In the Wake of the Wiz

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In the Wake of the Wiz Powered By Docstoc
					D E V E L O P I N G S C H O LA R S , A R T I S T S , A N D E N G A G E D C I T I Z E N S


Ellington Advisory Council
Dave Chappelle, Co-Chair Denyce Graves, Co-Chair Harry Belafonte Louis Gosset, Jr. Jasmine Guy Michael E. Henderson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Patti LaBelle Rita Moreno Senator Barack Obama Dianne Reeves Wallace Roney Billy Taylor Stevie Wonder

No one can deny the The community has inarguable success of already responded. Ellington’s producFollowing the show, tion of The Wiz, which Mr. Pullens was apmade $100,000 in proached by Coca ticket sales, sold out Cola, Bristol Meyers 11 of 12 performances, Squibb, and Black earned enormous meEntertainment Televidia coverage (includsion, all of whom saw ing the cover story of in The Wiz someThe Washington Post thing beyond a high Magazine in April), school production and attracted visits from expressed interest in public figures like supporting future iniMayor Fenty and DC tiatives. The president Council member Jack of the National AssoEvans, and compelled ciation for Secondary Dorothy and her friends in the Emerald City the Feld Family FoundaSchool Principals was tion to donate another so impressed with the $100,000 in support of the production. production and talent of Ellington’s students that he invited Mr. Pullens to dinner with representatives from the William But The Wiz wasn’t just a learning experience for students; Randolph Hearst Foundation to discuss possible future enit was an uneasy undertaking for arts and academic faculty deavors. Additionally, a senior representative from Comcast and staff alike, and it was not approached without significant Cable Communications has indicated interest in forming a doubt and skepticism. “I knew it had to succeed in an overpartnership with Ellington on future productions. the-top kind of way,” says Rory Pullens, Head of School. “There had to be no question.” The Wiz didn’t begin and end with the show; it fed the overall curriculum over the six months of preparation and it opened new doors and opportunities. The Wiz was a launching point for a new Ellington era. “The performance was just one piece,” reflects Mr. Pullens. “It forced us to look at how we currently give our students pre-professional training and how we can better prepare them to be well-rounded artists. In this case, we had some marvelous theater students with no vocal training, and vice versa. Then we threw dance in the mix. We realized the importance of providing our students cross-departmental training and building it directly into the curriculum.” To address this long-term, the arts faculty is developing a detailed new curriculum and exploring options to fund a new musical theater department. In addition, a production of this magnitude put a serious strain on the Technical Theater department. “We need more people-power and on-site expertise,” says Mr. Pullens, “so it’s become a priority to add at least one more full-time staff member to the Theater Tech Department and revamp the curriculum.” “We need to work together differently,” says Mr. Pullens. “The production really took a toll on a lot of teachers, whose students were exhausted and whose schedules were constantly changing. I think the projects we pursue in the future will have to take this into consideration at the outset, but I do believe that we can expect stronger cross-department cooperation on the next show.” Another goal of presenting The Wiz was to produce something large enough to attract media attention. Ellington administrators recognize that they need increased community support as they strive to move Ellington into the top tier of arts schools across the nation. The media came out in full force, culminating in a feature article in the Washington Post Magazine. “We showed them excellence,” says Mr. Pullens, “and excellence is what they’ll expect every time they come to a performance here. So we simply have to maintain that level and continue to draw in large audiences.” “This marks a new time at Ellington,” says Mr. Pullens. “We’re not living off the legacies—we’re creating new ones. I think people will refer to The Wiz as a new marker in time, a new moment in Ellington history.” “This is what I imagined I would be involved in at Ellington,” says theater senior Le’Asha Julius. At first, the students didn’t fully realize the caliber of professional that had been brought in to work with them. They didn’t recognize that the new staff were Broadway professionals and GRAMMY winners. In retrospect, they now understand how privileged they were to receive the quality of artistic instruction these seasoned professionals brought. “You can’t get this kind of depth of experience, knowledge, and artistry from simply sitting in a classroom,” observes Mr. Pullens. “One student only read the program thoroughly after it was all over. He realized he’d been part of something huge, but in the moment, he didn’t see the forest for the trees.” In the future, students who participated in The Wiz will approach the next big project with a different spirit, focus, and readiness. Everyone learned volumes from this experience. “It was great to see which individuals—both students and faculty and staff—were capable of bringing a ton to the table. People rolled up their sleeves and jumped right in. It was fantastic to see what strengths we have in our own personnel—our staff showed traits I didn’t even know existed on that level. None of that was lost on me,” says Mr. Pullens. “Now, when we talk about trying new things, I don’t get an adverse reaction. There’s no better argument than success,” he beams. “In accomplishing the task so successfully, people are starting to believe. We did this—institutionally—and we’re seeing this as a ‘we’ victory.” The extent of The Wiz’s success is extraordinary. Admissions applications are the highest they’ve been in recent history. Audiences are bigger; the community is more involved. Ellington plans to expand its curriculum. Perhaps best of all, “it’s allowed us to get our swagger back,” says Mr. Pullens.

Board of Directors Michaele C. Christian, MD, President Darrell Ayers, Secretary Charles Barber, Treasurer Michael F. Brewer Sheryll D. Cashin Michael Freedman Gerald Lang Gregory Squires

Ellington Fund
Board of Directors Robert D. Horvath, Jr., President Ari Fitzgerald, Vice President Daryl A. Libow, Vice President Alison Hooker, Secretary Michaele C. Christian, M.D., President, DESAP Rory L. Pullens, Head of School Ellen Coppley, Executive Director, Ellington Fund Christopher B. Cowan Louis Everard G. David Hackney Cara Grayer Johnson Ruth Milkman Michael Nannes James C. Neuhauser Carla Sims Jarvis Stewart Lisa A. Williams-Fauntroy Calvin Roberson, Dean of Arts Michael Clarke, Ph.D., Dean of School Operations Celia Bassols, President, SHADE Parent Group Jocelyn McClure, President, Duke Ellington Alumni Association Co-Founders Peggy Cooper Cafritz Mike Malone Emeritus Dwight W. Bush Mario M. Cooper Nancy M. Folger Marilyn Funderburk James O. Gibson Michele V. Hagans Elliott S. Hall Richard Levy William McSweeney Joseph Mele Amelia L. Parker Wendy Farrow Raines Molly Raiser Vincent E. Reed Aubrey Sarvis Virginia Mott Sullivan Riley K. Temple Roger Williams

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts JOURNEYS! 2008 Summer Arts Camp June 30-July 26
It’s time to register for JOURNEYS!, Ellington’s second annual summer camp for creative kids aged 10-14. Campers will have a great time this summer as they learn from skilled master arts teachers who will lead daily workshops to explore America’s multi-culturalism, focusing on the unique artistic expression of African American, Native American and Latin American cultures. They’ll also express their own creativity through singing, dancing, acting, writing and painting and enjoy visits from guest artists and field trips to places like the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center. During the four-week program, children will have the rare opportunity to be involved in every aspect of creating a stage production, from costume and set design to script-writing and acting. The camp will culminate in an exciting final showcase in which campers will show off all they’ve learned to family and friends. Pilar Fitzgerald attended last year’s program. “If you’re going to do anything at all in life, it takes a tremendous amount of discipline,” she reflected. “I came with discipline, and I think I left the camp with ten times more. You have to work really hard to get to the places you want to be.” Campers will throw their hearts and souls into the program, but it won’t be without giggly good times. So join us this summer from June 30 through July 26. To register now or for more information, visit or call 202.333.2555 ext. 2101. Space is limited—register now!

It is possible—likely, even—that American students today know little of Israeli culture or day-to-day life outside of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reported in the media. When Tzerei Bialik (Youngsters of Bialik), an Israeli youth performance troupe, visited Ellington in February, our students had a unique opportunity to expand their cultural horizons. Tzerei Bialik visited DC to perform at three venues, but they visited Ellington simply to interact with their American counterparts and to enjoy a matinee performance of The Wiz. Health instructor Ava Burke worked with the group’s DC representative, Cantor Marshall Kapell, to coordinate the visit. Before the show, the two groups of students co-mingled and broke up into smaller discussion groups to tackle a list of questions Ms. Burke developed to spur conversation. There is much the two groups of teens have in common. Like many Ellington students, Tzerei Bialik are talented singers and dancers. Like Ellington students, they are in high demand for performances both locally and abroad. The list of questions was soon abandoned as students started asking questions of their own. Ellington students were surprised to learn that teenagers from the Middle East are adept at English and as technologically advanced as themselves. The two groups took turns showing off their Blackberries and cellular phones to one another. The visitors spent most of their time with the Visual Arts students as most of the performing arts students were in rehearsal. And “the Israeli students were quite enamored by Ellington’s Visual Arts students’ talent,” says Cantor Kapell. “They were really cool and down-to-earth,” reflects Devon Brockenberry, an Ellington student. “And,” he grins, “they don’t like [George W.] Bush.” Junior Jamal Cephus noticed that even though the Israelis spoke English, it was British English. “They didn’t understand our DC accents,” he says. “But they were really talented and dedicated to the arts—maybe even more so than the kids here.”
Members of Tzerei Bialik exchange ideas with ElIn a more poignant molington students. ment, a few of the Israeli youth spontaneously burst into a traditional Israeli song, with voices tuning in one by one until they filled the room. Ellington students were moved, clapping along with the song’s upbeat rhythm. Then Ellington students returned the favor by showing the Israeli students their Visual Arts portfolios and sketching their visitors’ portraits.

Journeys! is all about creativity…and fun.

“It was truly illuminating, I think, for both groups of students,” reflects Ms. Burke.

In late April, Ellington students attended a conference sponsored by the Diversity in International Affairs Committee at Georgetown University. The conference, Asia Rising conference attendees titled Asia Rising, focused on cultural, historical, political, and socioeconomic aspects of the Asian region, and provided students a chance to explore the field of international affairs and the chance to interact in Georgetown’s academic and social atmosphere. The conference featured a variety of simulations, workshops, and lectures run by student facilitators and Georgetown faculty. “History and other cultures always interest me,” says Geneva Tann, “It was great to learn about political issues that affect a totally different culture and why they do.” The conference struck an especially personal note for Chris Nguyen, whose family is Korean. “We talked a lot about North and South Korea, about North Korea’s lack of relationship with the United States.” He says the lectures he attended helped him to feel more attuned with his own culture.

For Sharifa Austin, the conference was “a great opportunity to learn about an entirely new subject.” Plus, she adds, she enjoyed experiencing life in a college setting. That was a perk to Lauren Alvarez, too. “It was interesting to attend a real college lecture, and I asked professors about their backgrounds and what led to their interest in this subject in the first place.” She felt encouraged by their responses. “They wanted us to interact with them— they were totally open to it.” Geneva Tann participates in the bi-weekly round-table discussion facilitated by volunteer Dickstein Shapiro attorneys. “We look at issues from our own perspectives—how they affect us personally. This conference made us examine cultural and political issues outside our lives—how they affect other people.” “Part of Ellington’s mission is to cultivate global citizens and cultural ambassadors,” says Lynn Moore, chair of the Social Studies department. “This conference was an excellent forum for our students to reap the benefits of exploring diverse cultures and global issues. It’s terrific that these opportunities are available right in our own back yard.”

The Ellington Fund Board of Directors cordially invites you to A Springtime Salute to Ellington, an evening of song and celebration to benefit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Wednesday, May 21, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect Street, NW, Georgetown. For ticket or sponsorship information, please call 202.333.2555 ext. 2101 or email All are welcomed!


From Jim Magner’s Art and the City Column, Hill Rag, February 2008. Reprinted with permission from Capital Community News, Inc.

“Promise” is a great thing. It’s the future—the future of art and the future of hope for civilization. If you think that’s too dramatic, you just have to look at the work of Patrick Campbell, a 17-year-old student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He was following his four older brothers, all graduates of Duke Ellington, into the arts when he suffered a stroke three years ago. The struggle to recover and continue on for Patrick and his parents has been Herculean, but there has never been a doubt that he could not only recover, but excel and accomplish whatever he wishes. If it has meant endless hours of grueling physical and speech therapy while fighting incomprehensible city bureaucracy, so be it. If it meant auditing classes and accomplishing work on his own, so be it. And if it means learning how to draw and paint with the left hand rather than the right, then that’s what it takes.

Many Literary Media students enter Ellington with dreams of becoming a famous novelist or playwright. But in the world beyond school, it’s hard to make ends meet as a full-time fiction writer. In the job market, candidates with good writing skills are hard to come by, which lends Literary Media students a competitive advantage. But how can they apply these skills and still pay the rent? That’s where journalism comes in handy. “At an arts school, students tend to be more interested in creative writing,” says Esther Iverem, Ellington’s new journalism instructor. “But a few of them understand the value of writing what’s true, and slowly, more of the kids are coming to appreciate that.” Ellington’s student newspaper, The Green Chair, has, in the past, made sporadic appearances at best. Ms. Iverem is charged with starting from scratch. She and her students face considerable challenges: there aren’t enough lap-top computers for each student, and the computers they have lack basic programs like Microsoft Word, let alone the design and layout software she wants her students to master. But despite these obstacles, the class has managed to produce the newspaper almost monthly this year. “The biggest difference with the paper this year versus in previous years is that now we have a really strong role model—who’s completely dedicated to this effort—to keep us in line. Ms. Iverem takes what she does really seriously, and she holds high standards for us. She makes sure we stick to deadlines and produce, ” says Cerstin Johnson, a Literary Media senior. Ms. Iverem comes to Ellington with an impressive background: an award-winning journalist, she is the publisher and editor of an online magazine,, which examines the arts, media, and politics from a black perspective. She was a film critic for Black Entertainment Television online and a staff writer for The Washington Post and New York Newsday. Ms. Iverem is the recipient of numerous honors, including a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship, a National Arts Journalism Fellowship and an artist’s fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She also is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Being aware of the process of news-gathering is important in Ms. Iverem’s class. Her students read the news, actively discuss it, answer questions related to current events. Now, creating the Literary Media students are honored for their contribution to 12-page newsThe Green Chair newspaper. paper will be a comprehensive production process. The students don’t just write the articles; they conduct online research; they interview sources; they write and proof-read the articles; they design and lay out the articles. “The students are developing practical skills,” says Ms. Iverem. “They’re able to project themselves into a real journalist’s role.” To address many students’ preference for creative writing, she exposes them to various genres of journalism, including memoirs, features, and op-ed. “And they love writing movie reviews,” she grins. The Green Chair is co-sponsored by Prime Movers at George Washington University, a group that facilitates training, offers professional assistance, and provides inspiration for high school journalists from diverse backgrounds by pairing students with professional journalists, and The Washington Post’s Young Journalists Development Program, which prints the black-and-white document at no cost to Ellington. Ellington’s young journalists are hoping to raise the money to print their periodical in color. In April, Prime Movers recognized Literary Media students for their contribution at an annual program. Special awards for excellence went to Cerstin Johnson, Candace Coley, Miya Nashonne, Maria Snellings, and Max Freshour.

Patrick Campbell, here with his dad, Francis Campbell

Patrick doesn’t speak of any of this. He just opens up his art portfolio like any other graduating senior applying to colleges and art schools and lets his work do the talking. It includes the whole inventory of techniques taught in art curriculums: pencil drawings, monotype prints, watercolors, rubbings, acrylics, etc., and it is very good. He has a good grasp of space and how patterns of lights and darks create solids. He has an innate sense of composition and how the arrangement of form tells the story. But there is something else you can’t help but notice, especially when you look at his portraits. There is a love of creating art and a sensitivity to life that looks into the future, the great gaping unknown, with a determination to find the best—the beauty of the world and the beauty of life. That’s his promise to all of us. The promise that gives us hope.

Michael Clarke, Ph.D., Ellington’s Dean of School Operations, did not spend his Valentine’s Day celebrating with roses or truffles. Rather, he attended a celebration of a different sort—in Atlantic City—at a luncheon that recognized him as a winner of the 2008 Advanced Placement Program Outstanding Teacher Award. “At least I got to spend it with my wife,” he smiles; his wife also was present in her capacity as Assistant Dean at Howard University. The luncheon’s program touts Dr. Clarke for helping AP teachers provide the best possible instruction to their students. Dr. Clarke helped to expand Ellington’s curriculum to include eight AP courses and increased the number of students taking AP classes from 52 to 99 in one year. Rory Pullens, Head of School, raved that Dr. Clarke is “one committed and passionate educator, making a big difference in our academic expectations, standards, and rigor.” “I feel like I work every single moment,” says Dr. Clarke. “When I’m driving, when I’m walking down the street, I’m always working. But that’s not always obvious—a lot of what I do isn’t visible or tangible, so it is gratifying to know that there’s awareness of how much I do.” We are grateful for Dr. Clarke’s efforts to ensure that Ellington students are keenly prepared for their futures in higher education.

Dr. Michael Clarke

For many of the country’s show choirs, the prestigious FAME competition is their one opportunity to compete throughout the year. Such is not the case with Ellington’s show choir, whose members travel and perform exhaustively throughout the year. So when the choir members finished participating in The Wiz followed immediately by a performance at the prestigious Strathmore Hall, many of them wondered how they would adequately prepare for the early March FAME competition in Honolulu. There wasn’t a moment to breathe. “We pulled the show together in just a month,” says sophomore Kanysha Williams. “And that brought everyone together,” agreed choir president Ayanna Reed. “We really jumped over some obstacles.”

“It was one of the best organized, most exciting trips this choir has ever been on,” says show choir director Samuel L. Bonds. The choir rehearsed two hours a day while there, and even brought sewing machines to finish the costumes. But there was plenty of time to enjoy a beach barbecue prepared by parent chaperones, to take hula lessons, to visit a farm where all kinds of films are shot.
The show choir enjoying tropical breezes

“It was a beautiful trip— there was so much to see

This year’s FAME competition was the fifth the show choir has participated in, and only the second consecutive year. And somehow, the choir returned triumphant. The all-jazz repertoire placed first in the concert choir category and third in the show choir category. Sophomore Kanysha Williams received a trophy for most outstanding female vocalist; Michael Barnes won for best male stage presence, and Chelsea Harris won for best female stage presence for her narration. “No one else had spoken narration,” says Chelsea. “I think that gave us an edge and added sparkle to our performance.” The competition took place at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Horizon Stage, a state-of-the-art covered open-air venue.

and do,” says Michael Barnes. “The kids handled themselves beautifully and got along well—that was a blessing,” reflects Mr. Bonds. “They were there as ambassadors for the school and for themselves—that drives them to want to be on top and show people what we can do.” The choir did some major fundraising—each student coming up with $1,000 to cover his or her air fare, and raising the rest through performances and fundraisers. And it paid off—after a grueling beginning to second semester, who can beat singing with a tropical backdrop of volcanoes, palm trees, and waterfalls? Sounds like the perfect way to unwind and regain spirits!

Several times a year, Ellington’s gallery becomes a work in progress, with ladders propped against walls, frames perched precariously on the ground, students and faculty scrutinizing, strategizing, measuring, pensively rubbing their chins. Within a week, the gallery is transformed to an organized whirlwind of color and texture that can’t help but draw in anyone who passes by. A new exhibit is up! The gallery hosts shows for both Museum Studies (first semester) and Visual Arts (second semester). This spring semester, Visual Arts kicks off with a faculty show. “Our hope is to set a precedent for the kids,” says Bill Harris, visual arts instructor. “This year’s show was of exceptional quality, and I think it communicated our expectations for future student shows. We want them to produce work that’s consistent with what we demand of ourselves as veteran artists.” In addition to exhibits in our own gallery, Ellington’s Visual Arts students also enjoy a partnership with the Sidwell Friends School, a prestigious Quaker school just up Wisconsin Avenue. For over 20 years, Ellington freshmen have participated in a show at Sidwell—their first exhibit, which gives their work exposure and begins to teach them how to present their art. In the spring, underclass Visual Arts students produce the highlight of their semester: the Annual Student Show. “The kids may not get excited about it until they see their work on display, but this is one of the best student shows we’ve seen in years. The work is excellent across the board,” comments Mr. Harris. “And we can expect a lot of the senior show that closes out the school year.”


Angela Powell Walker knows exactly what it’s like to be a student at an arts school: she enrolled in one herself when she was a seventhgrader in her home town of Cincinnati. She worked hard to pursue her dreams of professional singing and continued her education at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, where she earned her undergraduate degree, and at the University of Maryland, where she earned a master’s degree in vocal pedagogy and performance. And she never looked back.

Angela Powell Walker

Ms. Walker’s education was only the launching point of an enviable career in the arts. She has traveled and performed across the globe: Budapest, Rome, Prague, Vienna, singing such impressive venues as The Met and Carnegie Hall and playing some amazing roles, including the countess in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Suzannah, and Michaela in Carmen. “I was a busy bee in the opera world!” she laughs. “Then,” she inserts a dramatic pause, “I got married.” Ms. Walker’s career slowed for a bit as she established a family. After she gave birth to three sons, her travel schedule diminished. But she stayed highly involved with singing in DC as Artistic Associate for Vocal Development in DC’s Master Chorale, which performs at the Kennedy Center. “Basically, I’m their voice teacher,” she explains. Additionally, she has taught at several area colleges, is the section leader at All Souls Unitarian Church, and ran her own voice studio, which peaked at 50 students. Ms. Walker was looking for a way to scale back her studio when she received a call from Mary Jane Ayers, her colleague in Sigma Alpha Iota fraternity for professional musicians. Dr. Ayers wondered if Ms. Walker might be interested in teaching at Ellington. “The timing was perfect,” says Ms. Walker. “I was really excited to be back in a school, knowing I could make a difference.”

A bright new space provides the perfect backdrop for Ellington art.

Madeleine Finley, a visual arts junior, remembers her first exhibit as a freshman: “It was so exciting to see all our work up. It was my first real exhibit as an artist.” It motivated her to keep in mind her career goals as a visual artist. This semester, the quality of the work exhibited is supported by a much-deserved renovated gallery. With labor donated by Davis Construction, student and faculty art is back dropped by freshly painted walls and clean carpeting. The space feels sunny and bright, inviting. “It’s so elegant and light,” says Madeleine. “The new space makes our work look even better!” The gallery has been used for meetings, concerts, dance rehearsals, and voting. “I really hope the new gallery means we start viewing it as the sacred space it should be,” says Mr. Harris. “It certainly is an opportunity to remind the world that our school isn’t just for the performing arts.” The visual arts remain loud and proud!

Ms. Walker smiles warmly. Her style is tough—she holds her students to the highest of standards and expects them to work with dogged dedication, much as she did as she developed her career and continues to do. “We all need to demand more of our students. The talent at Ellington is immense— even better than I expected. And I know that if we hold the bar higher, the students will reach it. To do anything less is a disservice to them.” “I’m like one of those bugs that eats at people from the inside out,” she grins, amused by the severity of the image. “But you know how that works—you start at the core and you get infectious. I will do everything I can to make my students the best at what they do,” she states emphatically. Three of Ms. Walker’s students were accepted into Oberlin this year, and she is charged with educating the vocal students about the breadth of educational options available to them beyond high school. Next year, she’s planning visits to Virginia’s Shenandoah University, Marshall University in West Virginia, and hopefully Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ms. Walker has established herself in her first year at Ellington as a highenergy, motivated, and committed teacher. She shows true promise as one of our school’s strong leaders.

Performing at the Kennedy Center is nothing to sneeze at, so when Ellington theater students were invited to participate in the center’s August Wilson monologue competition, it was a great honor. Nine students participated in the preliminary competition, and seven were selected as the competition’s ten finalists! The day of the final competition, the Kennedy Center—and our students— were abuzz with excitement. Performances took place in the Family Theater and were juried by celebrity panelists including Phylicia Rashad, Kenny Leon, and Todd Kreidler (August Wilson’s dramaturg).

In just six years since graduating from Ellington, he produced and directed his first feature film. She wrote and published her first book. Denton Adams (Adam Smith) and Kayona Ebony Brown hadn’t seen each other since their days as Ellington students, but their independent ventures helped them realize the opportunity for a creative partnership. Denton’s first project was Viewfinder, a mockumentary about an aspiring filmmaker, and Kayona’s was Tenth Letter, a provocative novel that explores the question, are women the new men? The two joined forces to create IME Films, a production company with the goal of inspiring, motivating, and evoking provocative thinking through film. The company’s mission is to create films with conscientious plots, themes, and characters while maintaining an entertainment-based foundation. The team’s first feature film is titled Song for the Goat, a drama about a group of friends faced with an imminent death, whose respective responses to fear challenge their identities. Production is scheduled for summer 2008. On Friday, May 30, 2008, IME Films will host a Benefit Showcase at the Ellington Theatre at 7 p.m. to raise money for their upcoming feature film collaboration. The showcase will detail the young entrepreneurs’ past successes to persuade involvement from potential investors and contributors. Proceeds from tickets sales also will help with production. IME Films will offer summer internship opportunities for current Ellington students. All are welcomed to the benefit! To purchase tickets, visit www.IMEFilms. com or call 888.384.5104.

Our student competitors were hosted by the Kennedy Center—which genChelsea Harris, Mayaa Boateng, and Thandiwe Hunter made Ellington erously provided proud! various tours, catered meals, a celebratory reception, tickets to four plays throughout the festival, and a set of the century cycle plays. “Meet the artist” sessions with Todd Kreidler To learn more about Adam and Kayona, visit and Kenny Leon—who visited the students at Ellington and spent the afterand respectively. For more on IME Films, visit www. noon talking with them and answering questions—were a highlight. Additionally, the Kennedy Center hosted the entire Theater department at two panel discussions, the first of which featured African American artists and journalists, and the second of which featured actors and directors participating in the festival. “Before I saw any of the play readings, we had a panel discussion with actors who’d been in previous productions of August Wilson plays,” says Mayaa Boateng, a junior in the Theater department who participated in the monologue competition. “One of the actors mentioned that the experience was life-changing, and I thought that seemed like a cliché until I experienced the readings for myself.” As she talks, she leans forward in her chair, her enthusiasm palpable. “Now the plays have such a deep place in my heart. I was on the edge of my seat every moment—it was so real. It was a profound reminder of why I want to do what I do.” The icing on the cake was two wins for Ellington. A hearty congratulations to Le’Asha Julius, a senior, who won first place (a $500 scholarship), and Chelsea Harris, a junior, who took second place (a $250 scholarship).

Denton Adams (Adam Smith) and Kayona Brown

On a dreary March day, the dance department traipsed onto a coach bus headed towards the City of Brotherly Love. Twenty-four students emerged in Philadelphia ready to slip into gorgeous pastel costumes and kick off the Ninth National High School Dance Festival, in which they participate every other year. Ellington’s Dance department was one of the troupes selected to perform at the weekend’s opening gala, and they drew much audience appreciation with their performance of To Mike With Love. It was the start of a terrific festival, presented by the NHSDF organization in conjunction with The University of the Arts and Artists Exchange International. The four-day festival welcomed over 1,500 students. Throughout the weekend, participating students had the opportunity to take master classes and workshops with various guest artists in a breadth of dance genres, as well as related subjects such as massage, stretch, injury prevention, and nutrition. Ten Ellington students registered for scholarship auditions in hopes of being awarded scholarships to summer intensive dance programs, colleges, universities, and conservatories. All ten were awarded scholarships, including, to name a few, London Myrick, who was accepted into the Philadanco summer intensive program; Ashley McManus, who was accepted into the American Dance Festival summer intensive; Reginald Starling, who was accepted into the Rutgers University dance program (but who will be attending SUNY Purchase); and Hannes-Michael Broncekowski, who was accepted into the University of Minnesota and received a full scholarship to his first choice, Liverpool School of the Arts in England. Shaneace Virgil, a senior, remembers the trip bitter-sweetly. “This was our last trip—and it was one of the best we’ve ever taken. There wasn’t a lot of

To Mike With Love

drama—everything went so smoothly. We took a lot of classes with really accomplished famous people, and we grew even closer as a department. It was great to be with so many people who share my passion. It was the perfect last trip for my Ellington career.” Shaneace plans to major in Arts Management at Marymount University in Virginia next year. The trip also helped prepare the students for their spring dance production, Remembering Our Legacy, May 12-17. “The theme is a nod to all the shoulders that we stand upon as dancers,” says Charles Augins, chair of Ellington's Dance department. Featuring African, classical ballet, modern, and modern jazz choreographers by Ellington faculty as well as Christopher Huggins, Ralph Glenmore (a Workshop for the Arts alumnus), and Elana Anderson ’81, the annual dance production is an audience favorite.

At an evening of song and celebration on May 21, Ellington will honor Barbara and Sidney Dickstein for their years of support. The reception will benefit The Ellington School, and all are welcome. Barbara and Sid Dickstein seem more like a couple perhaps approaching retirement age than like octogenarians. But age clearly plays little role in their lifestyle, which remains active and adventurous. What’s most striking is their affectionate camaraderie; after 54 years of marriage, these great Ellington supporters finish each other’s sentences and are clearly great friends who have shared a wonderful life. They continue to enjoy it for all it’s worth. Soon, four Ellington students were being flown to the ranch to participate in a two-week intensive arts program, at no cost to the student or to the ranch—Dickstein Shapiro covered the costs of all transportation, lodging, meals, even art supplies. “That first year, the students had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and the ranch certainly didn’t know what to expect regarding their talent or maturity levels,” recalls Barbara. “And let me tell you…these kids knocked them dead.” The students were so talented and worked so well that in subsequent years, they were spread out amongst various different classes and introduced to new media, trying ceramics (Ellington has no functional kilns) or wood-turning (Ellington has no lathe). Each year, the students get “adopted” by the adults in their classes, and they are encouraged to spend meals meeting new people—not with their Ellington peers. Every hand-picked student must be exemplary, building on the precedent set the previous year and filling some very impressive footsteps. “The kids are so extraordinary—in their work, attitude, and reliability,” Barbara gushes. “It’s very exciting to see how well they meld into their classes and see the work they produce.” “We try not to hover,” she says. “But Barb does her grandmotherly bit,” teases Sid. “It gets cold! I run around gathering warm clothes—even nightgowns—for them. This year, it’s going to be a little muddy.” The last night of the program each year, Barbara prepares a big dinner for the kids, and they all sit around a table in the Dickstein home and talk about their lives. “The kids see the affluence of the Anderson surroundings,” says Sid, “and I think that’s a good thing. It’s good for them to know that it doesn’t start that way, and it gives them goals and ambitions. It keeps their eyes open, keeps them on a path, gives them something to aspire to.” “And let me tell you what it’s like when they bend down to hug me,” says Barbara. Small wonder. In addition to the holiday card and Anderson Ranch programs, Dickstein Shapiro also sponsors a regular bi-weekly student roundtable discussion, providing eight attorneys who take time to research and prepare current event topics for Ellington’s social studies students to discuss. They also sponsor a street-law course in collaboration with Georgetown law students. The class won its first city-wide mock-trial competition this year—a great source of pride for Ellington. “Our firm has unusual values,” reflects Sidney. “Our attorneys are so happy, and that makes me very proud. We really like doing this.” “There are many ways to give back,” says Barbara. “The joy for us is being able to see the impact we’re having. You can’t change the world. But affecting the lives of the individuals we meet is extraordinarily rewarding for us. Who knows where it will take them in life? “And Sid,” she probes, “the first time we saw those students in their classes… wasn’t it a thrill?” “It was,” he agrees. “It was certainly a thrill.” Barbara and Sidney Dickstein will be honored at a reception at Georgetown’s Halcyon House on May 21 from 6:30-9 p.m. The event will benefit the Ellington School. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 202.333.2555 ext. 2101 or email

Sidney and Barbara Dickstein

When asked how they became interested in the arts, they reflect back before their marriage. Both are Manhattan natives, and culture was hard to avoid in their hometown. “From the time you were little, you just went to the theater all the time,” says Barbara. “Madison Avenue was lined with galleries. And one of our first dates was a Josh White, Jr. concert—he was a great folk singer.” “There were only nine dates before we were engaged,” adds Sid. “Before you made The Proclamation,” corrects his loving wife. The couple had been married for five years when they moved to DC, where Sid was a founding partner of his law firm, Dickstein Shapiro LLP, and still works daily as senior counsel. Barbara’s early career was as a magazine fashion coordinator, which she gave up when she had their three children. As a young couple struggling to get established, it took a while to infuse themselves into the arts scene. In New York, they had belonged to a play-reading group through their congregation. In DC, they visited local museums and attended concerts and plays at the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage. But work and family kept them busy; it was difficult to find the time to take full advantage of DC’s cultural offerings. After staying at home for several years, Barbara was itching to get back to a career, and hence became the museum specialist responsible for the 20th Century Division of Costume at the Smithsonian Institute’s American History Museum, where she worked for 16 years. Ten years ago, the marketing director at Sid’s firm came up with the idea to sponsor a season’s greeting card design contest for Ellington students. “We get 40 to 50 entries each year, and they’re posted in each of our three offices. We select a winner based on diplomatic vote. Everyone—I mean, everyone—gets a vote. Messengers…everyone,” he says proudly. A reception is held each year for all the student competitors, visual arts faculty, and parents, and prizes are awarded. In the meantime, the Dicksteins had purchased a second home in Snowmass, Colorado, home to the Anderson Ranch, a community in the middle of a very vital arts center. They started taking various classes, watched artists at work, and got to know them. Soon, Barbara was serving on the board, and they began acquiring art that touched them. “We’re not true collectors, but we love art,” says Sid. “We purchase a great diversity of pieces,” explains Barbara. “We’re not looking to fill in missing slots by one artist with whom we’re obsessed. Our art is wood, fiber, oils—it’s a bit haphazard, but it’s by artists we know and it means something to us.” They became more and more immersed in life at Anderson. Seven years ago, the ranch’s program director mentioned to Sid that a recent attempt to establish a partnership with a school in Chicago had failed miserably. This, of course, got Sid’s wheels turning. He mentioned his firm’s relationship with Ellington and offered to talk with faculty members about some possibilities.

Ellington’s faculty members are proven artists and experts in their fields, and Museum Studies chair Marta Reid Stewart’s most recent professional endeavors are continued proof. In March, Spelman College’s programming board and International Students Organization collaborated to plan their second annual International Spring Festival, DiverseCity. As part of the week-long event, Ms. Stewart was invited to participate in a one-day seminar, Hottentot to Hip Hop: The Black Female Body in Art and Visual Culture. Ms. Stewart’s talk, The Black Female Body: Taste the Fruit of the Spirit, kicked off a day of exploration of provocative images and lively topics ranging from the infamous Hottentot Venus to singer Janet Jackson and actress Whoopi

Goldberg. Ms. Stewart’s peers that day featured a panel of impressive specialists in Black visual culture. She received outstanding feedback after the panel was over. Ms. Stewart thinks it’s important for teachers to practice their craft outside the classroom, and emphasizes that for her to stay current; she needs to be out there doing it. “I’m eager to dispel the old George Bernard Shaw adage, ‘Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,’ she says. “We do, and we teach. Projects like this make me a stronger teacher.” She thrives off the challenge and growth. Ms. Stewart used the experience as fodder to teach her students. “Talking with them about this,” she says, “is a good way to make them aware of the breadth of the museum studies world. This will incorporate public speaking, computer applications [her talk will be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation], and foundations in art history.” Ellington teachers continue making their mark in the broader world of the arts.

know they have an interest in law but don’t know what they’re getting into. The course, sponsored by Dickstein Shapiro LLC and taught by various volunteer attorneys and Georgetown University law students, introduces kids to the Constitution and teaches them about their rights. The spring city-wide mock trial competition is the culmination of a year of hard work and preparation as students learn about the law. And this year’s mock trial is to be highly celebrated, because Ellington’s team, led by Georgetown law student Diane Cañate, added a triumphant feather to their collective cap! “We were very well prepared,” says Mansoor Celestin, a junior in instrumental music, “but we were the underdogs. We were up against all these preppy kids with flashcards and fake British accents.” But having a background in the arts was helpful, claim the students. Says Jasmine Marshall, a junior in the Vocal department, “When you play a witness, it’s like acting. You have to memorize details about your character’s life.” Participating as an attorney is different, though, claims Keagoe Stith, a Visual Arts junior. “You have to be able to think on your feet quickly, to be totally analytical and to anticipate any response from a lawyer’s perspective.” When the trials were over, there was a recess as judges calculated points to determine the winning team. “It was so nerve-racking!” exclaims Jasmine. Mansoor agrees: “Our hearts were pounding.” And when they announced the winner, the students had to stay quiet until the announcement was finished. “That was the hardest thing to do,” says Jasmine. “I just wanted to jump up and scream!” She grins, visibly proud. “It was a huge sigh of relief,” says Keagoe. Street Law and the mock trial experience have helped our students explore their career options beyond the arts. “When I got here,” says Jasmine, “I knew I wanted to sing, and I was thinking about musical theater. But that doesn’t happen for everyone, so now I’m thinking about minoring in law when I get to college. It’s practical to have a back-up plan.” Mansoor’s love of law is even more extensive. He is seriously considering it for his career. “This has been a wonderful experience,” he says. This June, six Technical Theater students will pack their bags for Florida, but they’re not heading to the spring break state for reasons most teenagers would. They will be spending their days at an intensive internship program in Palmetto at the Feld costume and scenic design studio, which houses the world’s largest costume collection and builds the sets for their live productions. The all-expense-paid week-long trip comes courtesy of the Feld Family Foundation and the Feld Entertainment Company, which have donated $300,000 in cash and equipment to support expanded staff and master classes for the Technical Theater department. Feld Entertainment is the largest producer of live family entertainment, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey; Disney on Ice and Disney Live! The students will attend daily workshops, hosted by master technicians, on a breadth of technical topics. “We’re getting ready to introduce a completely

Mr. Newman peruses a project book with Feld staff.

overhauled curriculum in Theater Tech next year,” says department chair Ronald Lee Newman, “and this internship is an excellent way to support the comprehensive skills our students will be learning throughout the school year.” This year’s Ellington Feld interns—two seniors, a junior, and three sophomores— were evaluated and selected primarily on how they performed on The Wiz. “It was one way to keep them on their toes and motivated,” says Mr. Newman. “In the future, we’ll probably make the opportunity available exclusively to underclassmen. I want them to come back excited and ready to apply what they’ve learned and share their new skills with their peers.” Mr. Newman visited the Florida facility in April and returned feeling enthused. “The facility is amazingly organized, and we had some wonderful discussions about the proposed internship curriculum. “Working with Feld has been such a joy,” continues Mr. Newman. “They’re giving us something that’s been long overdue for the Technical Theater department. When the kids work on show after show after show, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we need to be focusing on training them. This is a big step.”

The victorious Street Law team

It’s a tremendous partnership. Feld’s donation and involvement with Ellington is one of the biggest the school has ever seen in recent years, and we hope we can look forward to building upon this internship program in future years.


Executive Committee meetings are open to everyone! Please feel free to attend on May 28, 6:30 p.m. in room 108.

tion of the day’s in-store sales and online purchases, as well! The event raised over $1,500 for SHADE. In addition, the book sellers invited our students to perform throughout the day, raising visibility for the school and our talented students! We’re very grateful to Barnes & Noble for their generosity and hope that this is the first of many future partner events.

SHADE President Celia Bassols is happy to hear from you! She’s recently started a new job and asked that you make sure you have the correct contact information for her: Cell phone: 202.302.2174 Email: Thanks for your continued involvement and interest!

Congratulations to Michelle Reaux and all the parents who coordinated Ellington’s first Barnes & Noble book fair in April. Barnes & Noble gave us the entire day on April 26 to raise money for the Ellington library, donating a por-

You may have noticed that in the past year or two, ElMitzi Cruz lington has introduced a portfolio of beautiful new marketing materials. Our performance calendar has never looked more stunning; our admissions materials are truly alluring; our Playbill is lavish. What you probably didn’t know, however, is that behind these beautiful documents is a young graphic designer who went to a high school much like Ellington. Mitzi Cruz is a designer for Morgan Lewis LLP, an international law firm that has generously supported Ellington with pro-bono legal counsel for years. Morgan Lewis recently expanded their services to Ellington to include graphic design and portfolio materials, and Mitzi has made a significant difference in helping to improve Ellington’s image to the outside world. Mitzi attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts in New York City, where she was a fine arts major. Fearful that it couldn’t translate to a lucrative career, her parents discouraged her from becoming an artist, and she enrolled at a community college as a respiratory therapy major. While in school, Mitzi took a job in digital imaging, retouching photos. “It was during the dot-com boom,” she recalls. “Everything was new: Photoshop was new…I just started fooling around with different applications and making paintings digital.”

Soon after, family matters forced Mitzi to drop out of school and she took a job doing design work for a group that promoted New York City nightclubs. She learned fast and was soon employed by an advertising agency that focused on retail design. Her clients included such hard-hitters as Lexus and Acura. “I had no formal training; I learned a lot from other designers on the job. They gave me a lot of guidance, and I give them a lot of credit,” she says. Mitzi has worked at Morgan Lewis for the past seven years and has risen in the ranks to manage an entire design team. “It’s been a tremendous education and an opportunity to fine tune my skills,” she says. “Being a graphic designer isn’t just about design or pretty artwork. You have to be business-savvy, to understand your clients; you have to understand budgeting and printing, have a grasp of possibilities and constraints. I’ve learned about working with printing and pressmen, about how ink reacts on paper…and now that I’m managing a team, I’ve learned about being nurturing to produce great products and a happy work environment.” Morgan Lewis knows Mitzi loves to work with their pro-bono clients, who help keep her interested and her thinking fresh. She welcomes the distraction from day-to-day projects, and she was especially delighted when the opportunity with Ellington came along. “This work feels really important to me because it’s a school like the one I attended. I know these kids’ lives. Without that school, I wouldn’t have ended up doing what I do. My teachers made it possible, and now that I can give back to Ellington, it feels as though I’ve come full circle.” We are enormously grateful to Morgan Lewis for bringing Mitzi into our lives. She’s made a tremendous impact!

Sharnice Walker was invited to attend the 2008 Disney Dreamers Academy. Evan Odoms was a first-place winner in an essay contest for the National Visionary Leadership Project. The organization unites generations of African Americans, both elders and young people, to tell, preserve, and disseminate the first-person stories of their past while creating a strong educational foundation for the young vibrant leaders of the future. Mayaa Boateng and Miya Upshur-Williams are regional semi-finalists in the National Foundation for the Teaching of Entrepreneurship business plan competition. Vocal students Teresa Ferrara, Daisy Peele, and Briona Jackson were accepted into the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory. Hillary Tidman was accepted into the American Youth Philharmonic and participated in the National Symphony Youth Orchestra Day. Kari Lynette Dickens was accepted to The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Wilberforce University, and Johnson Wales University with Presidential Scholarships. Cassandra Kopecky was one of four winners of the Marshall-Brennan spring moot court competition. The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project teaches constitutional law at Ellington. The final round, in which Cassandra argued, was judged by five sitting federal district court judges. Aaminah Cole won the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Moot Court Competition. Michael Walker placed first in the region in the Letters about Literature contest sponsored by the Library of Congress. He will go on to compete at the state (and hopefully national) level. Ellington students swept every category of the DCPS Piano Competition Final in March: Chatae Corry won first place and Gabriel Davies won second in the Intermediate Classical category. Thomas Davies won first place in the Intermediate Classical category. Jack Ozment won first place, Thomas Davies second, and Jonathan Davies placed third in the Advanced Classical category. Clifton Williams placed first and Christopher Pegram and Jonathan Davies placed second in the Advanced Contemporary category. Congratulations, piano students and Dr. Moon for representing Ellington so impressively! Michelle Peterson has been admitted to University of the Arts in Philadelphia with one of four President’s Scholarships, a merit scholarship offered by the school for $48,000 over four years. Michelle participated in last summer’s pre-college program last summer and was recommended for the scholarship by her vocal professor. Avery Kodis-Beach, Visual Arts senior, completed a college course for credit at the Corcoran School of Art and Design in book making. Avery has been interning at National Museum of Women in the Arts, and has been accepted to Pratt Institute with a $10,000 per year Presidential Merit Scholarship for all four years. She also has been accepted to the Maryland Institute College of Art. Geneva Tann was accepted to attend the Congressional Student Leadership Conference to focus on art history this summer, and is a current member of the National Society of High School Scholars. Charlisa Lewis has been selected as an intern for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s education department, and received a $10,000 scholarship to pursue a BFA in photography at the Art Institute of Washington. She and Alexis Obodo are members of Diamond Girls Leader-

ship. Our Visual Arts students excelled at the Afro-Academic Cultural Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) auditions. Ronald Reed won first place in photography; Daniel Newton placed first in painting; Rykein Bailey won first place in drawing; and Arc Niles placed second in painting. Job well done to the following Street Law students, who made it to the mock trial finals: Emma Lance, Brittany Wilkins, John Woodridge, Keagoe Stith, William Jackson, Jasmine Marshall, Mansoor Celestin, Ceara Crump, Raheemah Pelzer, Richelle Anderson, Reba Letsa. Jonathan Davies has won the Kiwanis Club’s Joe Riley Youth Award. Ronald Reed presented his ideas regarding a skateboard park in the District before the DC City Council’s Chairman, Vincent Gray. As a result of his efforts he was offered a grant to help in his skateboard design business. It was televised on the public access channel 13 for the DC City Council. Kari Daniels and Tracy Johns helped with the community clean up of Deanwood. Benjamin Gates and Elizabeth Sailer played as part of the DC Youth Orchestra Quartet at the Women’s National Democratic Committee where Chancellor Rhee was the keynote speaker. They also performed at a formal event, Fight for the Children, hosted by Mayor and Mrs. Fenty at the Washington Convention Center. Congratulations to all our talented students—you’ve made us proud once again!

Our Arts Entrepreneur instructor and Info/Media Center director, Regina Robinson, was selected as the National Foundation for the Teaching of Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Teacher of the Year and was honored at a gala. Museum Studies instructor, Rhonda Silver, had a photograph featured in Port of Harlem magazine’s Feb-April 08 issue, and will be covering an Annapolis festival for the same publication later this summer. Ms. Silver also was invited to participate in an April-May exhibit titled Professor and his Students at Roxanne’s Artiques Gallery. Davey Yarborough has won a Lowell Mason Fellowship, which is awarded to individuals who have furthered MENC: The National Association for Music Education’s mission of ensuring accessibility to music education for all. Mr. Yarborough isn’t the only famous musician in his family—his wife, Esther Williams, recently won the 2007 Jazz Vocalist “Wammie.” Ms. Williams is featured on Mr. Yarborough’s new CD, In the Spirit. Bill Harris will have an exhibit titled Avoiding Tradtion—The Extended Print at the Washington Printmakers Gallery. The opening reception takes place June 6 from 5-8 p.m. at 1732 Connecticut Avenue.

Congratulations to alumni Jobari Parker-Namdar and Clif Walker, who were praised in The Washington Times for their work in a MetroStage production, The Stephen Schwartz Project. Taro Alexander ’91 is the founder and artistic director of Our Time, a non-profit theater company for young people who stutter. Our Time will be performing at Very Special Arts (VSA) on May 30 at 1 p.m. and May 31 at 11 a.m.

[January 15, 2008 to May 1, 2008]

Barbara and Sidney Dickstein DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Feld Entertainment, Inc. The George Washington University Hexagon John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Monarc Construction, Inc. Morgan Lewis & Bockius

CHOREOGRAPHERS $1,000-$4,999
Ellen and Jackson Coppley Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Jonathan Ellen and Margaret de Lisser Nancy Everett and Michael Nannes Fannie Mae Fine Art and Artists Gallery Ari Fitzgerald Rick Gray Chip Heartfield IBM Jacob L. and Lillian Holtzmann Foundation Jerome and Deena Kaplan Family Foundation Lisa and Chris Kliefoth The Links National Capital Area Mie N Yu Restaurant Mindy’s Catering John M. Nannes Abe Pollin Barbara Power and Peter Larkin

VOCALISTS $10,000-$24,999
Comcast Cable Communications Dickstein Shapiro, LLP John L. Dreyfuss Envision Design, PLLC Friedman Billings Ramsey Robert D. Horvath, Jr. and Patrick Lyden James G. Davis Construction Corporation John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation

CURATORS $5,000-$9,999
Black Entertainment Television The Bloom Companies DC Sports & Entertainment Commission Ernst & Young Bonnie and Kenneth Feld Flooring Solutions, Inc. Lees Carpets Beth and Daryl Libow Ruth Milkman Virginia Mott Sullivan T-Mobile USA

PAINTERS $500-$999
The Brothers of Potomac Lodge No. 5, F.A.A.M. James R. Coltharp Andrew Goods Gloria Kelso Industrial Bank The Poetry Foundation Rockland’s Barbeque & Grilling Company Soblu Inc. Speck- Caudron Investment Group Marian M. Spong Lisa Williams-Fauntroy

Yes, I want to make a difference today!
The Ellington Fund puts your donations to work by supporting key programming and operations at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The result? More youth getting the arts education they need and deserve. Many alumni say, “This school saved my life.” Be a part of that change by giving today. • Enclosed is my gift of:  $50  $100  $250  $500  $1000  Other: $_________ Please make checks payable to The Ellington Fund. I would like to pay by credit card:  Visa  MasterCard  American Express Credit card number: ____________________________________________________________________________ Exp. date: _______________________ Signature: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ • I would like to make a monthly gift of $_____ via my credit card. I understand I can cancel at any time. Credit card number: ____________________________________________________________________________ Exp. date: ________________________ Signature: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ • You can donate through a United Way payroll deduction: CFC# 38270 or UWNCA# 8586. We also accept planned gifts, as well as gifts of stock, automobiles, and pledges. Call us at (202) 333-2555 ext. 2101 or email for more information.


Did you know you can also donate via the web on our secure server? Go to and click on “Donate.” The Ellington Fund ● 3500 R St., NW ● Washington, DC 20007



Donate Online! United Way CFC# 38270 & United Way NCA# 8586
We are updating our mailing list and need your help. Please call 202-333-2555 ext. 2101 or email with your current name, address, phone and email address.

Please note, the calendar is subject to change. Our web calendar at always features the most current information, as well as event descriptions and online ticket purchasing options.

A Springtime Salute to Ellington: benefiting the Ellington School Wed. 21, 6:30-9:00 p.m. (Halcyon House) Call 202.333.2555 ext. 2101 for tickets or more information Literary Media: Chai Latte Thur. 22, 7:30 p.m. (Banquet Hall) Opera Workshop Performance: An Evening at the Opera Fri. 23, 10:00 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Piano Lab Recital Fri. 30, 2:45 p.m.

Show Choir Spring Concert Fri. 6, 7:30 p.m. Graduation Tues. 3, 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:00.)