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Resources by Topic >> Recreation

The Arts

Learn more about The Arts | View General Recreation Resources

Arena Stage

One of the nation’s original resident theaters, Arena Stage has a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field and has become the largest theater in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. In partnership with Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care, Inc., it supports a Voices of Now workshop and ensemble, an after-school drama program that works with students through creative writing, improvisation, and movement to develop a multitude of social and expressive skills.

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute
327 S St, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-526-2008 (voice) | 202-832-2474 (fax) | 202-261-0201 (TTY)

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute, Inc. (ADTI) is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ADTI is located in an economically deprived part of Northeast Washington, D.C., less than three miles from the White House. The institute's innovative approach to the care and treatment of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the use of art, music, movement, and drama therapies, along with innovative behavior management techniques, has been hailed by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and The Washington Post as “a national model.” ADTI is home to the Therapeutic Noh Theater®, the first ensemble with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world to perform Therapeutic Noh Theater®, directed by Master Teacher, Dr. Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen.

Art Enables
2204 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-554-9455 (voice) | 202-554-9456 (fax)

Art Enables is an arts-and-enterprise program for teens and young adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities from throughout DC. If you become an Art Enables participant: You come to the studio on scheduled days to create and market your own art under the guidance of professional artist-instructors. Your artwork is exhibited and sold in shows at the studio via retailers around the city and at galleries, markets, and special events throughout the region.

620 Pershing Dr. , Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-565-4567 (voice) | 301-565-1699 (fax)

ArtStream is a regional organization based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area whose mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally under-served by the arts.

Autism Society Sensory Friendly Films Program


DC Center for Therapeutic Recreation
3030 G St, SE, Washington, DC 20019
202-698-1794 (voice) | 202-645-5118 (TTY)

Therapeutic recreation programs and services are offered to both District residents and non-residents with or without disabilities. Classes include: Aromatherapy, spring break camp, weight training, and water exercise and water sports.

DC Disability Guide, DC Center for Independent Living, Inc.

This on-line guide offers a wide range of resources from finding personal attendants to accessible restaurants and apartment communities in the DC-MD-VA area.

DC Public Library Adaptive Services Division
Room 215, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library 901 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
202-727-2142 (voice) | 202-559-5368 (video)

The DC Public Library's Adaptive Services Division assists individuals with limited mobility, visual or hearing impairments. Some of the adaptive services provided by the library include:

  • Narrated DVDs and videos
  • Downloadable books and magazines
  • Instructional sign language materials and information on community resources for the hearing impaired
  • Free assistive technology training

Get Involved DC! Washington, DC
202-338-7158 EXT. 20 (voice)

GET INVOLVED DC! is a program that will give people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to become more involved in the DC community through service and recreation. This program will serve young adults for one year with a goal of training them to independently find and attend community service and recreational events. Training will be provided on event planning, budgeting and the use of public transportation (Metro rail and Metro buses) in order to get members to/from community service and recreational activities rather than having participants depend on Metro Access. GET INVOLVED DC! Members will be offered a wide range of volunteer and recreational events and activities, in an integrated setting, that they can choose to participate in. They may also recommend activities that may be of interest to the group that may not be on the list. Washington, DC hosts numerous events during the year such as folk festivals, parades, sporting events, concerts and theatrical presentations. DC also provides many community service opportunities throughout the year including national service days, holidays, charity events and neighborhood cleanups. Members of the program will go to these events independently or with friends in both community service and recreational capacities. The overall goal of this project is to empower youth and young adults with disabilities with the tools they need to access, enjoy and give back to their community.

Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital
4301 Connecticut Ave NW, , Washington, DC 20008
202-237-1670 (voice) | 202-274-2161 (fax)

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC) helps girls to promote diversity, gain practical life skills, and connect with their community through a variety of artistic, educational, and environmental events. Some of these events include:

  • Photography expos
  • College and career conferences
  • Nature workshops

Imagination Stage
4908 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
301-280-1660 (voice)

Access at Imagination Stage endeavours to create an inclusive and welcoming environment and equitable access to all artistic and educational programming for students, staff, and visitors of all abilities. Imagination Stage offers: Arts Access classes and programs designed specifically for the needs of students with cognitive, language, gross motor, or developmental disabilities. Deaf Access classes and programs designed specifically for the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Inclusion support for children of all abilities. Imagination Stage encourages children of all abilities to discover and develop their full creative potential through the performing arts. We work with students and their caregivers to identify and provide the most successful scenario for each student whether in a peer group Access class or in a general classroom setting with reasonable and appropriate inclusion supports. All placements provide children a safe and welcoming environment to develop and enhance language, gross motor, developmental, cognitive, social and life-learning skills.

Kennedy Center Accessibility Office
2700 F St, NW, Washington, DC 20566
(202) 416-8727 (voice) | (202) 416-4840 (fax) | (202) 416-8728 (TTY)

Partnership: Sponsorship of internships for youth with diabilities within a cultural organizations in the Washington metropolitan area.

Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN)
P.O. Box 341590, Bethesda, MD 20827
301-770-3200 (voice)

Volunteer organization providing free one-on-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute
801 Buchanan St, NE, Washington, DC 20017
202-529-7600 (voice) | 202-529-2028 (fax)

The Kennedy Institute works with teens and young adults with developmental disabilities to provide a broad array of education, therapeutic, employment, and community living programs.

New Vision Photography Program, Inc.
680 Rhode Island Ave, NE, Suite H4, Washington, DC 20002
202-269-6723 (voice) | 202-269-6724 (fax)

Supported employment and long-term follow-along services in the photography industry and community inclusion for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, introducing them to a creative world of digital photography, entrepreneurship programs, and One-Hour Photo Mini Lab training and employment.

ReVision Dance Company
3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017
(202) 269-1600 (voice)

ReVision is a contemporary modern dance company committed to artistic excellence and community building. Through performances, workshops and teaching residencies, ReVision works with diverse populations of professional dancers and novice movers. A unique aspect of our work is our dedication to engaging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At performances students will:

  • Meet the dancers
  • Learn new gestures and rhythms
  • See how dancers prepare and warm up
  • Participate in a Q&A with the dancers
  • Dance!

Dance professionals lead a series of movement classes that incorporate kinesthetic learning, team building and integrated subject matter. (Appropriate for all skill levels)

Teachers learn how to integrate movement into the classroom.

Smithsonian Accessibility Program
Information Center: 1000 Jefferson Dr., SW, Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-2921 (voice)

The Accessibility Program supports the Smithsonian in making all visitors feel welcome by providing consistent, effortless access to the Institution’s programs, collections and facilities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Advising on and implementing policy, practices, and procedures related to access for people with disabilities;
  • Reviewing facility and exhibition designs;
  • Providing technical assistance;
  • Conducting outreach to the disability community and other cultural arts organizations;
  • Providing staff education on disability topics; and
  • Working with Smithsonian museums and offices to provide direct visitor services, including sign language interpretation, real time captioning, and alternate formats of publications.

Programs include:

  • All Access Camp A two-week, multi-media summer camp for twenty Washington, D.C.-area High School students with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
  • Access to Opportunities Smithsonian Internship for People with Disabilities
  • Art Signs: Gallery Talks in American Sign Language
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival Morning at the Museum A project of the Smithsonian Institution's Accessibility Program and the Smithsonian Museums. Guided by a Community Advisory Committee comprised of museum educators, exhibit designers, professionals who work with children on the Autism Spectrum, parents, and self-advocates, the Smithsonian has developed a series of pre-visit materials designed to help children on the spectrum and their families enjoy a visit to the Smithsonian Museums.
  • Access American Stories Mobile App
  • Access American Stories is a bilingual (Spanish/English) “crowdsourced” audio experience and companion to the American Stories exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Designed to increase accessibility for visitors with low vision, the app offers everyone new ways of seeing 100 of America’s most evocative historical objects through the eyes of both visitors and museum staff.
  • Introductory Training: Children on the Autism Spectrum and Museums This training covers the basics of autism spectrum disorders and how museums can better engage families with children on the Autism spectrum.

  • Through My Eyes DC Washington, DC

    THROUGH MY EYES: THE DC PHOTO-NARRATIVE PROJECT (TME-DC) empowers at-risk youth, providing them with a safe space where they can give vision and voice to their life stories.  Under the guidance of dedicated and empathic mentor-leaders, these youth photograph and write about themselves, their families, their communities, their experiences. Offering them the skills to document their real life stories and to share those stories within the company of similarly directed-youth and with the world, they are strengthened in their sense of themselves and their connection to others.

    Words Beats and Life
    1525 Newton St, NW, Washington, DC 20010
    202-667-1192 (voice)

    The DC Urban Arts Academy, a multi-medium hip-hop arts Academy was the first initiative. Next came Words Beats Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop.  Following that the University Project came about, taking WBL back to where it began--transforming university classrooms and campuses through hip-hop culture via interactive workshops, exhibitions and gallery installations.  Moving forward, WBL has a number of emerging initiatives such as The Cipher: A Hip-Hop Business Incubator, that we believe will become regional and national models over the next few years.  We do hope that this new web site is a helpful tool for you to learn more about Words Beats and Life and how we might be a resource to you, your business, your family, your classroom, your community or your campus.

    WVSA Arts Connection Washington, DC 20036

    ART Options is an arts-infused program designed to support the development of vocational, social and life management skills for people with disabilities ages 16 and older in Washington, DC. Consistent with other St. John’s Community Services’ programs, ART Options operates in community settings in which participants enhance their personal and professional skills and prepare for and attain careers in the art field. ART Options focuses on applied, fine arts and digital design instruction, internships and jobs, public programming, museum and gallery visits, and the development of salesmanship and communications skills guided by the participant’s goals. 

    ART Options utilizes the resources of the vast Washington, DC arts community including the Smithsonian Institute, National Gallery of Art, fine and contemporary art studios, and DC Public Libraries. This enables artists with and without disabilities to develop relationships and collaborate on projects in an array of creative and inclusive  environments. Supported by highly trained staff, artists with disabilities will hone their artistic talents, attain marketable skills, strengthen their  self-esteem and prepare for opportunities in the arts community. 

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