The Sanctuaries | Washington, DC

Youth Summer Program

Summer Youth Fellowship

# Art for Social Impact



Are you a creative person (ages 15-18) who cares about making a difference in the world?
This fellowship will prepare you to do just that. And it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before.

Imagine spending a week with DOPE illustrators, emcees, poets, dancers, and other creative youth from across the D/M/V to learn how to use the arts to serve your community — or what we call “arts-based community organizing.” This isn’t your typical classroom, though. You’ll learn how to make an impact by actually making art: screenprinting posters, recording music, writing poems, and so much more. In fact, you’ll get to collaborate on a group project with and for a local community, so you can put your learning into practice. And there’s more: your facilitators live and breathe this work as professional artists, and their one goal the entire week is to coach you, support you, and root for you.

Throughout history, every national movement for social change has relied on artists to challenge the way things are and inspire people to create a better world. Now it’s your turn. You ready?

This summer is about to be epic.

You have permanently redefined what art MEANS for me, and what true community looks like.
— Lexus
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This has been such a sacred space of exploration, healing, and empowerment.
— Ken

Program Information

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 — Saturday, August 3, 2019
10:00am - 5:00pm daily
There will be a Graduation Ceremony for fellows on Saturday, August 3, 2019, from 7:00pm-8:30pm with family and friends!

Sanctuaries @ Plymouth
5301 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC
8-10 minute walk from Ft. Totten metro station

Ages 15-18
Of different racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds
With a passion for the performing, visual, and/or literary arts

How much?
Early bird: $650 tuition; material fee waived.
Regular: $650 tuition; $100 material fee.
Need-based scholarships available (see FAQ below).

The week will be broken down into three learning formats:


Outdoor Experiences
Learn how to use the arts to serve your community through interactive field trips on topics like power, equity, performative arts, screenprinting.


Collaborative Artmaking

Put your learning into practice by working on a collaborative project that meets the real needs of a local community fighting for justice.


Guest Artists
Get feedback from professional artists and ask them questions about how they’re using the arts to earn money and make a difference.

It has opened me up to new experiences and it has brought wonderful people into my life.
— Lindsay
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Every day with the Sanctuaries was something new that I had never experienced before.
— Bryan

Next Steps

This fellowship is application-based. We’re looking for creative youth who are ready to take full advantage of this unique opportunity.

To be clear: we value a range of artforms, experience levels, and social backgrounds, so if you’re fired up about this fellowship, please apply!

Early bird
application deadline: April 15, 2019
Regular application deadline: July 22, 2019

[Download the application questions]


Am I a good fit for this program?
Are you ready to shake things up? Use your artistic skills in new ways? Claim your power to make a positive impact? Build lasting friendships with people you otherwise would never meet? And truly take care of yourself and others? If so, you have to do this thing!

How good of an artist do I have to be?
We work hard to create an environment where difference is celebrated. This is true in terms of artistic skill as well. We welcome youth of different artistic backgrounds, from self-taught to those who attend arts schools. If youth are newer to the arts, we expect them to bring experience in other areas, like leadership or public service.

Why are you offering this program?
For years, we’ve offered an incredibly popular Art for Social Impact fellowship for adults (more here). And every year, our adult fellows have wished they had something like this when they were younger. So, this year, we’re drawing on the best parts of that 15-week program to create this special 1-week fellowship for youth.

How do the scholarships work?
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we’re able to offer a limited number of need-based scholarships on a first-come basis. These scholarships will cover some or all of the tuition costs. You can indicate your need for a scholarship on the application itself. If you’d like to make a donation towards these scholarships, please do so here.

Who are the instructors?
The program will be co-led by our two Co-Directors, with additional teaching support from our Teaching Artists and Elders. Of course, the youth themselves will also be teaching and learning from each other.

What is not included in this program?
There is no transportation provided to and from the program. Additionally, given the range of dietary needs, the youth will be expected to bring their own lunches. We will have a microwave on site, and we will be providing plenty of drinks and snacks throughout the day.


Glad to help! Fill out the form at the bottom of this page.