From documentaries to jazz bands, D.C. arts center fosters talent, passion in low-income youth

Precious Lambert and Alejandro Marquez are two students at Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
A clay kiln at Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan. Sitar, which is in its 14th year, sees about 350 school-aged children during the school year, and an additional 200 in the early childhood program and 120 in the summer camp. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Students participate in an arts class at Sitar Arts Center. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Students rehearse for this summer's production of "The Wiz" at Sitar Arts Center. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Musical instruments at Sitar Arts Center. Sitar offers visual, digital and performing arts education in programs afterschool and on the weekends. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON — A few years ago, 19-year-old Precious Lambert seriously considered dropping out of high school.

“I just didn’t feel as safe as I should have, and to be honest, it didn’t feel like a priority to me,” says Lambert, of Southeast D.C.

“It just so happens that my two best friends dropped out in ninth grade year, and that meant more to me than anything because we were all supposed to graduate together — walk across the stage like,

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