Every day someone new discovers the Washington Studio School. For more than 35 years, Washington Studio School has believed in the power of art education to change lives. For years, WSS was largely run by a dedicated group of part-time staff and volunteers who have shaped the distinctive community we are today. Today, WSS is a financially strong organization and a dynamic hub for artists of all skill levels and walks of life who come together to study art in an accessible and welcoming environment. 

Our vision of "drawing the artist out in everyone," shapes our distinctive studio-based curriculum, numerous free programs, rotating exhibitions, and financial aid programs organized throughout the year. WSS now serves more than 3,500 students and visitors from across the District and the region.

As a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, Our fee-based income only covers about 60% of the costs of keeping our class offerings affordable, programs free, equipment in good shape, and talented faculty and professional staff on board. The remaining  40% of our budget comes from the generosity of individual, foundation and corporate donors as well as grantmakers to help support our ambitious programs.

How have WSS and the arts sustained you over the last year?

Support our future by making a gift to our 2021 Year-End Campaign.

2021 was another extraordinary year. Thanks to your support, WSS successfully turned the multiple challenges of the pandemic into an exciting new chapter in our school’s history. A new mix of online, outdoor, and in-person courses and public programs sparked new connections between students, faculty, visiting artists, and the community at large throughout the DC area, across the country, and around the world. 

Virtual programming has produced unexpected benefits by making our programs accessible to more people of varying abilities and by allowing us to re-envision how we engage with our community, visiting artists, and the general public. 

On S Street, the spark and energy of activity returned to WSS as we cautiously reopened our building in July to a wonderful cohort of teen students and later kicked off the fall term by honoring DC native Alma Thomas for Art All Night DC. Art is once again in our gallery with the opening of Kathryn Kailian’s Master Certificate Program graduation exhibition, Coming Out of the Dark. The speed with which in-person classes filled and the high attendance of these in-person programs reflected the readiness of all to return to WSS. 

On top of all of this, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities recently awarded WSS two major grants, demonstrating their confidence in us and our future. The grants will give us needed general operating and program support, as well as funds for technology upgrades. 


We are thrilled by the multiple sparks the past nineteen months have produced. WSS will continue to proceed with cautious optimism in 2022, but we can’t do it without you. Your support remains vital: for the foreseeable future, safe in-person operations will mean smaller class sizes and reduced tuition revenue. Join us in this next chapter by making a contribution today. You will champion our excellent faculty and staff, and help sustain, strengthen and broaden our programs. 

2020/2021 IMPACT


Students and


and painting demoS




IN scholarshiPs

Thank you!


On behalf of all of us at WSS, thank you for your generosity and for being a part of our future! We are where we are today because of the financial generosity and volunteerism of our community. To view a list of our generous supporters, CLICK HERE. 




Call or email WSS Managing Director, Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah at 202.234.3030 or laila@washingtonstudioschool.org

More Ways to Give

Interested in making a sustaining contribution? Click the button below to learn more about ways you can give by joining one of our Giving Circles, making a sustaining monthly contribution, or a qualified charitable distribution. ​​​

Washington Studio School is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, Tax ID 52-1345165. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent fully allowed by law. 

View Our FY2021 

Annual Report

Read about highlights from this past year, view artwork featuring WSS students, and learn more about our plans for the coming year. 

To view a full-sized version of the report, click on the button below. 

   What Our Students Say About Us



          "Taking courses at WSS made me feel like an art student again. My instructors taught me everything from 

          foundational skills such as setting up a palette and color-mixing, to more complex skills, strategies and thought 

          processes. Their courses helped me dust off the artistic cobwebs and gain confidence as a painter. I have a 

          deeper connection with the school because of my time spent as a work-study participant. WSS has outstanding

          teachers, staff members, donors, and students, and I'm happy to be a part of their community."


          "I am a self-taught Washington, DC-based watercolor illustrator and stationery designer, and I began taking 

          classes at Washington Studio School in June 2018. I can tell that my skill level as an artist has improved

          since taking classes, but also my appreciation for art history and ways of looking at art. The community of teachers, students, artists, and volunteers also provides a warm and welcoming environment.  The teachers I  have taken classes with are all phenomenal. They not only teach students the foundations, but they also show students new ways to look at their surroundings, subjects, and how art responds and captures what we feel and see. It is a truly comprehensive art education and experience!"