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Meet Hike Mkhoian of Art and Play in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hike Mkhoian.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For over 20 years, I have taught in preschools and elementary schools, special needs and typical children. After many years of learning and growing in the field, I decided to open my own art studio instead. I have always taught children through art and find art to be a magical world of creation and imagination/feeling.

In my studio, children get to also sing songs with instruments and even have dance parties and other creative outlets.

Besides working with children, we provide art time for adults as well and it’s open for anyone to sign up! 🙂

Besides teaching for those many years, I also ran my own non-profit organization, Hike It Up. Throughout the eight years, we adopted an emergency battered women’s shelter where we cooked breakfast Sunday mornings and provided everyone with holiday gifts. Besides helping that particular shelter, Hike It Up also worked with many other organizations helping homeless families and individuals.

We also hosted street cleanups and monthly events for adults with disabilities. The best part was children were able to volunteer at almost all my events with Hike It Up.

After I stopped Hike It Up and quit teaching, I have opened up my studio Art and Play where I still do outreach with the families involved in the studio. So, even though I have moved on from certain “positions”, I still love using my space to do community outreach a few times a year. In the two years that we have been open, we have helped many families. We also invite an all disabled women’s home to make art and participate in our events.

The studio is also available to be rented by others who also want to teach art or host classes.

Has it been a smooth road?
Having a business is a challenge since everything in life depends on its survival and thrive. Every day, there is one thought that crosses mind and it’s doing the math to try to figure out if I can make rent for the following month. Thankfully, many students are returning and some new families are interested in joining Art and Play since we are about the process, not the product.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Art and Play.
It’s about the process.

I have lots of pride in my business since I have families that not only support the arts but my mission and vision to bring the community together to help others.

Throughout the week, I host art and play classes in people’s homes and in the studio for young children, under the age of five.

I also host classes for older children in the studio.

A few times a year, I host an outreach day where we gather in the studio and do something to help the community.

Once we made 300+ hygiene packets for homeless people on the streets, I collect many items to donate to shelters nearby, etc.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Since I have been teaching for such a long time, I felt confident in going into this business and I honestly don’t see it as “business”… it’s more like a second home to me.

I recommend others to do things with passion and determination and with love and laughter… or just don’t do it.

Children are involved in my business and if that’s not innocence and laughter I don’t know what is. 🙂

Contact Info:

  • Website: artandplay.gallery
  • Email: artandplayLA@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Art and Play
  • Facebook: Art and Play

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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