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 Sep 13, 2018 at 12:01 PM

Durant Arts Center Programs


Monthly Puppet Shows series at Durant Arts Center - September 22, 2018

Silly Goose and Val3

The Office of the Arts in collaboration with the National Capital Puppetry Guild, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization, are hosting a series of monthly family-friendly puppet shows at the Durant Arts Center. 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 September 22, 2018, we are proud to present “Silly Goose and Val." The puppet show series is designed for all ages and young children and toddlers are welcome. Two shows will be offered 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Valerie Leonhart Smalkin, ventriloquist, musician, composer, and performer was one of the writers, performers, and co-producers as well as the head puppeteer of the Emmy award winning television program It's Kindertime on Baltimore’s ABC affiliate WMAR-TV 2. Val’s CD, A Gentle Halloween, received a Parents’ Choice Fun Stuff award in 2015, and in 2016 her follow-up CD, Sing! Sing! Sing!...and Dance!, garnered a Parents’ Choice Approved award. Her current CD, Love Bug! received a Parents’ Choice Recommended award, and made the first cut in the 59th Annual Grammy Award competition. Val continues to perform and compose music designed for the 2 to 10 year old set. As a ventriloquist, Val performs for family and educational events in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York City, California, and Brussels, Belgium. 

Reservations per show are $5 for all ages (adults and children). Children must be accompanied by at least one adult. To purchase tickets online, visit www.alexandriava.gov/webtrac, select activity number. 

255211.15      Saturday, September 22, 10 a.m. 
255211.16      Saturday, September 22, 11:15 a.m.  

Reservations for the November puppet shows at the Durant Arts Center are also available: 
255211.17 Saturday, November 17, 10 a.m.
255211.18 Saturday, November 17, 11:15 a.m.

For further information about the National Capital Puppetry Guild, please contact Jeff Bragg at 703.424.5553 or email: puppetimes@gmail.com. 

The “Puppet Shows” at Durant Arts Center” Series is a family-friendly project of the Office of the Arts, a division of the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.  For additional information contact Cheryl Anne Colton at 703.746.5565, cherylnane.colton@alexandriava.gov or visit the Office of the Arts web site at www.alexandriava.gov/Arts.

The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, contact Cheryl Anne Colton at 703.746.5565 (Virginia Relay 711) or cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov. 


Durant Arts Center

1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.5560 - durantcenter@alexandriava.gov 


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

Rentals


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. 

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