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Private: S.E.A.L. Program Online


Sitar’s Emerging Arts Leaders (S.E.A.L.) Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to pick a major in the arts?

S.E.A.L. participants should have a deep interest in the arts. Each member chooses a major that allows them the opportunity to discover and experience an artistic area that they find interesting. If uncertain, a student can declare an open major until they are ready to decide.

As students begin to enter high school and think about college, the core classes that the S.E.A.L. program requires will help students decide if they are choosing the right path. Focusing on one area of art through a major also increases their depth of skill and experience as an artist. There are specific core classes that S.E.A.L.s must take within each major and electives that allow artists to more deeply explore their area of choice. Each member has an advisor who is available to talk about classes, school, extracurricular choices, etc.

Why does S.E.A.L. meet every week?

Members are required to attend at least one meeting each month, although they can come to all meetings. Each Friday S.E.A.L. meets to review the calendar, sign members up for new community service opportunities and trips, discuss upcoming news and opportunities for the program, and have guest speakers and events.

Some Fridays are outings only, so members must keep up with the calendar of events. We recommend coming to all the meetings to get the most out of the program.

Since S.E.A.L. members take different classes during the week, meetings give all members an opportunity to see each other. We have a lot of information to share with the members of S.E.A.L. and want as many opportunities as possible to allow the members of the program to use the Center to enhance their skills.

Why is community service important?

The success of Sitar Arts Center depends on its volunteer model. People from the DC Metropolitan area come at least once a week to volunteer their time at the Center, sharing their skills with our students. Sitar believes that Emerging Arts Leaders should understand the needs of their community and how they can contribute, as well as recognize their own gifts and strengths and learn how to coordinate efforts to benefit others

All members will have ample opportunities to sign up and complete community service hours each semester. Service hours can also be used for high school community service.

What do S.E.A.L. members do for fun?

S.E.A.L. members consist of painters, actors, musicians, writers, gamers…you name it, they’re here. The S.E.A.L. Program wants to encourage interests in all of these areas and we want students to have fun. Many of our trips will occur on Fridays, however, there may be an occasional opportunity for an event on a different day of the week. All events require advance sign-up and the majority of them are free.

Previously, we have been to Dance Place for a hip hop performance, to the National Sculpture Garden for ice skating, to an American University dance concert, to see opera performed by The Savoyards, to a musical theater workshop at Georgetown University and more.

Members are encouraged to invite friends to join S.E.A.L. Interested students can attend meetings and some outings. At the end of each semester, S.E.A.L. participants come together to celebrate their semester of accomplishments and plan a party. The members choose how they would like to spend their time, and each invite a non-member to join in on the festivities.

How can the S.E.A.L. Program help prepare me for college?

S.E.A.L. aims to involve students as early as age 12 to prepare them to think about their high school choices. Many students are unaware that preparation for college begins in middle school. Preparation includes learning correct study habits, choosing extracurricular activities and planning for high school. At this stage, the program opens up the thinking process for students about which direction they may take in school, career and life.

Once in high school, art students should begin developing a portfolio of their work. S.E.A.L. begins this stage of development for each student. Each member is assigned an advisor who is a professional in their field and can give advice about steps to take toward careers in their particular field of study.

S.E.A.L. is connecting with other arts venues within DC that are providing individualized opportunities to S.E.A.L. members for study with professional artists. These experiences can be applied to college applications and resumes.

Students who complete all aspects of the program, including coursework, community service, reflection, internship, portfolio development and independent study will receive a certificate and letter of completion, which can also be helpful to strengthen résumés.