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Sitar Arts Center provides after-school, weekend and summer classes in the visual arts, music, drama, dance, digital arts and creative writing to over 700 students a year. Through a compassionate community, opportunities for growth and skill-building, high expectations, caring adult mentors and helping students discover their inherent gifts, Sitar transforms the lives of the District's children and youth.
With 80% of its students coming from low-income households, Sitar Arts Center makes arts education affordable and accessible for students and families who otherwise would not have these opportunities. The Center is a vital safe-haven for its students during the high-risk afterschool, Saturday and summer hours in an area where youth in Washington, DC face many negative life choices and often unsafe streets.
In addition to classes for school aged-children through adults in Arts Afterschool, the Center offers Early Childhood Arts, intensive programs for teens, the annual summer musical, Camp Sitar, the Instrumental Music Academy, and a Performance and Gallery Series, exposing our students and the greater community to a variety of artists and art forms at a professional level.
More than 100 talented artists volunteer their time each week to teach and inspire the Center’s students in a state-of-the-art facility. Together with a network of premier partnering arts organizations such as Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Washington Ballet, the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Performing Arts Society, DC Jazz Festival and The Shakespeare Theatre, our passionate faculty makes a lasting impact on our students’ lives.
In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama presented Sitar Arts Center with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly the Coming Up Taller Award) from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, distinguishing Sitar as one of the premier afterschool arts and humanities organizations serving youth in the country.
Making a high-quality arts education available to all students, Sitar Arts Center relies on charitable contributions to ensure that no family is ever turned away because of inability to pay.