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News & Events

Essence Newhoff Joins Sitar as Senior Director of Development

Sitar Arts Center is pleased to announce the hire of Essence Newhoff as Senior Director of Development. Essence is a highly experienced fundraiser who brings passion for Sitar’s mission and impact. She begins full time on October 2 to lead the Center’s efforts to raise funds and investments in support of Sitar’s programs and activities. In her role, Essence works closely with the Leadership Council, Board of Directors, donors, and full Sitar community, engaging them in the work of Sitar and in identifying future opportunities. Essence will lead us in growing Sitar’s development program to widen the circle of those who will help to advance the Center’s mission to provide transformational, equitable, high-quality arts education to youth in DC.

 Essence talks to two young Sitar students.

“Sitar is a place of wonder and joy. I cannot think of an organizational mission—combining arts education, youth empowerment and community building—that more closely aligns with my personal values and my vision for a more perfect world. It is my pleasure and an honor to advance this mission,” said Essence Newhoff, Senior Director of Development, Sitar Arts Center.

Essence brings more than 25 years of successful and effective experience in fundraising—all related to arts and education, where she learned and exercised skills that Sitar needs for its next chapter of fundraising growth. Prior to joining Sitar, Essence served as Deputy Chief Development Officer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she built strategies, communications, and systems for development professionals and scholars to raise tens of millions of dollars for bipartisan policy research. Prior to CSIS, she worked at the Folger Shakespeare Library as the Director of Development where she set new records in grants, annual giving, major gifts, and gala income. In addition, Essence has served in development roles at the National Building Museum, George Washington University and three performing arts organizations in Seattle: On the Boards, Intiman Theatre and Seattle Group Theatre. She earned an M.P.A. in nonprofit and arts management from the University of Washington.

A former Adams Morgan resident, Essence has long admired Sitar’s growth into a $2 million organization. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters in their Washington, DC neighborhood. Essence is a fervent supporter of the arts and studied nearly all forms of dance, plus music, photography, poetry, theater (and more!) as a child and young adult. She has ensured that her children have grown up surrounded by the arts.

Please welcome Essence to the Sitar community!