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 Jul 16, 2019 at 9:34 AM

About the Durant Arts Center

Formerly a USO center, the Center was named after Dr. Oswald Durant, one of the first 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.

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.

Contact the DURANT Arts CENTER

1605 Cameron St. 

Center Hours

  • Monday - Friday: 5 - 10 p.m.
  • Available for pre-scheduled private use during all other hours
  • Closed on all City holidays

Upcoming Programs

The City of Alexandria, through the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Arts division, invites the community to participate in creative programming at the Durant Arts Center. 

For reasonable disability accommodation about these programs, contact cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.   

Monthly Puppet Shows

Select Saturdays
10 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.
$6 per person

Family puppet shows each month are fun for the very young and the young at heart. Performances are on select Saturdays and take place at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Tickets are $6 per person, available online or at the door. Make your make your reservations today at alexandriava.gov/WebTrac, continue as guest, then select tickets from the drop-down menu.  

  • July 20: Blue Sky Puppet Theatre 
    One of the East Coast’s finest children’s theater companies visits Alexandria to perform an off-beat twist on a classic tale, The Three (Not So) Little Pigs. The wolf is a vegetarian and the pigs jam on rock and roll guitars. 
  • August 17: Wonderment Puppet Theatre
    A greedy troll tries to take over the 3 goats bridge and make a meal out of them. But the goats have different plans for the troll.

For more information or to request reasonable disability accommodation, contact cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.5565, Virginia Relay 711.  

About the Puppeteers

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. 

For the past 10 and half years, Wonderment Puppet Theater have had a permanent home in Martinsburg, WV. The theater provides six original puppet shows a year. It also has an interactive play area for before and after show fun, a gift shop, and a studio for creating future shows. Owner and puppeteer, Joe Santoro, who otherwise works as an art teacher at Hedgeville Elementary School, along with his wife Jane, always give personal attention to anyone with a curiosity for puppetry or the making of the theater.   

Writer's Workshop
Featuring Author Sheila P. Moses

Saturday, August 3
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$75, registration required by July 29


Alexandria author Sheila Moses leads a workshop for writers interested in the young-adult genre. She will provide tips on crafting an engaging tale and insight into working with a publisher to bring the story to market.

The workshop is limited to 20 people. A bag lunch is recommended. Advanced reservations are required. The $75 fee is due July 29. 

To pay online, visit alexandriava.gov/WebTrac, search for activity number 455201.03.  

About the Author

Simon and Schuster author Sheila Moses is the award-winning author of several books for teens and young readers: The Legend of Buddy Bush; The Return of Buddy Bush; I, Dred Scott: A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Legal Precedent of Dred Scott; and The Baptism. Moses is the co-author of Dick Gregory's memoir, Callus on My Soul. Her next book, A Price Was Paid, The History of W.S. Creecy School, is also the subject of an upcoming documentary with the same title. Moses was raised in Rich Square, North Carolina, and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Upcycle Creative Reuse Center

Upcycle has a satellite location at the Durant Arts Center.  Visit Upcycle to learn more about their classes and camps. 


  • Fee Schedule 
  • Facility Features
    • One grand multipurpose room with stage
    • Four multiple purpose rooms
    • Kitchen
    • Gallery
    • Patio