Anthony Bowen Arts Program

YMCA Anthony Bowen was founded in 1853 in the name of its founder. This was the first African American YMCA in segregated America. Today, staff led be Ms. Diane Taitt, branch Executive Director, continue to live his causes by serving the evolving needs of the community. During the YMCA’s annual community assessment period, it was identified the need for art programming in Wards 1, 2, and 5 to preserve and promote culture, and enhance youth development and academic achievement. In response, the Anthony Bowen Art Program was created in 2018 with the capacity to serve 48 kids (grades K-12). Kids are currently recruited from our current local feeder schools: School Without Walls at Francis Stevens Elementary, Meridian Charter School, Deal Public School, and Inspired Teaching School. The YMCA is constantly seeking to expand programming thorough partnerships and grants.

The YMCA believes in the necessity of art as a means to record history, express our collective humanity, instill values, translate cross-cultural experiences, and create commonality and understanding. We also believe in the utility of art as a mechanism for developing critical thinking, creativity, and resilient individuals.

The intent is to provide a formative experience through artistic workshops, projects, and regularly scheduled classes that serve as a conduit for skill development and positive behavior.

The YMCA expects to achieve four program outcomes: 1) increase interest in art, 2) increase self-awareness, identity, and esteem, 3) increase in communication and problem-solving skills, and 4) increase the relationships developed per individual.

Teachers will perform ongoing formative assessments and provide immediate feedback to improve the participant’s achievement of the intended outcomes. Outcomes will be measured using observation and surveys in a pre- and post-test methodology. Pre-program baseline data and participant progress will be measured using quantitate and qualitative data collected via notes compiled by teachers that report observations of and interactions with participants; and participant and parent survey data. YMCA of Metropolitan Washington will use this data to improve the delivery of Anthony Bowen Art Program over time and to adapt to the needs of the community as they evolve.

For more details, the schedule, to participate, or make a donation, please contact: