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Oswald Durant Arts Center

The Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Center is the Department’s multicultural center for the performing and visual arts. It offers programs in music, dance, theatre, and visual arts for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Page updated on May 21, 2019 at 5:23 PM

Durant Arts Center Programs

Bagels and Bach Concert – June 2 

You are invited to attend the Sunday, June 2 “Bagels and Bach” Concert scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Enjoy classical music, your children will become aware and will learn how to appreciate classical music, and you will be treated to a light brunch. What better way to enjoy a Sunday morning? 

The June 2 concert will showcase the Provázek Quartet.  This string ensemble will perform traditional, romantic, classical and modern music that will delight all audiences of all ages.  The Provázek Quartet members are Mia Lunati (violin), Leah Nickelsburg (violin), Eliza Medearis (viola) and Kristian Dillon (cello). 

About the Provázek Quartet:
The Provázek Quartet formed in the Spring of 2015 with a common goal to challenge themselves to play great music. The members share enthusiasm for romantic compositions and fun music, like tangos and adaptations of popular music.  The quartet can be found playing and competing against other talented musicians in the greater Washington, DC area. 

The Provázek Quartet professional engagements include weddings, holiday gatherings, celebrations, and regular "Mornings with Mozart" performances at Nook childrens' play centers.  They also have been able to support a variety of good causes in their community to include ALIVE, Alexandria Living Legends, Alexandria Scholarship Fund, the GWMS PTA, a number of local churches as well as the George Washington Middle School, TC Williams High School, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and Alexandria Symphony Orchestras.

First Friday: Family Art Night – June 7 

Are you looking for a memorable and inspiring evening for your family and you?  With Father’s Day right around the corner, plan to create the perfect gift by attending the First Friday: “Family Art Night” on Friday, June 7, 6:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 

A “meet and greet” begins at 6 p.m. Pizza, soda and water will be on hand, complements of the Office of the Arts. Art activities begin at 6:30 p.m. No experience necessary.  Reservation includes ONE art experience, art supplies, pizza and soda. You have three art experiences to choose from: 

Teresa Brunson Family Paint Night Photo

Paint with Teresa Brunson - Ages 5 and up with adult. Do you love to paint? No experience necessary - Teresa will guide you through painting your very own masterpiece. Take your masterpiece home at the end of the evening. Limit: 50 people (355202.09); or,

MariaIllingworth-June 3 2018

Create Mosaics with Maria Illingworth – Ages 6 and up with adult. Design a mosaic trivet that you can give as a gift or use in the kitchen. Limit: 30 (355202.10).


Create a clay sculpture with Sharmila Karamchandani - Ages 5 and up with adult. Back by popular demand is an opportunity to create a clay sculpture.  Sharmila will guide you through creating a 3-D multi-color fantasy dragon. The dragon sculpture can be given as a gift, or you can showcase it in your house. Limit: 20 people (355202.11).

Reservations are $9 per person for both the "Bagels and Bach" concert or the First Friday: Family Art Night. Children under 5 years old are free. Children must be accompanied by one adult.

Make your make your reservations for "Bagels and Bach" concert visit:, select tickets, enter as guest.  For reservations for the First Friday: Family Art Night visit: select activity number. 

Monthly Puppet Shows at the Durant Arts Center 

The Office of the Arts is hosting a series of monthly family-friendly puppet shows at the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA. The puppet show series is designed especially for the very youngest of audiences, so toddlers are welcome. 

Two shows will be offered 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on the following upcoming Saturdays:

June 15,  Beech Tree Puppets will perform “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Join young Jack as he climbs an enormous beanstalk to a giant’s castle in the sky.  Discover a hen that lays golden eggs, a golden harp that sings by itself, and a giant with a hearty appetite.

Beech Tree Puppets 2

July 20, Blue Sky Puppet Theatre will delight the audience with “The Three (not so) Little Pigs.”  In this puppet tale, the wolf is a vegetarian and the pigs jam on rock and roll guitars.  This show offers an offbeat version of the classic children's tale that's as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids.


All tickets are $6 per person.  Make your make your reservations today visit:, select tickets, enter as guest.   

For more information or to request reasonable disability accommodation, contact or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.  For reasonable disability accommodation, contact or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.

About the Puppeteers:

“Beech Tree Puppets” Founded by Ingrid and Ole Hass in 2012, brings meaningful stories with sensory-friendly and Beech Tree Puppeteers feel that puppets can break down barriers, and provide insights and resolutions to cross cultural differences, and open people to new ideas and possibilities. Beech Tree Puppets have performed artful performances to schools, libraries and public theaters in the wider DC area.  

Since 1974, the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre” has been one of the finest touring children's theatres on the East Coast. The 10-person company was founded by Michael Cotter who continues today to be its artistic director, producer, and co-owner. The Blue Sky Theatre currently has 15 productions and annually performs 1,300 shows that are dedicated to excellence in theatre, art, education and fun.

About Office of the Arts:
A division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, the Office of the Arts promotes the value of arts and culture in Alexandria by nurturing, investing in and celebrating the creative contributions of artists and arts organizations. Through engaging the community, encouraging participation, and facilitating access to the arts, the Office of the Arts works with local artists and arts organizations to build a vibrant community for all of the City's residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at or follow @alexartsoffice on Instagram and Twitter. Add to the conversation with #artsALX.  

Durant Arts Center

1605 Cameron St.

The Durant Arts Center is located in the Upper King Street neighborhood of Old Town.  The Center provides spaces for rehearsals, performances, special events, meetings and arts focused classes.  The Durant Arts Center was formerly a USO center.  The Center was named after Dr. Oswald Durant who was one of two or three African American doctors in Alexandria. 

For many years Dr. Durant could not practice at the local hospital because of segregation. Some patients of color in need of emergency care would show up at his home in the middle of the night to be treated for their injuries.

In 2004, the Center reopened as the Department's multicultural center for the performing and visual arts. It offers programs in music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. The Durant Arts Center is located in the Upper King Street neighborhood of Old Town and provides spaces for rehearsals, performances, special events, meetings, and arts focused classes.

Upcycle Creative Reuse Center now has a satellite location at the Durant Arts Center.  Jump to  Upcycle's website here to learn more about their classes and camps.

Facility Features

  • One grand multipurpose room with stage
  • Four multiple purpose rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Gallery
  • Patio

Center Hours

  • Monday - Friday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Monday - Friday before 5 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday: Available for pre-scheduled private use. 
  • Closed on City holidays


Art Party

3 hr party featuring a hands-on art activity supervised by an art instructor.  Every guest will take home a unique piece of art they create themselves – a special one-of-a-kind party favor!! $350 for 12 children ages 6-12 years old (8-12 years old for mixed media). To book an Art Party call the Durant Arts Center.