Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project

Equitable access to a life-changing arts education

aka DESAP   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.ellingtonschool.org

Mission

Duke Ellington School of the Arts (DESA) was founded in 1974 as the first public partnership high-school dedicated to visual, performing, and media arts in DC. DESA's mission is to nurture and inspire passion for arts and learning in talented young people whom might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills; to ensure that students are prepared for a post-secondary education and/or careers in the arts by offering an intensive arts-based program; and to prepare students to become productive citizens in our global society through a strong focus on community service. Our vision is that every DC high-school student interested in pursuing a career in the arts will have the academic and pre-professional support to make that a reality.

Ruling year info

2000

Principal and Head of School

Sandi Logan

Main address

3500 R St NW

Washington, DC 20007 USA

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EIN

31-1705384

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Dance

Dance majors develop their abilities through a progression of courses that include orientation, history, composition, production, tap, ethnic dance (African), four levels of a Vaganova-based ballet technique and three levels of modern dance. A rigorous professional teaching approach equips dance majors physically and mentally to pursue a dance career. In addition, classes with master teachers focus on areas not emphasized in the curriculum. (The Physical Education requirement is satisfied by select dance courses.) Upon graduation, dance students are encouraged to continue their training at a higher level. Some begin their performance careers immediately.

Population(s) Served

Instrumental Music students receive classical training in applied music, music theory (reading and writing) and piano, and participate in performing ensembles. Major ensembles include: Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and String Ensemble. Smaller ensembles draw from students in each studio. Students perform annually as soloists at monthly recitals and prepare a 20-minute solo recital in their senior year. Music electives for third- and fourth-year students include composition, music technology, and music history.

Population(s) Served

Students studying Visual Arts at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts learn the elements of art and visual design while also preparing academically for college and for life. They take courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, computer science, and printmaking. Whether they become professional artists or designers or not, Ellington students are exposed to historical and contemporary styles from different cultures to broaden their frames of reference and perspectives. They also learn about the role of art in a democratic society. In the process of visual arts training at Ellington, we work to enhance students’ self-confidence and artistic consciousness, so they become good citizens of the art world and of humankind.

Population(s) Served

Museum Studies"Installing a museum exhibition is conduction of a symphony orchestra."- Walter Hopps, Founding Director of the Menil Collection in Houston, to the New York
Students in the Museum Studies program learn and practice the major functions of museums—collection, preservation, conservation, exhibition and public education—in courses such as Curatorial Skills, Photography, and Computer Graphics. Not only do students learn to record art and culture through various media; as seniors in high school, they also have the chance to work alongside museum staff on major projects at the Smithsonian Institution and other Washington museums. The program also offers educational travel to study museum practices in New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, and Barcelona. Many Duke Ellington School of the Arts alumni are working as exhibition designers, museum educators, and curators around the United States.

Population(s) Served

The Literary Media and Communications Department works towards training the 21st century artist/writer in creating Trans/Narratives, which represents our new paradigm. The creative energies that have produced technological behemoths such as Face book, Twitter, “i/Technologies”, blogs, “YouTube”, social media as a whole, require the ability to engage multiple skill sets. The necessity of having multiple skill sets, multiple platforms to render creativity is essential in competing within a global economy. LMC terms this rendering, Trans/Narratives, and is what our entire curriculum and training is premised on. A student interested in poetry will also train in other creative forms including fiction and non-fiction, the essay, short story, micro-fiction and creative non-fiction, as well as print and web-based journalism, blog, playwriting and screenwriting, performance, film theory, documentary filmmaking, social media, and web narrative. This ability to create and render narrative,

Population(s) Served

Vocal music students receive vocal training in classical style (four years) and are required to take music theory (Sight singing and music reading and writing, four years), a choir (four years chosen from: Female Ensemble, Male Ensemble, Jazz Vocal Styles, Chamber Singers, Show Choir) and class piano (sometimes combined with music theory). Electives include Opera Workshop, Dance Orientation, Introduction to Acting, Songwriting, Music Composition, Music Technology, Music History, and African-American Music History. Students are required to attend elective classes as chosen or assigned. Students perform occasionally as soloists (as designated by their teachers) on recitals, and if they demonstrate excellence in their semester jury, on Honors Recitals, and prepare a solo recital in the senior year.

Population(s) Served

In courses on topics from lighting and sound to costumes and management, this department is raising the next generation of technicians, designers, producers, and arts managers. Working on professional arts and performance projects, students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Well grounded academically, TDP students also receive firsthand experience using current equipment in a professional atmosphere. This real-life practice gives students a competitive advantage as they pursue post-secondary degrees or start their careers. TDP provides a pre-professional training program that focuses on instruction in five core areas of live entertainment: audio, lighting, scenery, costumes, and management. TDP majors pursue a graduated sequence of increasingly demanding courses in Technical Production, Theatre Operations, Theatre Fundamentals, Theatre Management, and Design, to include a capstone class in Entertainment Careers and Professional Development.

Population(s) Served

We are looking for students who are committed to contributing to the world in which they live and developing their artistic and intellectual abilities. The study of theatre is a life-long activity and requires the student to develop multiple skills across many disciplines. In addition to rigorous training in acting, movement and speech, students study theatre history, dramatic literature, playwriting and directing. We place emphasis on individual growth, discovery of personal strengths, critical thinking, process oriented work and the ensemble approach to making theatre. Our program is demanding and requires a high level of commitment from our students. In addition to opportunities to perform onstage at Ellington our students have extensive opportunities to work with professional artists and theatre companies from around the country and the world.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project

Board of directors
as of 3/1/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jeanette McCune

The John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center

Ari Fitzgerald

Hogan Lovells LLP

Gregory Squires

The George Washington University

Kay Twomey

Charles Barber

The George Washington University

Edrick Rhodes

The John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center

Brenda Morris

Sylvia White

Aristide Collins, Jr.

Amber Golden, Ex Officio

SHADE President

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/01/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data