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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Sitar appoints Dwyer as interim executive director

By Jacqueline Trescott
Maureen Dwyer. (Evy Mages/For The Washington Post)

Sitar Arts Center has appointed Maureen Dwyer, one of its original administrators, to the post of interim executive director.

Dwyer was actually the first hire at Sitar 12 years ago. "We were then serving 50 students in a basement," Dwyer said. Now Sitar serves more than 700 students a year in an innovative cycle of summer classes, after school enrichment and weekend sessions.

In 2009 the program was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, formerly the Coming Up Taller Award, in a ceremony at the White House.

Dwyer said the center's budget has grown modestly, from $1.1 million two years ago to $1.3 million this year. And though funding has been steady, even in the harsh economic downturn, Sitar has an interesting challenge.

"We have an increased need for our services. We need more money to meet the increased need," as more individual families suffer from the recession, she said.

Dwyer, 40, was born on Long Island and moved to Washington to earn a degree in drama at Catholic University. During her time at Sitar, the teen activities have increased, including a teen leadership program. She replaces Ed Spitzberg, who is now vice president of development at the Afterschool Alliance.

"Our community has been extremely supportive. We now have 100 volunteers. My goal is to keep them confident in our programs. And for Sitar to remain a safe environment for after school enrichment and arts education," Dwyer said.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | January 21, 2011; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott, Local Arts and Culture, appointments  | Tags:  Maureen Dwyer, Sitar Arts Center, arts education  
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