A seven-year-old Jewish refugee learned from her mother how to create art and free her mind from the chaos outside. Forty years later, as a seasoned arts educator and therapist, she founded CREATE Arts Center to share what she had learned. In downtown Silver Spring, CREATE offers ceramics, painting, sculpture, cartooning, and visual arts to children, adults, and families, and art therapy for those with autism or other special needs. At four local elementary schools, smARTkids delivers free after-school arts programs and much-needed creative outlets to students, the majority of whom are low-income and academically and socially at risk. Studio Downstairs provides group art therapy to adults living with mental illness and trauma enabling them to cope with physical and emotional pain and to forge new connections. You can make self-expression and growth possible for those who need it most.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; Greater DC Area

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

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

Schools They Work In: Arcola Elementary School; East Silver Spring Elementary School; Rosemary Hills Elementary School; Westbrook Elementary School; Woodlin Elementary School

  • Total # of people served in 2012-2013:   2,243

Awards & Recognition



  • Announcing the Recipients of the 2013 Executive's Awards
    Tue Oct 8 2013, Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County  
    CREATE's Executive Director, Heena Genti, was featured as the Emerging Leader Award Recipient of the 2013 Executive's Awards.

Budget (FY2016)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for CREATE Arts Center is: 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!

If you like CREATE Arts Center you might also like