Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Celebrates 45 Years in the Community

By Editorial Team on June 5, 2017
Founders of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop pose in 1971. Photo Courtesy of CHAW.
Founders of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop pose in 1971. Photo Courtesy of CHAW.


Event: Saturday, June 10 at 9am


The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) is proud to announce its 45th Birthday Bash with a community celebration on June 10th.

CHAW is celebrating 45 years of its mission: building community through the arts by welcoming local business, government, and neighbors to join together in creative activities—all day, all for free, and all open to everyone.  This openness reflects the commitment CHAW has made since its inception: in 45 years, CHAW has never turned a student away for inability to pay for an arts class.

Programs and events will be running throughout the day, so they invite community members to stop by any time for art, performances, food, and friendly faces.  CHAW Co-Executive Director Hannah Jacobson Blumenfeld said, “CHAW was built out of a call from the community—that there was a need for a space that would provide arts opportunities to kids, adults, and everyone in between, not only to make art, but to create something together. While the neighborhood has changed dramatically over the past 45 years, one constant is that grassroots nature of CHAW, which has remained an anchor for the community and a point of connection between generations and diverse groups of people.  The arts invite people to be vulnerable with one another, and allow us to take risks and fail in ways that often feel uncomfortable in daily life.  CHAW allows people to engage from a place of authenticity, and builds external partnerships the same way.”

All activities are FREE and open to the public; all ages welcome.  All events (excluding the fun run/walk) take place in CHAW’s building (located at 545 7th St. SE) at the following times:

  • 9am: Fun Run/Walk around the Capitol Hill Alphabet Animal Public Art Project (Start at Summit to Soul, 727 8th St. SE and end at CHAW for a popsicle party) – Grab a map and get going!  There will be 10 stops on this fun run/walk, led by Summit to Soul owner Kim Wattrick and special guest, Ward 6 Council Member Charles Allen!  Collect stickers from all ten stops and enter to win fun prizes back at CHAW.  In partnership with Capitol Hill BID and supported by DC Access, Edward Jones, Hill Rag/Capital Community News, Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, CHAMPS – Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, Barracks Row Main Street, and more.
  • 11am-12pm: NSO In Your Neighborhood Chamber Concert – Two Divas and a Bear
  • 10am-7:30pm
    • CHAW Student Music and Dance Recitals
    • Shop ‘n Drop, with items from Garrison, DC Brau, Biker Barre, and local artists, plus great tickets to Nationals games and a private, expertly guided tour of the renowned Congressional Cemetery!
    • Ceramics Sale
    • Student Art Exhibitions
  • 12 pm: Pizza Party generously donated by &pizza; treats from The Sweet Lobby, supported by First Citizens Bank
  • 4:30pm – CHAW Adult Student Show Reception; wine, cheese, nibbles, and words from the juror; Second Wind senior choir performance.
  • Throughout the Day –
    • Special guest performers, including: Light Switch Dance Theatre and Taffety Punk Theatre Company.
    • Registration for CHAWdance, Summer Camp, Summer Adult Classes

CHAW is partnering with  local businesses, and believes in the economic and cultural benefits of maintaining strong ties between small businesses and arts organizations. CHAW Board Treasurer Kim Langenhahn noted, “As someone new to DC, I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon CHAW within a few weeks of moving to the city.  The organization has been a mainstay in Capitol Hill for 45 years and has exposed so many people to the arts, from music lessons to gallery shows, pottery classes to dramatic performances.  Every time I walk through CHAW’s doors, I am immediately energized and inspired by the art all around me as well as calmed by the deep sense of community that CHAW has built.”

Paint Bucket Co-Chair Sam Weyrauch added, “The opportunity to engage on a deep level with an organization that is providing such important programming is part of what makes CHAW so special.  By removing as many barriers to entry as possible, CHAW walks the walk of community building—and every dollar has a real and direct impact on its ability to carry out this work.” In just the last two years, CHAW gave away $125,000 in tuition assistance.  About 90% of students receiving tuition assistance were children and the other 10% adults.

CHAW is located at 545 7th St. SE.