Composing A New Artistic Vision for East County

Strathmore’s East County Initiative delivers affordable and sustainable artistic programs to Eastern Montgomery County. With teachers, community leaders, and local businesses, ECI seeks to empower artists and community organizations to raise each other up to new levels of visibility and viability.

Students from Briggs Chaney Middle School participating in a Step Afrika! assembly.

Over 90 talented string music students participated in Strathmore's East County Strings Program in 2016.


What We Do

ECI provides affordable artistic programs for all ages and tastes by utilizing the artistic and managerial assets of Strathmore, Montgomery County Public Schools, the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, the East County Regional Service Center, the faith community, local businesses, and community organizations. Throughout the year, Strathmore contracts with artists and community cultural programs to offer a wide range of dance, instrumental, choral, and theatrical programs that both teach and entertain within previously underserved communities. Accessible, affordable, and diverse artistic opportunities are now within reach of participants and audiences in new ways without the barriers of transportation, pricing, marketing, or lack of arts-ready facilities.

Learn About Our Programs

Why East County?

After hosting well over a million visitors at its 1,976-seat Concert Hall on its 16-acre campus on Rockville Pike, Strathmore has developed the expertise, artist contacts, partners, and passion to “take the show on the road” to County citizens who may be unable to afford or attend arts offerings on the home campus. The need became clear after a 2014 Washington Post article entitled “In the East, the Least” which pointed out that many households in parts of Eastern Montgomery County face greater economic challenges, less access to transportation, and have fewer arts facilities than in Western Montgomery County.  

Strathmore management spent a year in candid conversations with teachers, principals, community representatives, faith community leaders, Department of Recreation professionals, MCPS administrative staff, and local arts organizations to develop the ECI plan. It saw an opportunity to share Strathmore’s experienced arts leadership and resources to serve as a central point of coordination for new arts programs serving youth and expanding family participation. ECI was born in January 2016.

Who We Are

Strathmore is a nonprofit multidisciplinary arts center and presenting organization based one-half mile outside the Capital Beltway in North Bethesda, Maryland. Best known for performances and events at the Music Center at Strathmore, the organization has been presenting accessible, affordable visual and performing arts in the smaller Mansion at Strathmore and all over its 16-acre site since 1981. Strathmore also presents throughout the community and at a new 250-seat venue, AMP, at Pike & Rose.  

Strathmore ECI is deeply committed to working with community members, educators, and leaders to develop unique programs for residents of Eastern Montgomery County. The community plays an essential part in this endeavor to ensure that all of ECI’s work is sustainable over time and embedded in the hearts of the residents.

Support Arts For Everyone

We rely on charitable gifts from individuals to sustain and expand our visual and performing arts experiences and arts education programs. Your gift will foster incredible social impact by allowing Strathmore to remain a strong and vibrant resource in your community.