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"It is not only one person's work, it's really a partnership and collaboration during all these years."

- Christo

The totality of an artistic composition is more than the units that make it up–and so is the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project. The school is in fact the collaboration of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, George Washington University, DC Public Schools, and the Ellington Fund.

Largely responsible for providing 70-80% of the operating budget for Duke Ellington, DCPS serves as a sound academic guide to the school. Our academic curriculum follows the DCPS standards of learning and many of our staff are committed veterans of the DC Public School system. Upon graduation, Ellington students receive a standard DCPS diploma and an arts certificate. With this partnership, we benefit financially and through the provision of both professional development and current teaching methods and resources. As part of DCPS’ city-wide strategic planning and commitment to providing every student with a safe, challenging and inspiring learning experience, Duke Ellington School will be undergoing a major renovation in 2014-2016. Find out more.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (The Kennedy Center) is an influential partner for Ellington, providing much needed resources in performance space, opportunities for performance, production assistance and annually funding a series of master classes, professional development lectures, and other educational opportunities to enhance the teaching and curriculum offered at Duke Ellington. Ellington students regularly attend and are often sought after to perform at the Kennedy Center, with multiple appearances at Millennium Stage, the Performance Series of Legends, and various other shows. Faculty have also produced shows at the Kennedy Center and attended various clinics and workshops. Many renowned artists that perform at the Kennedy Center often share their talent by working with Ellington students in clinics/master classes/workshops (funded by the Education department at the Kennedy Center). As part of the partnership, three Kennedy Center representatives serve on the DESAP board. The Kennedy Center Vice President of Education is currently the treasurer of that board. Find out more.

The George Washington University (GWU) partners with Ellington in many ways.  Whether by providing collaborations with different departments, sponsoring Ellington events, or providing counsel on governance and assisting in the upcoming renovation efforts, GWU continues to be a vitally important partner for Duke Ellington.  The programmatic resources and opportunities provided for our students supports our mission and ensures the success of our students. This includes the ongoing promotion of Ellington’s Jazz program on GWU radio. In the past five years, the Trachtenberg scholarship, which offers a graduating senior a full tuition scholarship to GWU has been won four times by an Ellington student.  Like the Kennedy Center, three GWU representatives serve on the DESAP board. The current DESAP board president is General Counsel for the George Washington University. Find out more.

The Ellington Fund (the Fund) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1979 to serve as the charitable arm of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts (DESA).  The Ellington Fund administers and supports several programs and activities at DESA that are not funded by the DC Public School System (DCPS). Governed by its own board of directors, the president of that board and an additional two members, serve on the DESAP board. Working closely with the head of school, the Fund is responsible for prioritizing the many additional resources needed for the school, and acquiring funding from individual donors, organizations and corporations to provide the finances necessary to bridge the funding gap to support its diverse arts programs. Find out more.