About Sitar Arts Center

Sitar’s Mission

Our mission is to offer possibilities that transform the lives of children and teens born into a world of unequal access to opportunity. We engage children and teens in the highest quality visual, performing and digital arts. We teach the arts so that our students learn about themselves and gain critical life skills. We create community for students and their families. And we are an untiring voice on their behalf.

Organization Summary

Sitar Arts Center is a creative youth development organization providing transformational arts experiences and high quality arts education while offering a nurturing community to families with low income from all parts of the city. Sitar offers families a continuum of arts educational programming from birth to young adulthood. Sitar helps vulnerable, financially disadvantaged children and teens develop critical life skills to thrive in the 21st century through three program pillars: a student engagement model, high quality arts experiences, and civic engagement.

Sitar Arts Center is building an inclusive Sitar Community with 80 percent of Sitar students coming from low-income families and 20 percent from higher income families. Sitar’s approach ensures life-changing relationships are built across economic, racial and cultural spectrum, leading inevitably to stronger communities and a strong, inclusive city.

Sitar Arts Center is committed to helping the families we serve to thrive in their rapidly gentrifying DC neighborhoods, focusing especially but not exclusively on Wards 1, 4 and 5 which are geographically closest to the Center. As part of the movement for social justice, Sitar seeks to narrow the opportunity gap to help financially disadvantaged children have the best possible chance for success in life. Sitar is lifting up our advocacy voice to make sure this city offers equitable access to youth development and arts education opportunities as essential to strong communities and strong families.

Sitar’s Values

Sitar’s staff and volunteers are guided by the following values.

Student Centered – We place the children, youth and their families at the center of our decision-making and actions; we strive for a holistic approach to creative youth development and believe in the potential of every child.

Excellence – We strive for excellence and impact in our work, and in providing arts education opportunities. We create a team environment that supports the best work possible, individually and collectively. We hold our students to high expectations and tenaciously support them in achieving their potential.

Community and Belonging – We intentionally create a culturally competent community in which every member has a sense of deep belonging and shares the essence of Sitar’s mission. We rely on and are grateful for every member’s contribution and believe that our sum is greater than our parts.

Partnership – We deeply value and highly prioritize our relationships with our faculty, artistic, philanthropic and community partners, and recognize these partnerships as the root of Sitar’s mission and programs.

Sitar Spirit – Sitar’s essence is upheld through intentional gratitude, reflection and celebration. We care for one another so we can care for our community. We are a learning organization, ready to evolve as needed by our students and families while maintaining the integrity of our essence.