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Inspire a Generation


About Us


We place low-income preschool children on the road to literacy and future success by empowering their educators to use the arts to teach academic skills. 


Every child has access to quality early childhood education.  
Every early childhood educator has access to quality professional development.


For over two decades, Inner City-Inner Child, the arts education/literacy program of the historic Dumbarton Concerts, has provided quality arts integration and early childhood education programs to low-income, community-based Child Development Centers throughout Washington, D.C.  Dumbarton Concerts began community outreach in 1987 with a program called Live Music Now!, an initiative to bring music out of the concert hall and into isolated neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Through this work, we discovered that young children had the greatest unmet needs in our community.  In response, Inner City-Inner Child was created in 1994 to reach the District’s neediest children. ICIC programs work to create an environment that supports school readiness for the neediest preschool children in our Nation’s Capital by introducing teachers and children to the power of integrating the arts with academics.  By helping centers become accredited, and stay accredited by the National Association for the Accreditation Education of Young Children (NAEYC), ICIC improves the quality of early childhood education in Washington, DC.


Click Here for our Center Map >

Click the photo to read the Washington Times article featuring Inner City-Inner Child

Click the photo to read the Washington Times article featuring Inner City-Inner Child

The Results are in...



  • 3,517 low-income preschool children served 
  • 438 early childhood educators trained
  • 1,175 professional development hours earned 
  • 232 workshops given 
  • 1,927 books donated
  • 50 child development centers reached




Our Programs



(Classroom Residency)
Each year ICIC selects six low-income childhood development centers to participate in a three month early literacy and arts integration residency. A team of ICIC Teaching Artists prepare Pre-K students for a final performance, while providing professional development to their teachers by modeling ways to integrate music, dance and drumming to teach literacy, math, and social skills.
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(Professional Development Program)
This professional development program, certified by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, provides early childhood educators with quality, affordable continuing education. The workshops, most of which take place during the children’s naptime, are taught by Master Teacher Artists. The workshop topics align with all National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Common Core standards.

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(Family Literacy Program)
Fewer than half of American children (47.8%) between birth and five years are read to every day by their parents, according to Reach Out and Read National Center.  ICIC's family literacy initiative helps parents become actively involved in their children’s literacy and learning. Literacy trainers teach parents how to create literacy experiences at home so learning continues beyond the school day. ICIC provides on-site workshops during evening hours, ininformal, relaxed sessions that include dinner and book giveaways.



(Book Donation Program)
Every year, ICIC donates books to DC’s low-income child development centers to stock their classroom libraries.  We also provide hundreds of children with brand new books to take home.  Often, these are the first books these children have ever owned. We believe that something as simple as a backpack filled with books not only inspires enthusiasm for reading, but also sends an empowering message to the children that they matter, and that people care about their future.
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Professional Development Workshops

Inner City – Inner Child provides on-site professional development workshops during your staff development days.  2 – 6 hour workshops are available. All participants earn OSSE certified clock hours.  We work with you to create a workshop that best suits the needs of your teachers and students.  Click the button below to see the line-up for our 2016-2017 season.


Sense of Wonder: Using music and movement to explore nature in the early childhood classroom.

 Adventures in Science: Using imagination to explore early childhood science concepts.

Moving Through Math Series: Exploring early childhood math concepts with music, movement and the imagination.  Specific topics include:  one-to –one correspondence, counting, spatial relationships, positional language, patterns, sequencing, symbols, shapes.

Sing and Dance a Story: Using music and dance to promote early childhood literacy.

Children’s Books- The Musical! Transforming children’s books into a musical experience.

The Beat Goes On: Rhythm and rhyming for infants and toddlers.

Jumping of the Page: Storytelling and literacy for early learners.

Rhythm, Rhyme and Repetition: The 3 Rs of Black Storytelling.

Singing Social Skills: Use music to promote social-emotional development.

Big Brains, Little Bodies: The science of early learners.

Creating Caring Classrooms through Relationship and Environment

Friends, Friends 123: Developsocial-emotional teaching strategies that support friendship skills and emotional literacy.

Baby Basics: Connecting children’s books and educational activities to babies and toddlers.

Building Family & Community Relationships

Language Development and Vocabulary Acquisition for toddlers and pre-k students


Without the generous support from our donors and partners, we would not be able to bring our services to the Washington DC community. Thank you for all your support!

See Full List of Supporters