A photo of a young woman painting at an easel.

The Transformative Power of Faith, Art and Music

ByDouglas Morino

Art. Faith. Healing.

Muralist and educator Fabian Debora opened the doors of Homeboy Art Academy to IACS Executive Director Becky King Cerling, Ph.D. and USC Professor of Art History Lisa Pon, Ph.D., where they witnessed the transformative power of art and education.

Through art and music programs, Debora and Homeboy Art Academy provide educational opportunities, professional training and hope to more than 75,000 formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated youth and adults each year across Los Angeles County.

Debora, a renowned Chicano artist, was a featured speaker in our event series “Guadalupe: Holy Art in the Streets” exploring the role of Catholic faith and spirituality in street art.

The visit to Homeboy Art Academy in March 2023 was part of CHARM, a new initiative at USC bringing together faculty, staff and students from across our university to partner on projects and events on campus and in our communities.

Led by Professor Pon, CHARM is supported by the USC Office of Research Collaboration Fund and the Office of the Provost.

Photos courtesy of Leslie Ramirez of the Multimedia Careers Academy at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, Calif.