Maureen L. Dwyer is the executive director of Sitar Arts Center, a creative youth development program providing transformational arts experiences for underserved youth in Washington, DC. During her tenure, the Center grew from a small afterschool program to a year-round visual, digital and performing arts education program with 850 students. In 2016, Maureen led a real estate acquisition, renovation and capital campaign in order to expand Sitar’s programs, scope and vision to contribute to a city where families across the cultural, economic and racial spectrums can live and thrive.
In further pursuit of Sitar’s vision, Maureen is on the steering committee of a strategic alliance with other Ward One service providers committed to working together to eliminate the cycle of intergenerational poverty. She is a member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2014, on the collective impact committee of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative and served on the Board of DC Alliance for Youth Advocates.
In 2017 Sitar Arts Center won the Mayor’s Arts Award for education and in 2015 the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. Previous careers as a performing artist and early childhood educator (as well as parenting three boys) shape Maureen’s convictions that the arts are vital for positive youth development and that the opportunity gap for youth from low-income homes must be closed. Maureen holds a BA in drama from Catholic University of America.