Heard’s mission is to foster creativity, confidence, self-worth, and life skills in adults who are underserved, unknown, and unheard by offering them artistic expression through experiential instruction and participation.

Visual Arts

Simply put, art empowers. Learn more about our Visual Arts program.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing is a huge umbrella for us! Learn more about our Creative Writing program.


Improv offers a host of life skills that our clients – and anyone – can benefit from. Learn more about our Improvisation program.


It’s more than good manners. It’s about treating everyone with respect. Learn more about our Etiquette program.

Public Speaking

Public speaking builds confidence. Learn more about our Public Speaking program.


Letting our clients’ voices be heard through song. Learn more about our Singing program.


It’s all about feeling the joy of your body in motion! Learn more about our Dance program.

“The improv group is a huge hit and a huge success. The youth are engaged and creative. In regards to life skills—this is a hard question—but one thing I notice the most is that they let their guard down.”

Northern Virginia Detention Center

“From reading some of the stories, I was able to tell the participants put a great deal of effort into the material they wanted to present. Once the competition ended, I received several requests for the program to return.”

Gloria Wright
Alternative Programs Manager, Alexandria Detention Center

“The HEARD program is a wonderful complement to TWB’s [Together We Bake] curriculum of empowerment and life skills. Providing women an opportunity to share their stories through art is incredibly empowering.

Stephanie Wright
Co-founder and Executive Director, Together We Bake

“I didn’t know that Poetry can be so much fun and bring a different perspective into my life. Since attending that class I am now able to analyze a poems and also I began to write poetry myself.” 

Friends of Guest House client

“Today had to be one of the best classes I ever had a Friends of Guest House. The ladies were so engaged, and I was able to move them to [improv life skills learning exercises] and sharing stories. It was really, really amazing. They were also using what they are learning in their daily life with positive results.”

Keely Kirk
Heard improv teacher

“Working with Heard and all its partner organizations has deepened my sense of purpose and has given me an inner perspective of my role in the universe on how I can serve and create an impact in the community through the arts.”

Sharmila Karamchandani
Heard visual arts teacher

“I use improv all the time, especially with my boss. I need to say ‘yes, and’ more and not ‘but.’

Former Friends of Guest House client now working in a restaurant

“I liked it. I never have time for this. It’s important for self-care.”

“I don’t consider myself a creative person but look what I did!”

Clients and staff, City of Alexandria Sexual Assault Survivors’ Group

This program is supported, in part, by an Arts
Program grant from the City of Alexandria.