Washington Studio School: Work-study and Scholarships

By Editorial Team on April 16, 2019

Deadline: Sat, 02 July 2022

Photo courtesy of Washington Studio School.


WSS is run by a small paid staff and dedicated group of work-study participants and other volunteers. These community members volunteer three to six hours per week doing anything from sitting at the front desk to greeting visitors in the evenings to assisting with set-up and hospitality during public programs or events.

WSS offers a limited number of work-study opportunities each term, depending on the needs of the School. The work-study program encourages volunteerism and community involvement and is offered on a first-come first-served basis.

A work-study student may enroll without charge in a 10-week class, with prior approval of the  Head of Faculty, in exchange for 40 hours of unpaid work for the class. The 40 hours must be completed by the end of the term in which s/he is taking a class. Alternatively, a student may complete 40 hours of unpaid work prior to the beginning of the term in which s/he wishes to enroll as a work-study student.


  1. Requests to participate in work-study should be directed to the Managing Director, at laila@washingtonstudioschool.org. Applicants should provide a brief CV, two references and a cover letter indicating the type of work they seek, the times they are available and the class or type of class they wish to take. If a work-study applicant is a current student, h/she should also describe their relationship to and experience at WSS.

  2. Strong applicants will be interviewed by the Managing Director and if accepted into the program, will agree on a schedule and receive approval on the work-study exchange by the Artistic Director/Head of Faculty ahead of the beginning of the term in which a student wishes to enroll. Work-study students must demonstrate professionalism, reliability and accountability.

Applications are reviewed, and candidates interviewed, several weeks prior to the beginning of a term (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer). Applicants will be notified by phone or email of their status.

Work-study is available only for regular 10-week term classes. Drop-in Figure Drawing/Painting sessions, workshops and other special classes are excluded from work-study. Work-study students must demonstrate professionalism, reliability and accountability. Work-study students are expected to provide their own supplies for classes.


The Washington Studio School is deeply committed to promoting growth and diversity in our community. To ensure that arts education is accessible to talented students regardless of economic background, we offer scholarship assistance to adults and teens requiring financial assistance. The number of scholarships available will vary from year to year according to resources and availability of funding.


The WSS Scholarship Fund, generously funded by our community of donors, provides full or partial tuition assistance to teens and adults with limited economic resources. Teens may apply attend WSS’s highly regarded three-week Summer Teen Intensive Program, and adults or teens may apply for enrollment in one ten week class or workshop throughout the year. These awards may include a stipend.


The WSS Alma Thomas Scholarship, inaugurated by The Friends of Alma Thomas, is in honor and memory of abstract expressionist painter and art educator, Alma Thomas. Thomas was the first fine arts graduate of Howard University and an art teacher at Shaw Jr. High School from 1924 to 1960. Thomas was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Scholarship is available to DC resident teens and adults from historically underrepresented communities, particularly those who identify as people of color, who attend the University of District of Columbia, Howard University, DC public high schools or charter schools. The scholarship is also available to art teachers in DC public high schools or charter schools. The winning applicant(s) will receive full or partial tuition to WSS’s Summer Teen Intensive Program or enrollment for one ten week class or a workshop. The award may also include a stipend.

Apply Here