A Catalog for Giving 2023
Theatres are open, the performers are back, and the audiences… well, not as much as one might hope. Subscriptions and ticket sales have fallen and, nationally, theater closings regularly make the news. COVID-based audience hesitancy and a sea-change in the way people consume entertainment have all contributed to the problem. Pandemic-era funding is gone, and the modest increase in arts-based giving has not matched inflation, leading to a 2.9% decrease in support for arts nonprofits overall. And yet, we know that early engagement with the arts is critical for spurring creativity in children and that ongoing engagement plays an outsized role in cultivating confidence – and empathy – in young adults. Our region is home to a thriving and diverse talent base of local artists, including many who identify as native Washingtonians, artists of color, and artists with disabilities. As they champion local stories and preserve local histories, it is more important than ever to make these perspectives as broadly available as possible, share in these experiences, and invite others into the process.
Photographer Vithaya Phongsavan, Courtesy of Capitol Movement
Performing, Literary & Visual Arts
Monuments and museums in the nation’s capital attract millions of visitors, but DC’s cultural legacy is often undervalued. HumanitiesDC creates opportunities for residents to celebrate and contribute to this legacy through its free public programs and community-based grantmaking. Its Porchtales podcast, documentary festival, events series, and annual Heritage Showcase amplify the diverse voices that make up our city’s past and present. The DC Oral History Collaborative offers training for anyone who wants to interview, record, and archive untold stories, while Community Journalism workshops train participants to cover important stories that are published in partnership with local news outlets. Engaging local scholars and experts in determining how grants are allocated, HDC annually awards some $1 million to projects exploring DC’s vibrant cultural life. HumantiesDC illuminates and strengthens the tapestry of unique, universal stories that make us who we are.
WISH LIST: $100: community expert event panelist honorarium; $500: community member stipend for a journalism project; $1000: production for a Porchtales podcast
Rebecca Lemos Otero, Executive Director 1804 T Street NW Washington, DC 20009 Tel 202 770 3077 ext 803
The Actors' Center
The AC was one of the first local casting hotlines connecting local actors with performing opportunities. Now, it has grown to equip actors at every stage of their careers. For more than four decades, the AC has focused solely on supporting its tight-knit community of 800+ local performing artists, both seasoned performers and actors who have just discovered the craft. Members receive training to further develop their skills and gain access to industry networking events. At its annual open call audition, 200+ actors perform for over 50 casting professionals; at least a quarter of participants get a callback for future auditions and many book gigs after the event. The pandemic has challenged performing artists in ways that continue to be felt. Your support ensures The AC remains a go-to resource for actors — and a pillar of our performing arts industry.
WISH LIST: $100: ink for the office printer; $500: a self-tape kit for AC members; $1000: 2 speakers to talk about navigating a career as a working actor
Eleanore Tapscott, Executive Director 1810 16th Street NW, 2nd Floor Washington, DC 20009 Tel 202 332 1911
Photographer Leslie Kershaw,, Courtesy of HumanitiesDC
Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art
For 50 years, Tephra ICA has extended the impact of contemporary art beyond the gallery walls, connecting artists with audiences through innovative experiences and supporting artists at every stage of their career. To promote deeper public understanding of the arts, each exhibition is accompanied by robust hybrid programming including artist talks with curators and professionals from other fields. Tephra ICA partners with Fairfax County Public Schools to provide the same depth and breadth; students also respond to exhibitions by creating and displaying their own work in the gallery. Family Days, weekly summer camp sessions, and drop-in activities make the arts accessible to the next generation, while an annual Arts Festival provides free, interdisciplinary arts experiences for all. Enriching the lives of 60,000 people every year, Tephra ICA ensures our region’s cultural dialogue stays curious and diverse.
WISH LIST: $100: community engagement & outreach; $500: field trips to the gallery for K–12 classrooms; $1000: emerging artist first time participation in the TephraICA Arts Festival
Jaynelle Hazard, Executive Director 12001 Market Street, Suite 103 Reston, VA 20190 Tel 703 956 9413
Atlas Performing Arts Center
A once-abandoned movie theater complex in Northeast DC reopened in 2006 as the Atlas Performing Arts Center, a creative space and equitable home for artists and audiences to explore the ideas and issues of our time. Welcoming over 60,000 individuals annually, its affordable and innovative programming recognizes not only artistic excellence, but also artistic power in affecting economic development and transforming community. Their annual INTERSECTIONS Festival is a platform for 300+ artists to showcase unique performance events, while the Atlas Arts Lab supports artists in creating new works that engage with the community. Arts for Young Audiences and the City at Peace program, which helps youth explore social justice and conflict resolution, further inspire a new generation of performing artists. Alongside their Resident Arts partners, Atlas provides $1.8 million of free and reduced cost arts-based programs each year. Applause, please.
WISH LIST: $100: tickets to an Arts for Young Audience performance for 10 pre-K students; $500: microphones and cables; $1000: supplies and costumes for City at Peace’s annual performance
Douglas E Yeuell, Executive Director 1333 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel 202 399 7993 ext 160
Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture
History meets a diverse present and vibrant future at Glen Echo Park, with its antique carousel, social dances, public festivals and music events, live theater and puppetry, summer camps, classes, and more. The Partnership is both a presenter and a collaborator, working with a wide variety of arts organizations and artists to offer programs for 170,000 people of all ages each year at this unique historic site. It also sponsors artist-led projects and events that combine history, the environment, and the arts to reflect and educate the diverse community it serves — and everyone can access park programs through subsidies and scholarships. Glen Echo Park provides more than a welcoming experience for artists and art lovers; it offers a refuge for all who enjoy its rich and varied offerings.
WISH LIST: $100: 50 carousel tickets; $500: art supplies & instructor fees for a hands-on art activity; $1000: performance artist & sound technician for a free summer concert
Katey Boerner, CEO 7300 Macarthur Boulevard Glen Echo, MD 20812 Tel 301 634 2225
Photographer Nick Moreland/EA Photo,, Courtesy of Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture
Visionaries of the Creative Arts (VOCA)
Led by a Deaf African American woman, VOCA is the only organization supporting DC’s community of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH) artists of color. It was founded to make the performing arts directly accessible to — and more representative of — the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community, which is often excluded from mainstream cultural productions. Deaf/HoH artists of color write, produce, cast, and direct two original works a year. In trainings, workshops, and panel discussions, they improve their skills across a variety of artistic disciplines while sharing their expertise with each other. During the year, VOCA offers DC residents dance workshops taught by Deaf instructors of color. In summer camps, Deaf/HoH youth learn from VOCA artists in classes on acting, ASL storytelling, visual arts, dance, and film. VOCA creates a space where all Deaf artists can express themselves … and connect.
WISH LIST: $100: partial payment for dance workshop venue; $500: 1 youth scholarship for the Creative Arts Summer Camp; $1000: maintenance of the organization website
Michelle Banks, Artistic Director 1333 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002 Tel 202 568 8864
CapitalBop is dedicated to presenting, promoting, and preserving jazz in the District. From the start, it has served as both an online resource and presenter of innovative shows. lists every upcoming jazz event in the area, complemented by a steady stream of articles (artist interviews, profiles of unsung jazz heroes, reviews, and more) that aim to welcome audiences of all kinds. Likewise, its monthly DC Jazz Loft concerts, educational events, NEXTfest production and other shows adopt a diverse and often unorthodox approach – whether presenting in an empty warehouse, park or art gallery, pairing renowned artists with DC’s finest local musicians, or showcasing young and experimental talent. This year, dozens of shows will reach thousands of audience members, notably through the 3-day Home Rule Music Festival, when jazz, go go, funk and soul are appreciated in multiple locations across the city.
WISH LIST: $100: artist’s accommodations for one show; $200: writer honorarium for anews article; $500: videographer’s fee for one show
Sara Donnelly, Interim Executive Director 2853 Ontario Road NW, Suite 501 Washington, DC 20009 Tel 202 746 4471
Capitol Movement
When a young person steps into a CMI dance class, it is often the very first time they have entered such a space. For almost 20 years, CMI has performed social justice and multigenerational dance pieces for more than 20,000 youth, families, and seniors, and made high-quality dance instruction accessible for over 5,000 historically excluded youth dancers. Its CM Dance Company engages 40 professional dancers in year-round programming, with adult members mentoring youth and apprentice dancers. Through pre-professional, kids, and school-based programs, students as young as three build skills, self-confidence, and teamwork in classes that emphasize the power of dance to create social change. It isn’t only that dance can be life-changing for youth: at CMI, surrounded by dancers of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, youth can also co-create their vision of a more equitable world.
WISH LIST: $100: costumes for 5 performances; $500: year-round workshops for 1 youth dancer; $1000: performance stipend for 1 dance company member
Stephanie Jojokian, Executive Director & Co-Founder 222 G Street SW Washington, DC 20024 Tel 240 375 4505
Photographer Vithaya Phongsavan, Courtesy of Capitol Movement
Studio Acting Conservatory
SAC nurtures acting talent through intensive training that is accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic background. For 45 years, it has helped actors grow their craft by focusing on process. Adult students explore acting, voice, and movement, pursuing SAC’s multiyear curriculum at their own pace. Additional classes and workshops bolster essential skills while growing new ones in specialized subjects like improvisation and musical theater. A Young Actors’ Program exposes students ages 10–17 to an age-appropriate curriculum modeled after the adult program. Some 600+ students enroll annually, many through scholarship and work-study opportunities that keep cost from becoming a barrier. SAC has supported students in becoming professional performing artists in over 30 top local theaters. The confidence that SAC builds changes people’s lives and, as parents of a young student shared, gives them “a sense of purpose.”
WISH LIST: $100: reupholstering for prop furniture; $500: yoga mats for voice & movement classes; $1000: 1 semester’s tuition for 2 work-study & 1 full scholarship student
Emily Morrison, Executive Director 3423 Holmead Place NW Washington, DC 20010 Tel 202 232 0714
Thomas Circle Singers
When TCS performs, it both enriches DC’s musical life and uplifts local communities. As one of the leading chamber choirs in the region, it performs and funds new music, highlighting often ignored female-identifying composers and composers of color. Its volunteer singers rehearse and socialize regularly, building a community of belonging that one participant describes as “more than just a place to sing.” Through free vocal lessons, they also develop their musicianship — an opportunity to which many chorus members previously had no access. In addition to donating 50% of its ticket proceeds, TCS shares concert space with its partner organizations, collaborating on food drives, pop-up art galleries, and poetry readings. This dual mission continually draws singers and audiences who together have helped fund community resources, including DC’s first permanent women’s shelter. In a city of many choirs, these voices really make a difference.
WISH LIST: $100: 1 group voice lesson; $500: 1 instrumental performer at a concert; $1000: two music pieces by living composers
Erin Feng, Executive Director 1317 G Street NW Washington, DC 20005 Tel 202 232 3353
Synetic Theater
The premier physical movement-focused theater in the Mid-Atlantic, Synetic Theater has grown from street performances to awards and acclaim, performing 5 major productions each season in its Arlington theater. Treasured for wild and expansive stagings of classical literary works and folktales (from Shakespeare to Dante to Kafka), its highly athletic company creates unforgettable, visceral experiences for audiences. Year-round, Synetic offers classes and camps in its unique movement style — a mix of mime, dance, acrobatics, theatrical movement, and traditional acting — along with Pre-Teen and Teen Companies for promising young performers. Each school year, Synetic performs dozens of traveling shows and produces more than 250 workshops and residencies, bringing high-quality, high-voltage theater to students of diverse needs and abilities. Recipient of 154 nominations and 39 Helen Hayes Awards since its inception, Synetic is truly a theater on the move.
WISH LIST: $100: shoes for 1 performer for 1 main-stage run; $500: 1 high-efficiency lighting unit; $1000: 1 outreach mime performance traveling to area schools
Ben Cunis, Managing Director 2155 Crystal Plaza Arcade T-19 Arlington, VA 22202 Tel 703 824 8060
Youth & Community Arts
Words Beats and Life
WBL uses the transformative power of hip-hop to equip young adults for college and career. Its workshops, concerts, festivals, and after-school programs embrace hip-hop — a valued part of youth culture that instructors also share — in all its forms. Students learn about emceeing and deejaying; they develop skills in graffiti, street art, spoken word poetry, dance, and beat production. An arts management curriculum and alternative spring and winter breaks introduce students to career opportunities in DC’s creative sector. Each student is also paired with a volunteer coach during the academic year, receiving regular guidance on the college application and enrollment process. For the 800 students enrolled in the program, WBL staff and volunteers are some of the only college graduates in their lives. WBL shows young people what they are capable of — with preparation and a supportive community behind them.
WISH LIST: $100: one turntable needle; $500: DJ controller, headphones, and speakers; $1000: one technique turntable
Mazi A E Mutafa, Executive Director 1525 Newton Street NW Washington, DC 20010 Tel 202 667 1192
Sitar Arts Center
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.
WISH LIST: $100: instrument & sheet music for 1 private lesson; $500: art supplies for 1 Camp Sitar class; $1000: 1 semester of unlimited after-school art classes for 1 student
Maureen L Dwyer, Executive Director 1700 Kalorama Road NW, Suite 101 Washington, DC 20009 Tel 202 797 2145 ext 100
Photographer Mazi Mutafa, Courtesy of Words Beats and Life
Art Works Now
AWN offers affordable, high-quality arts education (in-person and virtually) to people of all ages and in all stages of life — last year, to over 11,000 individuals. At its ADA-accessible arts center in Hyattsville, social justice, accessibility, and equity are at the core. Toddler Time and preschool programs provide art classes for young creators (ages 2–5) and their caregivers. Daily and weekly camps and school partnerships engage students in STEAM learning year-round. Teens and adults with disabilities develop creative talents through individual and group classes. And free Creative Aging classes support older residents’ mental and physical health while helping them grow artistically. Quarterly classes in pottery, drawing, painting, and sculpture for all ages round out the offerings. Your investment helps even more people experience the transformative power of art.
WISH LIST: $100: art supplies for 3 Creative Aging students; $500: 5 months of supplies for the Little Free Art Shop; $1000: weekly summer camp scholarships for 3 children ages 5-12
Aimee Olivo, Executive Director 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Suite 1 Hyattsville, MD 20781 Tel 301 454 0808
Children's Chorus of Washington
As budget cuts force schools to eliminate programs in the arts, children’s music programs are becoming increasingly rare. But at CCW, children from kindergarten through high school can experience a world-class music education regardless of their economic status or prior experience. Each year, 300 students perform in dozens of events — some as guest artists with leading adult choruses and orchestras. A robust scholarship program covers tuition and transportation costs that are prohibitive for many families. Children sing in six audition-based ensembles, two non-audition preparatory classes, and the annual city-wide Honor Chorus (workshops and mentoring for DCPS teachers are offered at no cost to students or schools). As co-creators with DC ensembles and youth organizations across artistic disciplines, CCW gives children the space to celebrate their voices and discover the great pleasures of music.
WISH LIST: $100: 1 semester of music for 4 choristers; $500: 1 semester of transportation for 1 student; $1000: a scholarship for 1 chorister for 1 year
Robbie Jacobs, Executive Director 4910 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 316 Washington, DC 20016 Tel 202 237 1005
American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
One of the nation’s leading youth orchestra organizations, AYPO provides training and performance experience to more than 600 of the region’s most talented musicians ages 7 to 21. With seven orchestras and 15 programs, there is a major focus on expanding outreach to children who otherwise might not have the opportunity to develop their musical skills. Auditions are competitive and scholarships ensure that each accepted student can join regardless of ability to pay. Musicians receive 167 hours of training — over 40 rehearsals, 30 chamber ensemble coaching sessions, and 10 concerts and recitals. AYPO’s talented high schoolers provide weekly, private music lessons to underserved elementary and middle school students through its Music Buddies program. Additional outreach brings concerts into public schools, community centers, and nursing homes. Dubbed “simply outstanding” (Washington Post), AYPO’s young people are determined to make and share music.
WISH LIST: $200: 1 90-minute coaching session; $1000: 1 semester of tuition assistance; $3500: hall rental for 1 concert
Dr Graham Elliott, Executive Director 5269 Colonel Johnson Lane Alexandria, VA 22304 Tel 703 642 8053
Courtesy of American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
CapoeiraDC is a place where Black and Brown youth and adults can grow and heal together. Grounded in the social justice history of this Afro-Brazilian martial art, and leading with dedication, self-expression, and community as its core values, CapoeiraDC creates a multi-generational community in predominantly Black neighborhoods in Wards 5, 7, and 8. Several times a week, students of all ages build their skills in class while learning movement, history, and music. Consistency is key — a quarter of adult students have been members for at least a decade; eleven are now instructors and nine teens are teachers in training. Its physical space includes a community kitchen and outdoor patio so that everyone can relax together. As one parent shares, CapoeiraDC is where the whole family feels at home.
WISH LIST: $100: 1 berimbau (brazilian musical instrument); $500: 50 uniform cords to recognize students’ progress; $1000: 1 guest mestre (master teacher) for a weekend of workshops
Renford Powell, Executive Director 131 V Street NW Washington, DC 20001 Tel 240 351 6639
InterAct Story Theatre
InterAct Story Theatre creates original, interactive plays designed expressly for kids and the grownups who love them. Through its professional touring theatre and extensive arts education programs, InterAct’s merry band of performers and teaching artists weave together drama, music, dance, and creative opera with content curricula for all ages, reaching almost 25,000 children and adults in a typical year. Meanwhile, community programs like the popular monthly Wheaton Family Theatre Series (free and open to the public) give families the opportunity to engage in live theater, and the annual KidStory Theatre Festival features original creative writing by kids, for kids. InterAct designs all its programs to reflect the lived experiences of the diverse community it serves, sparking conversations and connections that unlock children’s creativity, empathy, and learning. You can give the magic of theater to even more young audiences.
WISH LIST: $150: 1 creative drama workshop for 1 classroom; $500: 1 theatrical performance for an elementary school; $1500: 1 weekend of Wheaton Family Theatre Series performances
Alicia Oliver-Krueger, Executive & Artistic Director 11510 Georgia Avenue, Suite 140 Silver Spring, MD 20902 Tel 301 879 9305
Photographer Steven Wolf, Courtesy of InterAct Story Theatre
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
Tens of thousands of children from across the globe visit DC’s museums and theaters each year, yet budget constraints often prevent local students from enjoying their hometown’s resources. DC Collaborative partners with more than 100 cultural institutions and artists to help schools gain access to our city’s vibrant resources. Offering arts and humanities education experiences to students, teachers, and principals, the Collaborative also makes registration and transportation easy. More than 700,000 children have benefited from these programs since 1998; this year alone, 70 schools will participate (at no cost) and nearly 10,000 students will enjoy cultural field trips and in-school performances and workshops. After all, visiting the Kennedy Center or the Washington Ballet for the first time, or having a professional artist join your classroom, can be an unforgettable experience. Let’s keep the arts and humanities alive — for every student.
WISH LIST: $100: teaching artist for 1 in-school workshop or residency; $500: field trip transportation for 1 DC classroom; $1000: membership fee for a small nonprofit organization
Alorie Clark, Executive Director 975 F Street NW Washington, DC 20004 Tel 202 470 6467