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November 2011




Notes from the Executive Director

Louise Kennelly

Louise Kennelly

Now is the Time to Invest in Arts Education


Investments in arts education pay multiple dividends, contributing to the healthy development of the whole child while advancing literacy, positive school climates, a more vibrant local economy as well as a better prepared workforce. The visible, powerful, and positive impact of arts education has never been more apparent.


Yet here in DC, and across the country, nonprofits working to deliver on the promise of arts and humanities education are meeting new and unprecedented levels of financial challenge. Government scalebacks, shifting philanthropic priorities, and downsizing have resulted in a unique set of challenges as we enter the fourth year of an economic climate that is less than conducive to growth and stability. Due to these challenges it is a critical time for so many  - difficult choices are being made about how to meet demand and maintain programming.


Instead of marginalizing arts and arts education due to competing worthy requests for resources, now is the time for past and new contributors to invest in arts education. Ours is the city that should not allow the arts in general, and arts education in particular, to be compromised by shortages because it is the arts and arts education that will establish the conditions for a robust, vibrant community. It will take all of our creativity to remain fully resourced.


While the major supporters of arts education are needed as never before, it's time to develop new sources of--and strategies for-- funding. For example, reaching out to small and new donors can add up and make a significant difference. Whether you agree or disagree with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, those participating have shown how impactful individual voices and small donations can result in a very powerful whole. By appealing to every parent who wants their children to learn in and through the highest-quality arts and to every person who lives and/or works in the Washington, DC, area who enjoys bringing their family to arts and humanities events on the weekends and after work--whether it's theatre, jazz, a movie or a walk through a museum-- we raise our flag by inviting them to invest in the kinds of quality arts and arts education programs our members offer and our children deserve.


And we call on former, current and new grantmakers to explore new ways to support arts education in our city so that our nation's capital can serve as a beacon on a hill. There is, afterall, a connection, in the words of John Kennedy, "hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between progress in public life and progress in the arts."



Member Spotlight  





 gandhi memorial center


                The Gandhi Memorial Center has been a member of the DC Collaborative for over 6 years and offers unique programming which shares the life's work of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as rich Indian cultural traditions with its visitors.   The center participates in our Arts For Every Student Program and is offering three programs for the 2011-2012 school year including, India: A Musical Journey, Katha: Folk Tales of India, and Dance Forms of India. These offerings are presented by Carrie Trybulec, Director of the Gandhi Memorial Center, in collaboration with many talented local artists, musicians and dancers.


The Gandhi Memorial Center was founded in 1976 by Swami Premananda and was led for three decades by Srimati Kamala, author of several publications on Gandhi and Indian spiritual heritage. The Center houses the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Foundation (established in 1959) and is a special meeting place for lectures, films, exhibitions, and programs sharing the culture of the Indian sub-continent. The Center also includes a library of several thousand books with a broad representation of authors and subjects from many cultures dedicated to the teachings and life of Mahatma Gandhi.  We are thankful for the Gandhi Memorial Center as one of the unique gems in Washington, DC, and that through its programs, DC students are exposed to so many wonderful cultural opportunities.  


Board Member Spotlight



The DC Collaborative is pleased to feature board member

Joy Ford Austin 


Joy Ford Austin

We are lucky to benefit from the guidance and counsel of long-time DC Collaborative board member Joy Ford Austin who is the Executive Director of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC. Joy is the former President and Executive Director of the African American Museums Association.  She has consulted with many institutions on cultural programs and policies, including the Presidential Commission planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Telesis Corporation, the Chicago Housing Authority, the Center for Arts and Culture, and the Kellogg Foundation.  Ms. Austin was Principal of Austin Ford Associates, an education consulting firm.  She holds a Master of Science in Administration from Trinity College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, McMaster University. We are grateful for all that Joy does to support and advance humanities education in Washington, DC!


Student Essay Contest

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humanities council 









The DC Collaborative, in partnership with DC Public Library & the Humanities Council of Washington, DC are excited to present the first annual

Student Essay Contest!


The contest, which launched on November 15th, is open to students in grades 5-12 enrolled in a DCPS or public charter school.  Students are to reflect on the prompt:


"What does Democracy mean to me as a citizen of DC?"


 "This is a great opportunity for students to express themselves, engage with what it means to be a citizen in our democracy, and call attention to our own quest for democracy in the District.  I encourage all DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools students to enter!" said Mayor Vincent Gray.


The contest is designed to celebrate critical thinking, self-expression & original writing of DC's youth. The contest will award the top ten students in each grade grouping (5-6, 7-9 & 10-12) with a reception in the Spring. The winner of each grade grouping will receive a cash prize, their teachers will receive professional development opportunities, and their schools' librarians will receive a new humanities-themed book of their choosing.


Student Sign up!

  • VISIT our website, or your local library for details
  • REGISTER by filling out a simple form found on our website or at your local library, to be submitted with the essay
  • SUBMIT  800 -1,200 word essays via email, mail, or drop off at your local library before February 29th, 2012

Upcoming Member Events 


 Check out these exciting upcoming events brought to you by our member organizations!



"Pheasants: a work by Musica Apereta"

 Pheasants is a unique work of music, dance and history depicting the court of Philip IV of Spain and his artist confidant, Diego Velázquez. The story unfolds through the eyes of Marie-Therese, the kings daughter who is not pictured in the famous work, Las Meninas, since she will shortly be wed to France in exchange for peace... 

December 2nd & 3rd at 8:15pm, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, MD 


National Building Museum

"Family Program: Home Sweet Home Gingerbread Workshop"

Join the National Building Museum for this interactive and fun gingerbread workshop!  Build your own edible house using gingerbread and royal icing, and decorate it using an assortment of materials.  Imagine a home with candy trim, a cookie roof, and icing-covered caves -- fun for all!  Each gingerbread house is a "big enough" project for a family of four.
Prepaid registration required by December 1.

December 10th at 10am & 2pm, 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001


Kreeger Museum


Children ages 3-5 and an adult companion are invited to use their imagination as they explore the paintings, sculpture, and architecture of The Kreeger Museum. Each program focuses on a theme supported by a story, works of art from the collection, and a hands-on art-making experience.

December 21st at 10am, 2401 Foxhall Road NW, Wasington D.C. 20007


Adventure Theatre

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." But wait! A mouse is stirring - because Santa missed his house last year. Before you can say "Merry Christmas!", we're off on the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf and a spunky little girl who just won't take no for an answer. Don't miss this joyful tribute to the holiday season from three-time Tony nominee and Olivier Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig.

Now until January 2nd, 2012, 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812 



Committee Sign-up




The DC Collaborative would like to encourage our members to participate in one of several committees to explore issues of relevance and importance and to collaborate on projects that will advance our collective impact and maintain communities of practice. As some of the finest professionals affiliated with dynamic arts and cultural organizations here in our city, we are looking to you to come together.


Committees currently include: Teaching Artist, Awareness and Advocacy, Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theater), Visual Arts, Humanities, and School Leaders.


Please take a moment to sign up for a committee or suggest a new committee via our online survey.

Committees meet once per month at Source Theatre, 1835 14th St, NW.


Teaching Artist Gathering




Join us for our last Teaching Artist gathering of 2011!

 December 1st, 6:30-8:00pm

Source Theater

1835 14th street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 


Teaching Artist Candace Wolf will share her experiences traveling through India, collecting oral stories- you won't want to miss it!
As always, all Teaching Artists are welcome!
Please RSVP on eventbrite!
For more information, contact Melissa Danielson, Program Manager of Member Services,by email at melissa@dccollaborative.org, or by phone at 202.204.7752.  

Donate Now! 

Provide the Keys to Wonder

Make the DC Collaborative a part of your giving plan this year!  Help us bring quality arts and humanities education to all DC public and chartered public schools. Your donation can provide tickets and transportation through the Arts for Every Student program, support teacher registration fees for Professional Development workshops, or provide  for support for arts-integrated work with schools as part of the Arts Education Initiative.

                                                      Donate Now!

About the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative:
More than sixty members strong, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative (DC Collaborative) provides equitable access to quality arts and humanities education for all DC public and chartered public schools for the growth of the whole child. Working with its partners, since its founding in 1998, the DC Collaborative produces such exemplary programs as Arts for Every Student and the Arts Education Initiative.

For more information on the DC Arts and Humanities 

Education Collaborative, Please visit our website.

If you would like to include something in our next 
member e-news, please email us!
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
1835 14th Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20009
p. (202) 204-7750
f.  (202) 204-7803