“Performance halls” are formal spaces that are designed specifically and solely to direct audience members’ attention toward a stage for music and/or other arts performances. In these venues, it’s ALL about what’s happening on stage.
You can scroll through this page or click on the following links to jump to each venue’s place on the page: American Art Museum, Atlas Performing Arts Center, DAR Constitution Hall, Folger Shakespeare Library, Freer Gallery of Art, Greenberg Theatre, Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Lincoln Theatre, Lisner Auditorium, McNeir Auditorium, National Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection, Sixth and I, THEARC, Ward Recital Hall, Warner Theatre, WDC Jewish Community Center.
AMERICAN ART – NAN TUCKER McEVOY AUDITORIUM
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery share the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, a 346-seat facility located on the building’s lower level. Public programming includes lectures and films as well as music, theater and dance performances. The auditorium is fully accessible from the lobby of the G Street entrance for after-hours events and performances.
ATLAS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is a multiple space performing arts facility anchoring the H Street corridor in NE DC. It is housed in a renovated Art Deco movie house and is home to several arts organizations. It includes one 260 seat proscenium theatre, a black box theatre, two smaller lab theatres, and three dance studios.
The mission of the Atlas Performing Arts Center is:
- To foster the artistic growth of professional and aspiring performing artists throughout the region.
To energize the revitalization of H Street Northeast.
- To provide a unique community-centered venue for training and education in the performing arts and stagecraft.
- To create a new model for collaborative theatre management.
DAR CONSTITUTION HALL
DAR Constitution Hall is the District’s largest Concert Hall and welcomes over half a million patrons each year. The Hall opened in 1929, and was designed to house the annual DAR convention. DAR Constitution Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark Building in 1985.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. DAR Headquarters, encompassing an entire city block, is one of the world’s largest buildings of its kind owned and maintained exclusively by women.
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY
The Folger Shakespeare Library is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art. The Folger serves a wide audience of scholars, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers. An internationally recognized research library, the Folger offers advanced scholarly programs in the humanities. It is an innovator in the preservation of rare materials and a leader in digital humanities research.
The Folger offers a wide variety of cultural and arts programs include theater, music, poetry, exhibitions, lectures, screenings, and family programs. It is also the home of the Folger Consort, an early music ensemble which creates programs that offer opportunities to discover and enjoy music from the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods.
FREER GALLERY OF ART: MEYER AUDITORIUM
The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery contain some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world. In addition, the Freer Gallery boasts exemplary examples of late nineteenth-century works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries. Together, both Galleries form the national museums of Asian art at the Smithsonian and are dedicated to the acquisition, care, study, and exhibition of works in their collections. Events are regularly held in the Meyer Auditorium in the Freer Gallery.
The Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre (Greenberg Theatre) is located at the corner of Wisconsin Ave and Van Ness Street in Tenleytown. Its mission is to provide American University and the local community a venue for live performances in music, theatre and dance. The 300-seat theatre is the primary performance space for AU’s Performing Arts Department and is also available for rental.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, generally known as the Kennedy Center, is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States. Its offerings include opera, theater, dance, ballet, and music. The musical offerings vary widely and include orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music. It serves as the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. It is also home to Shear Madness, the second-longest run play in the history of American Theater (its sister production of Shear Madness in Boston is the longest-running).
The Kennedy Center hosts approximately 2,000 performances each year. It offers multiple venues – the Concert Hall, seating 2,442, the Opera House, seating 2,294 seats, the Eisenhower Theater, seating 1,163, the Family Theater, seating 324, the Terrace Theater, seating 513, the Theater Lab, seating 399, the Jazz Club, seating 160, and the Millennium Stage.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Library of Congress (LOC) is an unparalleled world resource, with a collection of more than 160 million items, including more than 37.8 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages, more than 69.6 million manuscripts, the largest rare book collection in North America, and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.
The LOC also offers a series of concerts, lectures, films, and workshops in the Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium and Whittall Pavilion. This includes a free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress.
The Lincoln Theatre, built in 1922, was a cultural center of D.C., predating and influencing Harlem’s renaissance. Washington natives Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey were joined by nationally acclaimed artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Sarah Vaughn who performed regularly on the storied stage. President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrated his birthday parties at the Lincoln Colonnade, a party hall once located at the Theatre.
Revered as a National & DC Historical Landmark, Lisner Auditorium opened its doors for public performances in the fall of 1946. Named in honor of Abram Lisner, a University trustee and philanthropist, the auditorium is renowned for its vast range of performances and events. Hosting world class artists, celebrities and world leaders, Lisner Auditorium has served a prominent place in the cultural life of Washington, DC. Events have included a taping of The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert and special guest President Barack Obama, Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil, Toni Morrison, the National Ballet of Georgia and Hillary Clinton.
The auditorium is among the largest performance venues in the city and in 2012 enriched its facilities with an upgraded interior and state of the art enhancements.
MCNEIR AUDITORIUM – GEORGETOWN
McNeir Auditorium is a 140-seat auditorium located in Georgetown University’s “New North.” New North was built as a residence hall with student lounges and a large lecture hall, but was later converted to house academic offices. The original lecture hall continues to be used for lectures and also serves as one of Georgetown’s primary performance spaces.
NOTE: The auditorium can be challenging to find. From the main gates of the University (37th and O), walk toward the circle and stay on the right side of the circle. Walk straight to “Old N Way” – you’ll see Healy Hall on your left and Copley Hall & the Gonda Theater on your right. Continue down the driveway and follow it through the tunnel (watch for traffic). As soon as you get through the tunnel, make an immediate right and walk down the steps. McNeir Hall is the first door on the right.
(If you zoom in on the map, “Gaston Hall” is just to the left of Healy Circle. Connected to Gaston Hall is “Old North” and the “Georgetown Public Policy Review”; connected to that is “New North,” and McNeir Auditorium is on the west end of New North.)
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART – EAST BUILDING AUDITORIUM
The National Gallery of Art consists of the original, West Building, and the East Building, located across from the West Building and connected by an underground walkway. It also has an ourdoor sculpture garden and extensive indoor and outdoor gardens. The West Building has an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures by European masters from the medieval period through the late 19th century, as well as pre-20th century works by American artists. The East Building focuses on modern and contemporary art.
Beginning in 1942, a series of free Sunday evening concerts has featured the National Gallery Orchestra as well as musicians and ensembles from around the world. With programs offered in the fall and winter to the present day, this is considered the oldest continuous series of free weekly concerts in the District. Weekly Sunday concerts are also provided in the Sculpture Garden during the summer. Films and lectures are presented regularly, and public symposia are organized for selected exhibitions. Most indoor concerts are held in the West Garden Court, but concert are also occasionally held in the West Building Rotunda or East Building Auditorium.
The Phillips Collection shows superb works of modern art in an intimate setting, including paintings by Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O’Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn. The collection continues to develop with selective new acquisitions, many by contemporary artists.
Special exhibitions and frequent changes in the arrangement of the permanent collection mean that there’s something fresh on every visit to the Phillips. The museum’s Center for the Study of Modern Art offers stimulating Conversations with Artists, symposia, lectures, and more, while Sunday Concerts, Phillips after 5 programs, and other events provide additional food for thought. The museum also produces a vigorous, award-winning program of educational outreach that serves thousands of students and teachers.
Audiences and artists have been coming together at the Phillips well before 1941, when Phillips Music became a series of 30 or more concerts per year. Phillips presently showcases enthralling performances in the Music Room’s idyllic chamber music environment.
SIXTH AND I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE
Since 2004, Sixth & I, through its openness and pluralistic approach, has redefined the 21st-century synagogue and community space with impactful, entertaining, and thought-provoking programs spanning Jewish and cultural traditions. Although officially known as the “Sixth & I Historic Synagogue,” it is a non-denominational, non-membership, and non-traditional. It offers both presentations about Jewish life and programs of general interest.
Timely and provocative events with authors, musicians, politicians, comedians, filmmakers, journalists, actors, chefs, and other visionaries allow the community to plug in to what’s happening at the forefront of arts and culture.
The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) is a 110,000 square-foot campus that serves as “a home away from home” for many underserved children and adults of “East of the River.” THEARC offers dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, medical and dental care. It has a 365-seat community theater, a gymnasium, libraries, computer labs, classrooms, dance, music and visual arts studios, an art gallery, public playgrounds, and gardens.
THEARC Theater was created to provide DC residents living east of the Anacostia River entertaining and enlightening experiences that can impact their lives and brighten their futures. Since its official opening in October 2005, THEARC has already served thousands of residents of the surrounding Southeast DC Community. THEARC Theater is steadily booked.
WARD RECITAL HALL – CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
Ward Recital Hall is one of the primary performance spaces for Catholic University’s arts programs. The building was built in 1930 and the recital hall was originally designed for liturgical music; as a result, it resembles a chapel. The recital hall offers a wide variety of programs, including concert versions of historic musicals that have been revived by the University’s Music Theater Research Project. In addition to the recital hall, the building also houses a dance studio, a recording studio, and support space for performing arts programs.
Ward Hall is the red brick building just north of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Harewood Road NE. It is labeled as “Music Library” on Google Maps. There is 3-hour non-metered parking on Harewood Road.
The Warner opened in 1924 as the Earle Theatre, showing vaudeville and silent movies. In the mid-1940s, the venue changed to a movies-only policy and its owner, Harry Warner, one of the Hollywood’s Warner Brothers, changed the name to the Warner Theatre. The venue declined over time, but was reborn as a concert venue in the mid-1970s. The theatre closed again in 1989 for a 3-year renovation, and was born anew in 1992 as a spectacular, landmark desination for music, theater, and dance.
WDC JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER
The Washington, DC, Jewish Community Center (WDCJCC or Washington DCJCC) provides uniquely urban educational, social, cultural and fitness programs to the DC community inside and outside the beltway. The DCJCC is open to all and has a mission of building and preserving Jewish identity. It promotes community values through programs and services that include theater performances and post-show discussions; film, literary and music festivals and year-round arts programming; art exhibits and discussions with artists; sport and fitness programs; education classes, workshops and retreats; and community service volunteer opportunities.