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December 2015
Celebrating 18 years of Providing Equitable Access to Arts and Humanities Learning Opportunities




Notes from the Executive Director
Lissa Rosenthal-Yoffe

Dear Friends,

What a wonderful year of learning it has been! Reflecting on my first year, I want you to know how incredibly meaningful it has been to work with each of you! Thanks to each of you there is renewed energy and focus at the DC Collaborative -- together we are are re-thinking DC's arts and humanities education community of practice. Your support means so much to us. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to arts and humanities education for DC students. 

The DC Collaborative is so grateful to each of you --our members, partners, teachers volunteers and supporters-- for the time that you devote to providing amazing arts and humanities learning experiences for our DC students: their first opera, their first museum visit, their first play, their love of the arts and humanities. We know students are better strategic thinkers and active community citizens and more empathetic as a result of the experiences that you make possible!

Thank you for the tens of thousands of smiles that result from their experiences! Please help us make more of these opportunities possible with a year-end donation.

Are you like me, still shopping for those last minute holiday gifts and stocking stuffers? Or, heading out for a holiday coffee or drink with friends or colleagues? For the price of 2 lattes or a stocking stuffer you can personally help us provide one life changing field-trip experience for a DC student! You can make your year-end gift to the DC Collaborative online by clicking here! With your support, we hope to raise enough money for 900 smiles ($13,500 - just $15 each,) to provide enriching and transformative arts and cultural experiences for 900 DC students.

Thank you again for all of the ways that you support the DC Collaborative. Our work is not always easy, but we gain strength and inspiration from each of you in our arts and humanities education community of practice. That brings a very big collective smile to our staff and board.

With gratitude, good cheer, and smiles, Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays from the DC Collaborative Team!


DC Commission Update


Arthur J. Espinosa, Jr.
The DC Collaborative team would like to extend a warm welcome to Arthur J. Espinosa Jr., in his new post as Executive Director for the DC Commission

Arthur Espinoza Jr., is a resident of Ward 3 and a dedicated arts advocate. Prior to his appointment as the DC Commission's Executive Director by Mayor Muriel Bowser, Espinoza was Managing Director of The Washington Ballet (TWB) where in 2010 he began his inaugural season with that internationally recognized ballet company. At TWB he produced numerous productions and world premieres, including the highly regarded ALICE in wonderland ballet and the company's first international tour to Turkey. Espinoza also managed a period of significant budget growth at TWB, an increase in the roster of resident company of dancers, and a $1.5M facility expansion project.

Having performed in the theatre since a young age, his earliest arts experiences were a product of arts engagement programs and thus, he is a unwavering supporter of arts education in schools and of engagement activities that support youth. Similarly, he maintains a strong interest in programs that support inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the arts.

The DC Collaborative is thrilled to continue working with Arthur and admires his dedication to equitable access to a quality arts education for all of the youth in the District!

Contact Email: arthur.espinoza@dc.gov
Contact Phone: (202) 724-5613

DC Collaborative #StoryBank


DC Collaborative #StoryBank Blog
School Spotlight: Capital City Public Charter School

Creating Connections in a PreK-12 Arts Program
Submitted by Joanna Lewton, Arts Director, Capital City Public Charter School

Capital City Public Charter School serves more than 975 students in Pre K-12th grade with 11 full time arts teachers (visual arts, drama, music and dance.)   One of the biggest challenges for our arts program is trying to build and sustain cohesiveness; to be more than just talented arts teachers working independently in their own classrooms.

In The Art Of Coaching, Elena Aguilar writes of looking through a "systems thinking lens" which focuses on understanding how a school is a complex system with no single element existing in isolation. Ms. Aguilar also writes of the "change management lens" where people need incentives, resources, vision and a clear action plan to bring about change. Here at Capital City Public Charter School, we work together on making our arts program more unified, it helps me to keep these concepts in mind.  One of our biggest challenges is trying to build and sustain a cohesive arts program; one that is more than just talented arts teachers working independently in their own rooms.

This year, with the support of our administration, the arts team has begun doing purposeful work on communication, scope and sequence and how to bring our arts program "to the next level."  
  1. We have begun asking questions such as "What do things like writing, peer critiques, portfolio pieces and reflection look like in arts classes across the various grades?" and "What skills and knowledge do students need to be successful as they move through our arts program?"
  2. We have have begun focusing on the 3 tenets of High Quality Work:  authenticity, complexity, craftsmanship.  This shared language across the grades will help us create a more cohesive program.  Focusing on HQW (with each other and with all our students) will create a strong thread through the grades.
  3. We are creating systems for Peer Observations and Learning Walks for all arts teachers.   When a lower school drama teacher visits a middle school drama class, she can see connections to what she does in her classroom.  When a HS music teacher visits a 2nd grade class, he can see the work that beginning music students are doing. Debriefs after the observations and Learning Walks give us a chance to share what we see and ask probing questions about things we want to know more about.  We use note-catchers when we visit each other's classrooms. Using the same note-catchers for each series of visits gives us all a shared focus.
  4. The most challenging thing we are trying to do is to schedule regular meeting times for the whole arts staff.  When we are all together we can give and get feedback, push ourselves to improve our practices, examine our core values, unpack the new arts standards, and brainstorm the best ways to get information about our arts programs to families and staff.  For this school year we try to meet every couple of months but my goal for next year is to get administration's support to meet once every 4-6 weeks.
The adage "Life is a marathon, not a sprint" applies to growing/shifting an arts program as well.  Because we have such a hard working, talented and supportive arts staff, I am feeling optimistic about this growth opportunity.

NSO in Your Neighborhood


NSO in Your Neighborhood: Downtown/Penn Quarter
The National Symphony Orchestra Announces Full Schedule for this year's 
"The NSO in Your Neighborhood"

The National Symphony Orchestra will blanket the neighborhoods of Downtown and Penn Quarter January 5-11, building deeper connections to its community in a week-long residency featuring more than 40 free events and performances. From concerts at the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to in-school visits, artist panels and discussions, and performances at homeless shelters, NSO members will make music in ensembles large and small. The National Spy Museum, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Central Union Mission, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Busboys and Poets, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: these are but a few of the distinctive and colorful locales to be visited.

Job Bank


Production Manager
Meridian Hill Pictures seeks a Full Time Production Manager

Meridian Hill Pictures, a DC-based production company committed to advancing authentic and compelling storytelling through the power of documentary, seeks to hire a full-time Production Manager to join the studio's creative team immediately. The Production Manager will manage production phases for the studio's client-based commissioned documentary projects and iPad video storytelling trainings for nonprofits, schools and businesses. The position is ideal for an exceptionally detail-oriented and organized individual who is passionate about working for a mission-driven business focused on authentic, people-centered documentary filmmaking. Strong applicants will have a proven track-record managing field production of documentaries, proven experiences in various roles of pre-production, production and post-production of social impact documentaries, a mastery of tapeless media management workflows, production schedules, budgets, operations and logistics.

With Gratitude...


With Gratitude...
 We really appreciate the support of all of our board members, donors, members, teachers, partners and volunteers for bringing our mission to life and ensuring that all students have equitable access to the arts and humanities education resources in Washington, D.C.

The DC Collaborative team is grateful for our supporters including: our board members, members, partner schools, educators, parents, students and funders who work with us to collectively impact the education of DC public and public charter school students. It is an honor to work so closely with a community of individuals who believe that the arts and humanities are integral to the education of our youth. 

Ways to Give


Ways to Give

To donate to the DC Collaborative online by credit card click here  or by check to:

DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative 
1825 K Street NW Ste 400
Washington, DC 20006

Are you a government employee? Give through the CFC Catalogue of Caring. 
We're on pg. 20 CFC#66894

Does your company have a matching gift program? Let us know!


About the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative:
More than 100 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 Professional Development Initiative. View our Member Directory.

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!

Submissions for our consideration are due C.O.B. on the third Friday of every month and are subject to edits by the DC Collaborative staff.
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
1825 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20006
p. (202) 587-1627
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