The Mars Urban Arts Initiative (MUAI) is a creative platform for Washington Performing Arts and the D.C. community to celebrate and empower local artists through performances, unique educational programs, and interdisciplinary grassroots collaborations that showcase the diversity and vitality of our city. D.C. has always been an incubator for powerful artistic voices with worldwide resonance, from Duke Ellington and Todd Duncan to Shirley Horn and Chuck Brown. Reflective of our founder Patrick Hayes’ motto, “Everybody in, nobody out,” the Mars Urban Arts Initiative amplifies the role of local artists throughout Washington Performing Arts’ productions, educational opportunities, and special events. MUAI also curates educational workshops, master classes, and student performances that connect local students with distinguished performers, in conjunction with our signature education programs, such as the Capital Arts Partnership, Embassy Adoption Program, and Gospel Choirs. The Mars Urban Arts Initiative is anchored by residencies for leading artists and ensembles, curated performances across all eight wards, and artistic happenings that reflect what it means to call D.C. home.

For more information, email Nicholas Alexander Brown at

Portales/Gateways Exhibition Open House: Fri, Oct 19, 5:30pm • Carlos Rosario School (Free tickets required)
Brad Linde, saxophone: Sat, Oct 20, 6pm • Politics & Prose (Connecticut Ave) (Free and open to the public)
Josanne Francis, steelpan: Fri, Nov 9, 8pm • Dupont Underground ($18 in advance / $22 at the door)
Master Class: Kronos Quartet: Sat, Mar 2, 11am • Freer Gallery (Free registration)
VeVe & tha Rebels: Live at The LINE: Sat, Dec 1, 5pm • The LINE DC (Free and open to the public)

Elena & Los Fulanos: Fri, Sep 28, 8pm • Dupont Underground
MUAI at "The Ask Rayceen Show"
Wed, Oct 3, 7pm • HRC Equality Center 
DuPont Brass: Fri, Oct 5, 9pm • Pearl Street Warehouse 
VeVe & tha Rebels: Sat, Oct 6, 3pm • The Farm at Kelly Miller 
Yaya Bey: Fri, Oct 12, 8pm • Dupont Underground

Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative is generously supported by Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated.