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Below is Washington Post Columnist, John Kelly’s coverage of Fillmore’s 40th Anniversary .
Link to column is here,
Live at the Fillmore!

On Saturday, hundreds of people flocked to the Fillmore Arts Center in Georgetown. It sounds like a place Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix would have headlined in the ’60s, but, in fact, it’s a little jewel on the third floor of Hardy Middle School that this year turned 40.

In 1974, neighborhood parents, concerned that the arts were suffering in D.C. schools, lobbied to transform the empty Fillmore Elementary into a place for theater, painting, dance, music and more. Today, about 1,400 elementary school students from five schools each week spend a half-hour at Fillmore [Note: Mr. Kelly got this part wrong.], now located in Hardy. This is possible because the schools have pooled their arts positions — and because of support from the D.C. public school system and the PTAs, volunteers and donors who are invested in the program.

The Fillmore boasts some professionals among is former students and teachers — the tap-dancing Manzari Brothers; Michael Cotter and Judith Cayo Cotter, founders of Blue Sky Puppet Theatre — but, said Fillmore director Maggie Meenehan, “that’s really not our focus, to make little artists. Our focus is to give them a broad spectrum experience with the arts so they can find something they can use for the rest of their lives.”

Happy birthday, Fillmore.



June 2013: Announcement from DCPS Chancellor Henderson about restoration of Fillmore Arts Center’s budget.

“In the case of Fillmore, the small amount budgeted was well spent and provides solid results to students, and to parents who attend dance recitals or see the artwork students bring home,” Cheh and Evans said in a joint statement.

Fillmore Arts Center-related Video

Teacher Spotlight from NBC Channel 4

Student-made video about Fillmore Arts Center and how it works