Welcome Back, Ellington

Photos by Brian Nielsen.

Photos by Brian Nielsen.

By Nan Bell

On a bright sunny Saturday, August 19, it was an honor to join Mayor Bowser, co-founder Peggy Cooper Cafritz, DC Deputy Mayor for Education, DC Public Schools Chancellor, Director of the Department of General Services, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, and Councilmember-At-Large David Grosso at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.


Mayor Bowser led everyone in welcoming back students, teachers, and administrators to the beautifully renovated school and said the new “state-of-the-art building … supports and celebrates some of our most talented young artists” as they “learn, grow, and hone their craft.” The nearly 280,000-square-foot school is home to an 800-seat theatre, six dance studios, four art studios, two writing and journalism labs, two biology labs, two chemistry labs, and one physics lab, among numerous other amenities.

Thanks to BCA board member Kay Twomey’s continued coordination with the school leadership during the renovation process, the BCA was represented at the event. Mayor Bowser gave generous and deserving praise to the Burleith community as she introduced me to speak on our behalf. I expressed great pleasure to have the students back in Burleith and noted that “this school on the hill, which has always represented the very best of education … now has a new building that reflects that excellence.”