MY ART STORY by

Fabian Barnes

Washington
District Of Columbia

Pre-dance.jpg

Woman dance teacher holding hand of young boy.

A Dance Institute of Washington pre-dance class. Photo courtesy of Dance Institute of Washington

Dance Institute of Washington (DIW) is committed to providing youth the opportunity to develop artistically, socially, emotionally and intellectually through dance. DIW operates a studio school, outreach programs, youth ensemble, and professional company Washington Reflections, granting youth from diverse backgrounds the chance to experience the performing arts and develop skills.

Numerous NEA Art Works grants and those of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities have been the generous driving force and true inspiration that have enabled DIW to sustain and grow its innovative core dance programs, including Positive Directions, Washington Reflections Dance Co., the Studio School, and large cultural arts productions. These grants help DIW to deliver on the NEA outcomes of engagement and learning, as DIW is able to connect DC’s diverse underserved audiences with the very best classical ballet and diverse dance training, educational support services and performance opportunities. The magic of DIW’s programming—what makes it all worthwhile—is expressed in the stories of promising youth, such as one young man who came to DIW as a rising track star with only a minimal interest in dance. He fell in love with the program and the art form. He built up immense drive, passion, and skill in a short time, and was rewarded by being accepted into Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Summer Intensive. NEA and DCCAH grants and other funding contributions make this all possible.