired by students and other artists with whom she works at the studio, which offers a full range of classes and workshops in drawing, painting, mixed media and crafts. All skill levels can learn to draw and paint, she noted, in progressive classes that run in six-week sessions in small class sizes.  

Parties are also a big part of the business, some with wine(!), as well as monthly open art workshops. Right now, registration has just opened for Harris’s Creative Arts Summer Camp, and, she noted, it’s already filling up with a lot of repeat clients. She creates a different theme every week in the camp, to keep the kids engaged.

Harris Art Studio
6629 Taft St
781 308 1379

Get Blinged Out at C by Me

Mother and daughter teachers Judy Klahr and Jessica Sanchez loved teaching but missed doing the fun stuff that you don’t get to do when you work in the school system.  So five years ago, they created a business that would let them teach and give them the freedom of being on their own.  They launched C by Me with the goal to give kids Fun Days Off.

C by Me — which stands for Created by Me —  offers after-school art classes on Thursdays, but where they really shine is with their parties and events by appointment and their holiday and “no-school day” camps.   Almost every school holiday and all summer long,  C by Me fills kids’ days with different arts and crafts projects, edible art, messy activities, different slimes, dance, exercise, and play games. Once a week summer field trips are also included.

Most popular, according to Sanchez, are the Wearable Art Classes, where partygoers get to decorate clothing and accessories with rhinestones, patches and more,  complete the project by the end of the event, and then star in a fashion show to show off their creations. A Wearable Art Class was featured on PBS Kidvision, and, teachers that they are, Sanchez and Klahr pepper the instructions with vocabulary and other life lessons.  

C by Me is filled with many choices of arts and crafts for kids of all ages and interests; you can see a lot of them on their website or speak with the proprietors to create one perfect for you.  Best to check with them while the kids are in school though, as they’re usually busy when the kids are off.

C By Me
4624 Hollywood Blvd., Ste 203
(954) 926-3636


Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


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