The WIT Community Fund: What Your Support Does for DC
You might have heard about the WIT Community Fund—our effort to fund all of our community activities for WIT’s fiscal year 2020. With our goal to raise $20,000 by Feb. 15, 2020, you might be wondering exactly where does all that money go? Here is a short summary of our current community outreach projects (we add more all the time).
After-School Programming at Marie Reed Elementary, Sitar Arts Center, and other DC Public Elementary Schools
What is it? All over the District, WIT provides improv classes for younger students after school, helping them with everything from building listening skills to empowering them with self-confidence.
“It was fascinating to see students that are typically categorized as ‘shy’ get involved in this improv experience. They stunned themselves with this output of beautiful ideas and random thoughts as they interacted with their peers in this space of the unknown…They loved the creativity they could put into their participation and enjoyed the activities that built their skills to react on the spot and go with the ‘yes, and…’ flow.” — Lourdes Laguna, Dean of Instruction at Center City PCS-Brightwood Campus
Teen Workshops at Kingman Boys and Girls Club
What is it? At Kingman, right around the corner from WIT’s home at Source Theater, we work with teens on improv basics and how they can help foster teamwork, listening, and creativity in and out of the classroom. Following the class, students showcase their new skills at Source.
“[The Kingman students] spend so much of their day being the adults, worrying about school, with tremendous pressure. Especially as students who are predominantly accustomed to poverty, they are so conditioned to hearing the word NO. To see them tap into improv helped them remember that growing up can also mean saying ‘yes, and’ to lots of great experiences. ” – Cara Popecki, WIT player and workshop instructor
Armed Services Arts Partnership
What is it? WIT teaches improv workshops to veterans, aiming to provide catharsis and a creative outlet to veterans who are reintegrating into civilian life.
“Partnering with WIT to offer improv classes to our community of veterans and military families has been a real gift. Improv requires being fully present in the moment, and it gives the performer a sense of agency that transfers into the uncertainties of daily life. Not only is improv a fun – and funny – art form; it’s an impactful one, too.” – ASAP Executive Director Brian Jenkins
Calvary Women’s Service
What is it? WIT’s improv classes have joyfully instilled confidence and empowerment for clients at Calvary Women’s Services—a nonprofit in Anacostia that helps women experiencing homelessness get back on their feet.
“In those moments, when all the barriers were down, it didn’t matter who was homeless or not, who was a student or a resident, who was black or white – all that mattered was the laughter that filled the room.” – Lily, GWU nursing student who works with the women at Calvary
Improv for All Workshops
What is it? WIT hosts free improv workshops in all eight wards of DC. In each two-hour class, improv helps foster bonds between Washingtonians, making the District a more connected place to live. To make our craft even more accessible, we’ve done specialized workshops targeted to American Sign Language speakers, people who speak English as a second language, teachers, and more.
“Improv comedy is a way to start to listen to each other…Improv could do a lot for the world. You practice listening, you practice creativity. We could use some creative solutions right now.” – Ryan Baugh, participant in the Improv for All workshop for furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown
What is it? WIT has committed to increasing diversity among the voices and talent in DC’s improv community. The scholarship covers the cost of the entire curriculum for selected students, with the specific aim of increasing racial and ethnic diversity. To date, nine scholarship recipients have been cast in the Harold program and two have been cast in company ensembles.
“I decided to take just one class after finding out about the scholarship because it signaled that WIT was not just saying that they wanted to see diversity in improv, they were intentionally creating opportunities and removing barriers. I’ve been welcomed into this hilarious, talented, disciplined, beautiful community of performers, I’ve joined a sexy troupe of incredible Black women, and I have my eyes set on finishing out the curriculum.” – Scholarship recipient Nichole Hill, who also competed with fan-favorite FIST team I Don’t Know Her
When you give to the community fund, you’re helping WIT to transform lives across the District with these projects — and we’re adding more on a regular basis. Help us reach our goal of making DC a more joyous and connected city by donating now.