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Fifteen Years Celebrating Kids, Arts and Community

A lot changes in 15 years. Barbara – a former Sitar student – is volunteering at Sitar Arts Center and recently found proof of that change. She unearthed pictures of us in our original basement space when she was a preteen and I was the grants writer. We began reminiscing about our leaky, but beloved, basement and the dauntless visionaries who gave Sitar its start.

Anniversaries have a way of drawing us into nostalgia, maybe even wishing for simpler times. Yet, as we look back at 15 years of Sitar’s joys and successes, the urgent reality is that we cannot stop here.

We must look forward because what has not changed over the last fifteen years is the persistent and insidious opportunity gap for children and youth from low-income households. As Barbara put it, “We are against all odds as kids from the city. I was once that kid.”

What does moving forward look like at Sitar? It is growing Sitar’s early childhood arts program to help our youngest children have an equal start. It is expanding Camp Sitar to full day so that our students are safe and do not experience summer learning loss. It is building more robust digital arts and workforce development programs to help our youth to learn and work in the 21st century.

What has not and will not change is the spark that is ignited in our children as they  discover their gifts through the arts.

While Barbara was busy sorting our past, her seven year-old son Nico was in his percussion class becoming our future.

It was essential that Barbara’s gifts were nurtured as a child and is essential fifteen years later for Nico. It is only with your love and support – the Sitar families, our volunteer faculty, artistic and philanthropic partners – that we have made it this far. It is only with you that we can move forward together.