Clayton Evans Receives Prestigious Award!

Written by Veronica Sloan on . Posted in In the News



Award-Winning Arts Organization Recognizes Work of Senior Staffer

KENSINGTON, MD (February 14, 2017) Clayton B. Evans, Deputy Director of Arts on the Block (AOB), was recognized by the Board of Directors of the Kensington-based nonprofit for his dedication to the organization as evidenced through his leadership in the year of executive transition, for his profound commitment to youth and community, as well as his gifted way of developing relationships that contribute to AOBs positive reputation in Montgomery County and the region.

“I am humbled,” said Evans, “It is an unexpected and true honor to be commended by such a wonderful and dedicated group of people who are thoroughly dedicated to our mission and whom I deeply respect. This is just further motivation for me to continue to develop quality programs that will serve our talented youth and their communities.”

Since June 2014, Evans has been instrumental in serving thousands of young people through the continued growth of AOB’s flagship Pour Your ART Out (PYAO) workshop, a teen arts apprenticeship program now entering its 14th season. His efforts have also helped to sustain Excel Beyond the Bell out-of-school time programs in two middle schools in Germantown as well as to introduce the innovative Explore-CreateConnect after-school arts program in East County.

“Every arts organization has a person or people who are the heart and soul of the operation,” said Anne L’Ecuyer, the new executive director of the organization. That is certainly true of Clayton. His eyes light up when he talks about what is possible for creative youth in Montgomery County and I trust his vision for how to get there.”
L’Ecuyer assumed the role of executive director in January 2017, succeeding Jan Goldstein who founded the organization and served as its leader for 14 years. As part of the recent staff changes, Dawn Goodman Washington was promoted to Communications and Development Director. The organization expects continued modest growth in the coming year.

About Arts on the Block (AOB): Since its founding in 2003, Arts on the Block’s mission has been to empower creative youth to imagine and shape fulfilling futures and contribute to the quality of life in their communities. AOB achieves its mission by providing real world experiences in the arts, educational guidance and entrepreneurial training geared to their unique capabilities. Arts on the Block earned the Catalogue for Philanthropy’s “best community-based nonprofit” designation in 2012 and 2016.

For More Information: Dawn Goodman Washington Communications & Development Director (240) 645-0730


Hello, Farewell, and Thank You!

Written by admin on . Posted in Board of Directors, Excel Beyond the Bell, In the News, Pour Your ART Out

Arts on the Block has been the beneficiary of so much goodness already this year. It would be challenging to list absolutely everyone and everything, but here are some good deeds and good-deed-doers we want to be sure to thank.  Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for real-time updates!

2013 Board Retreat at MAFCU headquarters

2013 Board Retreat at MAFCU headquarters

AOB Board  A hearty welcome to new members Terry Roberts, Kathy Lally, Gloria Tseng Fischer and John Boit — a remarkable assemblage of brains, talent and passion. Farewell to members Andrew Green, Greg Rooney and Carolyn Alper, each of whom so generously gave of themselves during their affiliation with AOB, and continue to do so!  Gratitude to member Kay Abrams and president Phil Zipin for kicking off 2013 with a delightful houseparty/fundraiser, and to lead teaching artist Carien Quiroga, apprentice Xinran Zheng and alumna Whitley Dowling for lending their charm and testimony.  And of course, thanks to ALL board members for their tireless, ongoing contributions!  We’ll be sure to report on the work of the board and committees in a later edition of “Arts on the Blog.” Finally, a special “thank you” to past board member Dina Boogard for so skillfully leading our annual board retreat earlier this month.

Volunteers “Thank you” to the volunteers who helped us through the end-of-year rush — especially the ever-vigilant Diane Jackson and Julius Day, with additional help from Laxmi Palakamchetty. Thanks as well to the artists and other professionals who shared their skills and personal journeys with our middle and high school-aged participants, including Tom Cooper, inspirational speaker;  Jacqui Crocetta, Sheila Roth and Ulf Wallin, artists/studio hostsJulie Philips,  Ellen Hill and alumni Cynthia Adarkwa and Natalie Ramirez, visiting artists, and Cathy Henderson, job-readiness trainer. Many thanks as well to photographer Tom Estrin for a fresh batch of photos of AOB artwork “in situ.” AND: a round of applause for artist Lendeh Sherman who redesigned our email template among other artistic accomplishments.

Tom Cooper of BrightHill, LLC

Tom Cooper of BrightHill, LLC

Alumna Cynthia Adarkwa

Alumna Cynthia Adarkwa

Guest Artist Julie Philips

Guest Artist Julie Philips


Photographer Ulf Wallin



Painter and Graphic Artist Jacqui Crocetta


Printmaker Sheila Roth

Grants  Deep thanks to the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Donors InVesting in Arts (DIVAS), the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation, Art4Moore, CrossCurrents Foundation, the Clark Charitable Foundation and Bloomberg BNA for recent grants to support our programs and general operations. We couldn’t do it without you!


Executive Ball centerpiece

Mosaic coasters

Mosaic coasters

In-Kind Donors  Gratitude to David Spitzer who once again called upon his significant woodworking skills to create forms for mosaic coasters to sell at the Open House. Joanne Clayton Townsend and Stephanie Yoffee donated precious art supplies. And we can never over-thank Andrew Green — past board member and owner of — for his fabulous contributions to our exciting new product: party centerpieces!

Thanks, too, to the many individuals and businesses who go above and beyond the terms of their contracts in providing top-flight services to AOB! Noah Teske, Devan Goldstein, SW Creatives, Gillian Caldwell to name a few.

Artwork Commissioners A blog post on recently commissioned artwork is planned for later this spring. In the mean time, a generic “thank you” to the wonderful folks who came to AOB for their extra-special artwork needs.  

Partners Special thanks to Lynn Sobolov of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council; Tiffany Nelson and Jeff Pecover from Recreation and of course David Markey and his colleagues at Imagination Stage plus the AOB Excel Beyond the Bell teaching artists and assistants for their help in making a Saturday field trip to Imagination Stage such a success.  Without the heroic efforts of AOB Operations Director Mary Ngo, it would have been hard to “imagine.”

And finally, a hearty welcome to Carson Henry who is about to step into the shoes of our esteemed partner, Barbara Ott, the stellar Executive Director of YMCA Youth and Family Services Division who takes her leave this month.