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Sitar Stories


Sitar Arts Center students flourish in the arts, in academics, and in life. One hundred percent of Sitar’s high school students graduate and most go on to higher education.

Sitar students:

  • Painted a community mural alongside First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Performed in The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Alice, and other productions, and received partial scholarships to study with The Washington Ballet.
  • Won Arena Stage’s annual Student Playwrights Project 10-Minute Play Competition three times.
  • Received awards for documentary films screened at national and local film festivals.

Read what some of our students have to say:

“The Sitar Arts Center has introduced me to an entirely different world.  A world of freedom.  Sitar has enabled me to express myself.”
~Tyra Bell, Age 14

“The Sitar Arts Center has given me a chance to discover and utilize my talents.  And has given me a positive alternative not only afterschool, but in most life aspects.”
~Deonte Smith, Age 17
Today, Deonte has become a confident young man who works in sales and has participated in Sitar’s Internship Program through the Summer Youth Employment Program.

“Sitar Arts Center has not only given me a deeper, more elaborate understanding of the arts, but also a home where I have matured and grown around the arts. Because of Sitar Arts Center, I will be graduating from high school and going to college.”
~ Joel, Age 17
Joel started studying violin, viola, and taking other classes at Sitar from age 8 on. He participated in the S.E.A.L. Program and today he is an impressive young man working part-time at Sitar as a Receptionist and studying personal finance.

“Sitar Arts Center has always been a second home to me. It is a place where I can express myself freely and never have to bother about any worries. When I am at Sitar, I feel free to express myself in any way I so choose to, and will be supported by the people there. Sitar has played a major role in my growing up, and I wish that other people can also enjoy the gifts that sitar offers. I am very fortunate to have a place like Sitar that has helped nurture me and helped me grow as an artist and a person. That is the power that Sitar Center has, the power to treat everyone that comes through its doors as its very own child”
~Nahom studied piano, among other things at Sitar from ages 7 to 18 and is now studying music in college.