image description

News & Events

Sitar Arts Center Extends Partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to Bring Bloomberg Arts Internship to Washington, D.C.

Sitar Arts Center Extends Partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to Bring Bloomberg Arts Internship to Washington, D.C. 

Forty-five rising public high school seniors to receive college readiness training and paid summer internships at renowned arts and cultural organizations 

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2024 — Sitar Arts Center and Bloomberg Philanthropies are partnering for the third consecutive year to bring Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) to Washington, D.C. Through the program, 45 public high school students will complete paid internships at one of 18 local cultural institutions, learning valuable skills that will prepare them for success in higher education or any career field they choose to pursue. 

BAI builds on Sitar’s 24-year history of providing high-quality and accessible arts education to children, teens, and young adults from every Ward of Washington, DC. Fostering a creative community of learning and belonging, Sitar Arts Center removes financial and cultural barriers to arts education and career training and believes everyone should have access to quality arts education. Each year, Sitar Arts Center provides transformative arts experiences to hundreds of students, including more than 100 paid internship positions through its workforce development program. 

“Building on our successful partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, we are thrilled to offer even more D.C. public high school students the transformative experience of a Bloomberg Arts Internship,” said Maureen Dwyer, executive director of Sitar Arts Center. “This program not only equips students with professional skills but also fosters a sense of belonging within the vibrant D.C. arts community. We’re confident the Bloomberg Arts Internship will continue to be a springboard for our students’ success, be it in the arts or any path they set out on.” 

Since 2012, Bloomberg Arts Internship has offered 1,700 internships across more than 250 cultural organizations in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and Washington D.C. This year, two new cities are joining the program — Detroit and New Orleans. In the next two years, the program will provide more than 1,100 internships.  

Speaking about the growth of the Bloomberg Arts Internship, Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies said, “When this program began 12 years ago, it started with 25 students in New York City, and we’re glad that it has grown to serve over thousands of students across seven cities. None of this progress would be possible without our partners and now we will open even more doors of opportunity for young people.” 

BAI is designed to help prepare the next generation for success in the workforce, be it in the arts or other industries. It aims to provide meaningful workforce experience, develop knowledge of the creative sector as a career path, encourage awareness of culture as a civic resource, and prepare students to apply and transition into college. 

In addition to internships, students participating in BAI receive intensive college-readiness preparation and professional development designed to prepare them to successfully apply and transition into college and the workforce. This includes mentoring and weekly classroom workshops where they sharpen their writing skills and receive guidance on college applications, resulting in a full portfolio of work including a cover letter, resume, and samples from their internship. The program also provides weekly visits to cultural institutions, which include special tours and career panels with working arts professionals. In response to the post-pandemic, ongoing mental health crisis for young people, the program’s curriculum includes mental health awareness and support components. 

Program evaluator WolfBrown found that 80% of 2017-2022 program alumni report being currently enrolled in college or technical school, compared to 53% of high school graduates nationally. Further, 79% of interns since 2018 increased their writing proficiency — as measured by program evaluators via a nationally-used scoring metric —with close to 60% of interns achieving scores that would exempt them from remedial college coursework. 

Sitar is leveraging its long-standing relationships with leading local arts and cultural organizations across the city to connect interns and worksites. In addition to Sitar, Bloomberg Arts Internship worksites will include:   

  • Anacostia Playhouse 
  • Capital Hill Arts Workshop 
  • Children’s Legacy Theater  
  • Dance Institute of Washington 
  • DC Arts Center  
  • DC Fashion Foundation  
  • Grassroots DC  
  • Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens  
  • National Children’s Museum  
  • National Theatre Foundation  
  • O Street Mansion  
  • Project Create  
  • Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery  
  • Studio Acting Conservatory  
  • The MusicianShip  
  • Touchstone Art Gallery  
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Institute 

BAI will run seven weeks in Washington, D.C., from June 24 though August 9. Interns will earn a living wage while gaining experience crucial to accessing future education or career opportunities.  

About Sitar Arts Center 

Founded in 2000, Sitar Arts Center advances equitable access to high quality education and workforce development in the visual, performing, and digital arts. Sitar Arts Center engages DC youth, from early childhood to young adulthood, in building a creative community of learning and belonging that removes financial and cultural barriers to arts education and career training. Sitar envisions a city in which all young people experience transformative moments through quality, accessible arts education, and career training, and are supported on their path to discover their creativity and achieve their full potential. For more information, visit