At first glance, Washington’s public housing projects offer meager material for artistic inspiration. Boys living east of the Anacostia River often grow up without fathers, in neighborhoods plagued by poverty and violence. But at Life Pieces to Masterpieces, “Apprentices” use paint, canvas, storytelling, and poetry to discover the beauty – and potential – in their lives. LPTM annually serves 165 African American males (ages 3-25), combining arts instruction with human development programming to help meet their needs for love, security, and self-expression. After school, young Apprentices engage in exploratory art projects, character building activities, and one-on-one tutoring to improve math and reading skills, while the Saturday Academy helps high schoolers prepare for college and careers (100 percent of 2014 graduates are now enrolled in higher education). This year, the first class of Education Architects – former Apprentices and other men of color trained in LPTM’s holistic curriculum – will serve as teaching aids in DC schools, using art to transform young lives. This exceptional group does extraordinary work: won’t you become part of the picture?

Awards & Recognition

In March 2009, Life Pieces senior apprentice and mentor Andre Johnson received the Freddie Mac Foundation Youth Leadership Award, awarded by Leadership Greater Washington.

In October 2008, Executive Director Mary Brown received a Meyer Foundation Exponent Award from the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation.

In August 2008, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded a prestigious partnership for 2008-2009 with Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communications.

In November 2007, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was honored as one of the best community based nonprofits in the Washington D.C. region and awarded a “Best in Catalogue” stamp from the Catalogue for Philanthropy.

In 2007, Executive Director Mary Brown was awarded the 2007 Washington DC Economic Partnership Innovators Award for her ability rethink what’s possible and achieve it.

In 2006, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was acknowledged for providing significant assistance to the artists in the Washington, DC metropolitan area through the Tony Taylor Award from the Cultural Alliance for Greater Washington.

Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the 2006 Youth Award by Leadership Greater Washington.

In 2005, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the Ossie Davis Award for Spirited Arts Activism award.

In 2004, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the Impact Award from the Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation.

In 2004 Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the Lend A Hand Award, presented by Al Roker and the Today Show.

In 2001, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the Mayor’s Spirit of the Neighborhood Action Award.

In 2000, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the Mayor’s Arts in Education Award.

In 2000, Life Pieces To Masterpieces was awarded the National Association for Affirmative Action Award for Outstanding Community Service.


    Budget (FY2014)

    • $3 million or higher
    • The current budget for Life Pieces To Masterpieces is: $1 million to $3 million
    • $500k to $1 million
    • Less than $500k

    Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

    About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

    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 $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

    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!

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