Why Should I Enroll?

The Academy is fun, free, and taught by Master Level Artists who will teach you the skills you need to be a better artist based on five important foundations: Skill-Set Mastery, Employability, the Pursuit of a Post-Secondary Education, Community, and Self Mastery. An education based in Hip-Hop can serve as a wedge between hope and despair for DC youth. Through an Apprentice based education rooted in Hip-Hop culture, the staff and volunteers of the Words Beats & Life Academy work closely with the Apprentices as both instructors and mentors.

We harness and protect a sacred space of creativity through instruction in all the artistic forms and practices of Hip-Hop Culture. Our interactive classes for youth ages 13-23 in the core elements of hip-hop annually enroll 150-225 students in the DC Metro area. Our program is free of charge to all participants. Each session lasts 8-10 weeks. For more information about what classes are offered at each location, call and speak with a member of our staff at 202-667-1192 or e-mail

Please note that class offerings vary.

Classes are offered in 8-10 weeks sessions throughout the year. Each session has its own overarching theme that bridges all of the classes together, encouraging students to think critically about their art and the world that surrounds them. Please note that enrollment is only open at the beginning of each session.

Our schedule is closely aligned with the DCPS quarters and a summer session.  The Academy follows both the Federal Government & DCPS school calendar for holidays & vacation, and weather related closings. If either DCPS or the Federal Government closes early as a result of inclement weather, classes will be canceled.

Important Dates
St. Stephen’s Spring Schedule:
April 24th-June 2nd| Monday-Friday (times vary by day)

For questions concerning your enrollment call 202-667-1192 or email

Classes, Requirements and Locations

Students must attend 80% of classes in order to remain enrolled. Our Master Artists work with young artists to develop their skills as artists.

The Foundation (1525 Newton St NW) [Columbia Heights Metro]
The Spot (5200 Foote St NE)
[Rhode Island Ave Metro]
Ron Brown High School (4800 Meade St NE)
  [Deanwood Metro]

Francis Gregory Library [Buses: D51, S35, V5, W4]
Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library
[Shaw/Howard Metro]
Woodridge Library
[Rhode Island Metro]
Ballou Stay
[Busses: A4 & A8]
Stanton Elementary
[Busses: 30S, 32, 34, 92, A32, W2, W6]

Volunteer Opportunities

*click photo for sign-up*


Winter Session 2017Mini Session 2017 (Open Studio w/Guest Artists & Performances)Spring Session 2017 [The Hustle]Summer Session 2017
  • January 3rd Start of Winter Session
  • January 13th Winter Session Applications Due
  • February 3rd-10th Portfolio Review
  • February 11th Scratch, Sip, and Paint (parents and students 21+)
  • February 16th Love What you do, Do What You Love (Valentines Career Conversations)
  • March 10th Last Day of Classes
  • March 10th All City Rehearsal
  • March 11th Slam Qualifier #2
  • March 11th The Heartbreak Ball
  • March 12th  Spring Session Registration Open
  • March 12th  All City Winter Show

Note: This Session is Exclusive to Apprentice Students

  • March 20th Start of Mini Session
  • March 29th-April 13th Start of Create Your Own Future Workshop Series
  • March 29th The Reminders Songwriting Workshop
  • March 30th Sarah Massey Marketing & Branding Workshop
  • April 1st National Poetry Month Video Slam Opens
  • April 5th Tiffany B Special Event Planning
  • April 6th Bush Head ED & Kymone Freeman Radio Production Workshop
  • April 7th Final Day to Register for Alternative Spring Break
  • April 12th Stephen Fleg Ya Dig Workshop
  • April 13th Damu Music production & distribution Workshop
  • April 14th Spring Applications Due/Last Day of Mini Session
  • April 24th First Day of Classes
  • April 27th Voting for National Poetry Month Video Slam Opens
  • April 29th Paint Jam—Our Block (as event volunteers or pre-event setup)
  • April 30th Winners of National Poetry Month Video Slam Announced
  • May 6th Funk Parade
  • May 12th Grand Slam, DMV Youth Slam Team Announced
  • May 20th Our Block
  • May 21st Summer Session Registration Open
  • May 22nd-31st Portfolio Review
  • June 9th Final Day of Classes (School Year)
  • June 16th Summer Session Kick-Off Event @ Gala Hispanic Theater
  • June 24th Our Block
  • July 11th-16th Brave New Voices Trip
  • July 22nd Our Block
  • August 4th Last Day of Summer Session
  • August 11th End of Summer BBQ
  • August 26th Our Block
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