Project Create was created in 1994 when Rev. John W. Wimberly, Jr., community activist and pastor of Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., recognized a need in his community and sought to fill it. Neighborhood children attending Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School needed an after-school arts program, and Project Create began providing art classes to a deserving population of local children. In 2002, Project Create collaborated with So Others Might Eat (SOME) to provide art classes to homeless children. This partnership was so successful that, in 2003, Project Create became an independent nonprofit in order to fulfill its new mission: to enrich and transform the lives of at-risk children in Washington, D.C. by providing them with professionally-led arts experiences. Project Create immediately identified an especially strong need within the growing population of D.C.’s homeless children and, in partnership with SOME and Community of Hope, has been serving these children successfully ever since.
Project Create provides accessible arts education to promote positive development in children, youth and families experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Project Create envisions a community in which all children and youth, particularly those affected by homelessness and poverty, have access to high-quality arts education in order to improve their lives and their communities.
We believe that every child should have a safe place to be creative, expressive and imaginative. We welcome children of any level of artistic skill, and we engage them through a wide variety of artistic disciplines and a broad range of arts enrichment activities.
We believe that art fosters confidence, self-knowledge and resilience, which children need to reach their dreams. Our classes teach more than art skills; we help children navigate challenges in their lives in order to succeed academically and socially, now and in the future.
We believe that a creative community can instill a sense of belonging and positive cultural identity. These anchors make it easier for children to resist destructive influences and make constructive choices. Through art, we encourage our students to use their voices to represent and advocate for themselves in their communities.