When Fabian Barnes retired from the Dance Theatre of Harlem he possessed two important things: a small pension and the desire to give back to others what dance had given to him. Barnesís dream was to offer year-round, high-quality, pre-professional training to Washington, DCís children and teens Ė regardless of their ability to pay. Today, DIW has its own facility in Columbia Heights and its Youth Ensemble and Professional Company perform regularly on the regionís finest stages, including the Lansburgh, the Howard, and Wolf Trap, among others. Many graduates move on to excellent university programs (Harvard and Temple among them) while others perform professionally at Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey II, and elsewhere. Personal and artistic growth are equally important, and DIW's Positive Directions Through Dance (winner of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award) provides at-risk youth with classes, life skills workshops (from literacy to nutrition), and performance opportunities Ė all at no cost. A cultural gem, DIW nurtures the minds, bodies, and talents of our young people. Wonít you join the dance?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; The Columbia Heights neighborhood of Ward 1; Washington, DC.

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Columbia Heights Educational Campus

Awards & Recognition

*2008 - DIW Founder Fabian Barnes named "Washingtonian of the Year" by Washingtonian;
*2009 - Bridge Builders Award from Partners for Livable Communities;
*2011 - The Dance Institute of Washington's Positive Directions Through Dance outreach program was recently honored as a Winner of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
*2012 - DIW student Donte Corley honored and invited to perform at National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day; Fabian honored as Donte's Hero of Hope.
*2012 - DIW celebrates its momentous 25th Anniversary! A culminating gala is being planned for November 2012.


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for The Dance Institute of Washington is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

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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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