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:   850
  • Performances/exhibits/art classes, etc. offered annually, including student showcases and a summer musical :   120
  • High school graduation rate (or GED completion rate) of Sitar students:   100%
  • Number of volunteer teaching artists who work with Sitar annually:   100
  • Percentage of Sitar students showing improvement in 21st century learning skills, including collaboration, communication, initiative and accountability, and creative and critical thinking:   80%

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


Budget (FY2014)

  • $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 $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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