A vital, creative community is vital to the fabric of DC, but the high cost of tuition and materials puts the arts out of reach for far too many children, teens, and young adults. Sitar offers more than a world-class, multidisciplinary arts education. It is also a home where DC youth, many of whom grow up at Sitar, begin a lifelong journey of artistic- and self-exploration. Babies and toddlers discover their confidence through multigenerational arts classes; older children engage in after-school music, visual arts, dance, theater, and digital arts; teens and young adults hone their skills through internships, leadership development, and a new, year-round, arts-based career training program. Innovative partnerships make long-term pathways in the arts possible for 900 students annually, 80% of whom come from households with low incomes. The next generation, and our local creative economy, thrive with 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 (FY2023)

  • The current budget for Sitar Arts Center is: $3 million or higher
  • $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.

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