Now in its 45th year, The Ellington Fund ensures a dynamic arts and academic experience for students at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, which annually educates over 545 aspiring artists from all DC wards – regardless of students’ socioeconomic background or prior experience. Young artists take the stage for theater, music, dance, spoken word, and technical design; display their paintings, sculptures, and photography at exhibitions; and share their writing through publications, plays, and readings. The Fund provides critical support for this work – and for initiatives that keep kids in school and prepare them for higher education and careers, including counseling, tutoring, and college guidance. This school sets high expectations, and with help from the Fund, students rise to meet them: in 2018, 100% graduated on time and 91% achieved college acceptance. An investment here nurtures young talents and minds alike.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; U Street Corridor

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students

Schools They Work In: Duke Ellington School of the Arts

  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) we serve annually:   535 students
  • Performances/exhibits/art classes, etc. offered annually:  
    Over 50 performances and exhibitions each school year
  • High school graduation rate (or GED completion rate) of our students:   96% (2016)
  • College acceptance rate of our students:   96% (2016)

Awards & Recognition

Designated as a 2016-2018 "Exemplary School" by Arts Schools Network (2016)

College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, Equity through Arts category (2015)


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Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for The Ellington Fund is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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