Sitar Arts Center opened, in the basement of an apartment building, with a simple idea: create a safe, nurturing, after-school environment in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where 80% of students come from low-income households, and let the arts flourish. And flourish they did. In just over a decade, Sitar has evolved into a multidisciplinary arts organization that annually reaches 850 students from every ward in the District. A 15-week semester of classes at its (now state-of-the-art) center costs only $15-$55 – though no student is turned away for inability to pay. And the options are nearly unlimited: music, dance, theater, creative writing, visual and digital arts education for ages 6-18. Early Childhood Arts combines play, movement, and storytelling with parent education; and Camp Sitar is an intensive summer arts program for 160 campers, culminating in a full musical production. Young artists can truly mature and grow at Sitar, and the Emerging Arts Leaders and Summer Teen Intern programs give adolescents the chance to deepen their engagement. You can ensure that this wonderful place continues to sing.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 1
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; Adams Morgan; Columbia Heights; Mount Pleasant; Fort Totten; Takoma
Age Groups Served: Infants; Pre-K; Youth; Adolescence; Teenagers; Young Adult; Grades K-5; Grades K-12; Grades 6-12; Grade 9-12
Ethnic Groups Served: African American, 32%; Asian American, 2%; Caucasian, 17%; Latino/Hispanic, 48%; Native American, 1%
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income
Schools They Work In: H.D. Cooke Elementary School; Marie Reed Elementary School; Creative Minds International Public Charter School; Bridges Public Charter School; Briya Public Charter School; Takoma Education Campus
Awards & Recognition
Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education - 2002
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award - Semi-Finalist - 2009
The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management - 2015
Catalogue for Philanthropy - One of the Best - 2015
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Sitar Arts Center is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
About the Catalogue for Philanthropy
The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $30 million for charities across Greater Washington.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!