Every day someone new discovers the Washington Studio School. For 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 70% 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 30% of our budget comes from the generosity of individual, foundation and corporate donors as well as grantmakers to help support our ambitious programs.
Keeping Our Vital Mission Alive
The global Coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted WSS as we were forced mid-year to reimagine our classes and free programs.
While we are far from alone in facing continued challenges and uncertainties in the coming year – it is clear that we cannot expect a return to many of our normal programs soon. We are grateful to have been able to navigate the past year successfully, but we need your help more than ever to support our faculty and staff, and to keep our community strong. We want to build on our innovations this year and take free and affordable programs to more people in the Washington area and beyond – to continue to grow, thrive and serve.
A gift of any size will have an immediate and ongoing impact on our community. We hope you’ll continue to find comfort, community, and inspiration with us in art-making online.
What Our Students Say About Us
MELVIN NESBITT JR. ARTIST
"Washington Studio School instructors are the best! As a student, they've given me the tools I need to transition from amateur to professional artist. They bring lessons that challenge and encourage creativity and growth,
plus they generously share the unique and valuable knowledge they've gained as working artists."
RACHEL HEISS ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR / WORK-STUDY PARTICIPANT
"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."
SERENA MARTIN ILLUSTRATOR and DESIGNER
"I am a self taught Washington, DC based watercolor illustrator and stationary 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 provide 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!"
and painting demoS
View Our New Interactive
FY2020 Annual Report
Read about highlights from this past year, view galleries and videos featuring WSS students and their art, and learn more about our plans for the coming year.
To view a full-sized version of the report, click on the button below.
On behalf of all of us at WSS, thank you for your generosity and 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
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.