Vision. Mission. Values.
Whenever someone tells the story of how and why the Sitar Arts Center began, they start by remembering Patricia Sitar. A lively and creative spirit, Pat spent much of her life exploring the arts and looking for ways to better society. In the late 1970s, she joined the Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., and soon became the secretary for Jubilee Housing, a nonprofit organization that grew out of Church of the Savior and provides affordable housing to disadvantaged families in Adams Morgan.
Pat worked closely with the families in her community and by 1985 became concerned that not enough was being done to address the needs of the children living in the Jubilee Housing buildings. With encouragement from leaders in the Church of the Saviour, she and friend Barbara Moore formed Good Shepherd Ministries, a safe and nurturing place that children could go after school. The organization quickly grew into three centers, which served nearly 100 students each day and operated with the help of ten staff members and dozens of volunteers.
At the age of 67, Pat retired from the directorship of Good Shepherd and moved to Sarah’s Circle due to health problems. She continued to give to the community by teaching art classes to seniors and children and by raising funds for Good Shepherd through art shows and sales of her paintings. Pat passed away in 2001.
As a talented and accomplished artist in her own right, she understood the enormous benefits of art in improving the quality of individual lives and the community as a whole. When Rhonda Buckley, originally a volunteer at Good Shepherd and later the director of Good Shepherd Music School, approached Pat with the idea of starting a separate organization to address a variety of artistic needs in the community, Pat fully encouraged the idea.
Because of Pat’s unwavering support and inspiration, Rhonda Buckley named the organization “The Patricia M. Sitar Center for the Arts” in honor of her mentor. Pat was active at the Center until her death, teaching art classes and serving as a close friend to many students and volunteers. Now Sitar Arts Center will forever be alive with Pat’s spirit and love for the arts, children, and community.