Artivate envisions a shared community where the transformational power of the Arts is an essential part of daily life. To accomplish this, we engage local communities to create interactive arts experiences that inspire learning. We bring the Arts to people where they are.

Artivate was founded in 1995 in response to the demand for high quality, ethnically diverse cultural arts programs in our schools. Today, we reach hundreds of thousands of participants each year with performances, workshops and residencies taught by our carefully vetted and well trained journeymen and master teaching artists who open doors to different cultures and learning experiences. The vast majority of participants in Artivate programing are children ages 5 to 18 years old.

Why Children & Youth?

Everyone is an artist up until the age of 5.  After that the idea of coloring only inside the lines being a rule as opposed to a choice may set in and the concept of “doing it wrong” can loom large.  If an appreciation for the Arts coupled with a degree of confidence in one’s own skills can be instilled early, a life-long relationship with art can be established.  It is, also, a simple matter of pragmatism. Unless we develop and nurture the next generation of artists and audiences, the Arts will wither. Finally, art education for children and youth remains one of the best ways to develop the imagination and teach creativity. Without these skills we cannot hope for a future generation of problem solvers and innovators.

Artivate reaches participants in Maryland, DC and northern Virginia through three programs: ArtChoice, arts education in schools and communities; ArtReach, serving those in need, and ArtWorks, career support of artists.  We bring the Arts to hospitals, libraries, museums, places of worship, recreation centers, senior centers and a great many schools.

Why schools?

From September to June every year, between 8am and 3pm Monday through Friday, one out of five people breathing air are doing so in a public school building. Public schools are the one place in our society where all are represented: income levels, cultural backgrounds, abilities of all kinds for the promise of a free education. If we are going to meet people where they are, we must be in schools.

Schools are also focal points of change. They are the place where traditional academic form examines dynamic inspiration giving rise to new ideas. In addition to being centers of learning, our schools need to fulfill their promise as centers of culture and community.

Our Core Values

Artistic Excellence:

We are committed to providing arts programming of the highest quality that is integrated into education and the life of the community, as well as encouraging professional development opportunities for artists.


We respond to community needs and seek to ensure the availability of the arts to everyone, including those with limited access and people with disabilities, by bringing programs to audiences in diverse settings and venues.

Education and Learning:

We believe that education is among the most important building blocks of human growth and development, and are committed to broadening and expanding learning opportunities through the delivery of arts and cultural experiences to the communities we serve. We also encourage ongoing education and learning by our artists, staff and board to ensure program and service delivery that surpasses accepted educational and artistic standards.

Community Building:

We are dedicated to connecting people through shared arts experiences that value differences and celebrate commonalities. We believe that promoting cultural exchanges through shared exposure to the arts not only provides enjoyment, but also creates community and has the power to transform lives.


We are committed to artistic and operational integrity, meeting our commitments to our stakeholders and being responsible stewards of our financial resources.

Host Laurie Edberg interviews Class Acts Arts Executive Director James Modrick on BEHIND THE CURTAIN, a YouTube show about the arts and arts organizations in Montgomery County, MD.