Improv Arts, Inc.

Improv Arts is a new model for artist driven performing arts organizations. Rather than operating as a single performing company, Improv Arts provides the operating infrastructure for multiple companies, sharing operational resources enabling artists to focus on making art.
We create. We perform. We educate.
Performance Companies:
Jonathan Matis. Photo by Cameron McPhee
Daniel Burkholder/The PlayGround:
A movement based improvisational performance group. Read Daniel's Blog, act-re-act, to keep up with upcoming performances and insights into improvisation.

DC Improvisers Collective:
An ensemble exploring the intersection of jazz, contemporary composition and experimental music.

Low End String Quartet:
A "new and improved" version of a string quartet comprised of bass, electric guitar, cello, and violin; amplified to rumble your ribcage.

Education and Outreach:
Programs for young people:
The Low End String Quartet introduces young audiences to chamber music that rocks. Participants learn basic vocabulary of music terms, names of instruments, and concepts of pitch, rhythm, and timbre; the building blocks of musical composition.

Daniel Burkholder / The PlayGround engages audiences through interactive dance, music and student participation while they learn about humanity's reliance on and need for water. Students learn about everyday uses of water, the water cycle, and how human behavior effects our water supply. They also develop a greater appreciation of dance and the performing arts.

Our programming for young audiences is curriculum-based, exciting, engaging, participatory, and memorable. During 2008 and 2009, our staff worked with an arts-education consultant who provided training and support, enabling our performing companies to generate powerful and effective engagements specifically designed for students in grades K - 8.

Daniel Burkholder, Jennifer Clark Stone and Audrey Chen Photo by Christine Stone
Programs for Professional Dancers:
Workshops led by our own faculty, as well as leading practitioners from around the world.

Improvisational performance is spontaneous, and occurs completely in the moment, however the craft of improvisation is developed over time, with experience and rigorous practice. Improv Arts Inc. provides a mechanism to support long-term collaborations that will encourage deeper inquiry into the practice of improvisation, especially across disciplines, allowing artists working in different forms to learn from one another. Improv Arts Inc., through its long-term residency at Joe's Movement Emporium will serve as a focal point for improvisation in the DC region by leveraging resources, presenting public events, sponsoring workshops, and providing a tangible hub for collaborative activities.
Record Label:

Improv Arts records are available from Bandcamp as well as your favorite digital music retailers. Our entire catalog is indexed here.

web design by: Ben Azzara
Daniel Burkholder. Photo by Marketa Ebert
Make a tax-deductable donation to help Improv Arts continue bringing cutting-edge art forms to the public.

3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

  • The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund
  • Puffin Foundation
  • The Maryland State Arts Council
  • Prince George's County Arts Council
  • DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
  • The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George's County
  • Members of the Improv Arts Commissioning Club
DCIC: Jonathan Matis, Ben Azzara, Mike Sebastian, Daniel Barbiero. Photo by Pete Duvall
Daniel Burkholder, Laurel Dugan and Ginger Wagg. Photo by Christine Stone