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BlackRock Center for the Arts is committed to ARTS and CHILDREN. Our overarching vision is to provide ARTS ACCESS TO ALL, overcoming the barrier of low-income and reflecting our community’s diversity. We make our performances, visual arts exhibits, and arts education accessible to all, whether physically, financially, or culturally. Our programming is affordable and, to the greatest extent possible, provided at no cost. 

BLACKROCK YOUTH OUTREACH: Prioritizing arts access for children.

Opened 2002, our 32,000 square foot facility houses an outdoor stage, two theaters, two art galleries, classrooms and studios, all of which are dedicated to bringing visual arts, music, dance, and theatre engagement and educational opportunities to our diverse community to interpret, reimagine, and change the world around us.  



BlackRock prioritizes CHILDREN, providing opportunities for arts engagement particularly for youth from low-income households in our community:  

We offer a wide variety of arts education classes (visual arts, theatre, dance, music) and summer arts camps for all ages, with SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR UNDERSERVED YOUTH.  

We also have a robust ARTS EDUCATION OUTREACH, with special programming for youth from families who would not otherwise be able to afford it. For example, “BEYOND BLACKROCK” is an after-school arts education program provided free of charge at local Title One public elementary schools, which focuses on literacy and arts outcomes, as well as social and emotional well-being. This program also addresses the growing achievement gap among students due to language barriers and lack of resources. Each week focuses on a read-aloud text and theme, such as “Love the Skin You’re In” or “Your Future is So Bright,” as well as specific arts skills and concepts/medium, such as drawing, watercolors, pastels, sculpting, collage, etc. Students meet with our certified Teaching Artist and discuss the text as a group before determining personal meaning to them through art.  

BlackRock has also provided this program to disabled adults living in community, also providing them with an important means of self-expression and an impact on social/emotional well-being.

BlackRock Center for the Arts has developed a strong relationship with Montgomery County Public Schools, receiving funding to host students from local schools for OST (Out-of-School Time) Arts Enrichment Programming. These opportunities have been offered as Saturday morning programs, Summer Camps, and day-long programs on Non-Instructional/Teacher Professional Development Days.  

We are particularly excited about our partnership with MCPS to provide students with Summer Camp Scholarships wherein students also will receive academic intervention tutoring here at BlackRock. We are also making sure that these students have access to free lunch through MCPS. We hope to see this type of opportunity and intersection of resources grow.

BlackRock provides dance outreach through Ballet classes offered at local underserved elementary schools.  

In addition, BlackRock recently developed a relationship with Paula Brown, dancer and author of “Brown Ballerinas.” We held a workshop for young dancers to hear Ms. Brown read her book and work with her.  

BlackRock has provided free theatre experiences for students from underserved local elementary schools through the presentation of special performances, such as Paige Hernandez’s “Havana Hop,” a children’s tale of multi-culture and self-acceptance, originally commissioned by Wolf Trap. 


We partnered with Imagination Stage to bring “10 Seconds” to our Main Stage, a free play directed at older youth that tells what it means to be a person of color, which we featured followed by an impactful discussion panel afterwards with community leaders including our Chief of Police.

BlackRock recently received funding from the Healthcare Initiative Foundation to provide free tickets for middle- and high-school students from underserved schools to provide access to BlackRock programming which would be particularly meaningful for them. These opportunities included our in-house community theatre production of the musical “The Color Purple;” performances by “Wordsmith,” a versatile hip hop artist and philanthropist;, and “Sons of Mystro” dynamic violin-playing brothers who cross musical genres, etc.

“A Georgia le encantaba ir de campamento todos los días. Como un niño de 12 años, puede ser difícil encontrar campamentos que sean adecuados. Ella realmente tuvo una gran experiencia y quiere regresar. ¡Creo que se le permitió y se le animó a ser ella misma!

— Padre, Campista

“Mis dos hijos llegaron a casa muy emocionados el primer día y pidieron volver a hacer el campamento. Disfrutaron de la variedad de actividades y de estar con otros niños; todos pudieron crecer con la creatividad que, francamente, se había debilitado durante los últimos 18 meses. Vi algo de espíritu en ellos, especialmente en mi hijo menor que tiene más inclinaciones artísticas”.

— Padre, Campista

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