Since first opening in the basement of a subsidized-housing building, Sitar has grown into a world-class, multidisciplinary arts center in Adams Morgan serving 950 students annually, 80% of whom come from low-income families. Many, quite simply, grow up at Sitar, where they are empowered to unlock their talents and find their voices. Babies and toddlers attend early childhood arts classes; older children come for music, dance, theater, and visual arts and, in the summer, for a six-week arts camp; teens and young adults hone their skills through classes, internships, and leadership development. All of this is made possible by a 100-person teaching faculty and eight arts partners (the Washington Ballet, NSO, and others), while an innovative collaboration with neighborhood service providers gives Sitar families access to the support they need. All of this with the aid of allies … like you.
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 (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members
Schools They Work In: Briya Public Charter School; H.D. Cooke Elementary School; Marie Reed Elementary School; Takoma Education Campus
- Number of children and youth we serve annually:
- Performances/exhibits/art classes, etc. offered annually, including student showcases and a summer musical :
- High school graduation rate (or GED completion rate) of Sitar students:
- Number of volunteer teaching artists who work with Sitar annually:
- Percentage of Sitar students showing improvement in 21st century learning skills, including collaboration, communication, initiative and accountability, and creative and critical thinking:
Awards & Recognition
Charity Navigator - 4 Star Rating (highest possible) - 2022
Catalogue for Philanthropy - One of the Best - 2019-2020, 2015-2016, 2011-2012, 2007-2008, and 2003-2004
Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Education - 2017
The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management - 2015
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award - Semi-Finalist - 2009
Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education - 2002
- Arts center's summer camp keeps kids active with 'West Side Story,' arts classes
Tue Jul 19 2016, WJLA
Sitar's 6-week summer program, including a challenging musical, is using the arts to keep kids active when school isn't in session.
- Sitar Arts Center Wins The Washington Post 2015 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management
Thu May 21 2015, Center for Nonprofit Advancement
Sitar Arts Center Wins The Washington Post 2015 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.
- From documentaries to jazz bands, D.C. arts center fosters talent, passion in low-income youth
Fri Jul 25 2014, WTOP
From almost dropping out, to making and screening a documentary at prestigious film festivals: Students discover creativity and themselves.
- First Lady Presents Award To D.C. Non-Profits
Thu Nov 5 2009, WAMU 88.5
First Lady Michelle Obama has presented two local nonprofits with a national award for their work on behalf of inner-city youth.
- Sitar Arts Center featured on WJLA ABC 7's "Good Morning Washington"
Fri Feb 8 2008
Sitar Arts Center featured on WJLA ABC 7's "Good Morning Washington", Friday February 8th at 6:10 AM. Deputy Director Maureen Dwyer highlighted Sitar student Daniel's creative gifts and the opportunities Sitar Arts Center provides the youth of our community.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Sitar Arts Center is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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!