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Georgetown Arts & Culture Locations and Experiences

Learning Institutions

Duke Ellington School of the Arts​ / Established in 1974, this renowned high school is dedicated to arts education and offers training in cinematic arts and media production, dance, museum studies, instrumental music, vocal music, theater, technical design and production, and visual arts. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Academy of Dramatic Arts​ / The only accredited acting studio in DC, the National Academy of Dramatic Arts was founded in 1975 and has been responsible for countless stage and screen careers. Free student shows in the black box theater are open to the public.

Georgetown University​ / World-renowned Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country, dating back to 1789. It’s known for its international relations program, among other academic areas.

Cultural / Heritage Organizations & Sites

Mt. Zion Female Union Band Cemetery​ / The cemetery for Mount Zion members – the oldest Black congregation in DC – dates back to 1809 when the Montgomery Street Church purchased the lot for its burials. At that time Blacks were approximately half of the congregation. One of the vaults located in the cemetery was an important hiding place or stop on the Underground Railroad. In 1879 the Female Union Band Society, a mutual aid association of free Black women formed in 1842, bought land in the adjacent lot, and the cemeteries were later merged.

African American Heritage Trail / Cultural Tourism DC’s trail includes the institutions and homes of Herring Hill, a 15-block area of eastern-most Georgetown that was a home for families migrating to DC after the Civil War. Other points of interest include the site of formerly enslaved Georgetown resident Yarrow Mamout’s home, and the Rose Park tennis courts – dedicated to the star Peters sisters.

Oak Hill Cemetery / This historic 22-acre cemetery was founded in 1848 and completed in 1853, and is an example of a rural cemetery. Many famous politicians, business people, military people, diplomats, and philanthropists are buried at Oak Hill – including Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie. The cemetery has a number of Victorian-style memorials and monuments, in addition to two structures that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dumbarton House​ / A Georgetown landmark for nearly two centuries, the Federal period house showcases household furnishings, art, and décor from the early years of the republic.

Tudor Place / This 1816 National Historic Landmark estate, built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Custis Peter, is home to the extensive Mt. Vernon collection and historic 5.5 acre garden, allowing visitors to explore 180 years of American history.

Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Garden​ / Built in 1801, the Federal-style house features the former owners’ Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art collections. Former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun once lived there, and the United Nations charter was outlined there in 1944. The property contains 10-acres of trees, including Washington’s famed cherry blossoms, as well as flowers and ornamental garden fixtures.

House of Sweden​ / This landmark overlooking the Potomac River is a unique meeting place for promoting mutual Swedish and American interests. It is home to the Embassy of Sweden and the Embassy of Iceland, and has an event center that features conference and exhibition halls.

Georgetown Heritage & the C&O Canal Boat​ / Georgetown Heritage interprets and promotes the historical, recreational, and cultural resources of the Georgetown neighborhood through community-supported education. Its C&O Canal Boat offers one-hour tours of the first mile of the C&O Canal. The boat will be on hiatus as the National Park Service completes important restoration and maintenance work on the canal.

French Embassy & Maison Francaise​ / The Embassy of France is the French diplomatic mission to the United States, located just north of Georgetown University. It is France’s largest foreign embassy.

Studios

S&R Evermay’s Fillmore School Studios​ / Every year the S&R Evermay Foundation awards several DC artists one year of free studio space usage at The Fillmore School in Georgetown. Artists work in the fields of visual art, interdisciplinary practice, music, and dance, and prioritize social impact in their practice. In the spring, the community is invited to an open studio event to view and purchase art from the artists.

Jackson Arts Center / The center provides studio space for more than 40 local artists who work in the former classrooms of the historic Jackson School that were converted to art space in the 1980s. Jackson artists work in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, pastel, photography, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and more. Free Spring and Fall Open Studios offer a look behind the scenes.

Klagsbrun Studios / These working studios in the charming area of Book Hill are open by appointment and for neighborhood events, salons and workshops – including a Tuesday night drawing and painting group.

Galleries

Georgetown University Art Galleries / GU’s galleries encompass two exhibition venues: the Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery and the Lucille M. & Richard F.X. Spagnuolo Art Gallery. The Galleries present exhibitions featuring works by professional artists, studio art faculty, and graduating art majors and host a variety of interdisciplinary public programs.

Addison Ripley Fine Art​ / Work in all media is represented in the gallery and styles range from traditional landscape to overall abstraction. The gallery displays work in large scale: painting, photography, drawing and sculpture, as well as more modest scale pieces in the same mediums.

Washington Printmakers Gallery​ / The gallery is one of DC’s primary sources for contemporary fine art prints and photographs. It has a membership of local and national printmakers, photographers, and book artists. The gallery has a full calendar of juried shows, group and solo exhibitions, workshops, classes, talks, and outreach programs.

Calloway Fine Art​ & Consulting / Calloway Fine Art specializes in contemporary art. It offers art collectors and enthusiasts a wide range of both representational and abstract paintings and prints, as well as select photography and sculpture. The gallery also provides extensive art consulting services, and framing.

DTR Modern Galleries​ / By showcasing modern masters through post-war and working with emerging, mid-career and blue-chip artists or their estates for many years, DTR has cultivated long-term relationships and regularly exhibits a formidable collection due to direct access to studios and archives.

Gallery Article 15​ / This unique gallery specializes in Congolese contemporary art by emerging, mid-career and established artists.

StudioLab RD​ / Contemporary, abstract artist Robin Davisson opens her studio to the public and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the art-making process. Downstairs, a rotating collection of art is available for purchase.

Von Ammon Co.​ / Founded by Todd von Ammon in 2019, the leading contemporary art gallery mounts eight major solo shows by international artists per year.

Cabada Contemporary​ / The gallery present’s owner/artist Sabrina Cabada’s figurative painting, as well as the work of her father – a successful abstract artist – in a modern atmosphere. Additional artists’ works are also featured.

Robin’s Gallery​ / Using acrylic and resin on multiple mediums that include metal, canvas, glass and paper, artist Robin Sutliff puts forth her emotional perspective as it manifests at the time of creation – with a body of work that looks at the timely changes in nature.

L’Enfant Galerie​ / Four levels are packed wall-to-wall with antiques and art from the 17th century to date. Paintings (a specialty), ceramics, silver sculpture furniture, Asian art and decorative arts from many other countries and cultures are all on sale.

Winter Palace Studio / Winter Palace Studio is an art gallery, school, and interior design studio. Painting and drawing classes are available for both adults and children.

Performing Arts Venues, Events or Programs

​ONGOING​

GU Davis Performing Arts Center / Georgetown University’s first building designed for the arts, the Davis Performing Arts Center is the research and teaching laboratory for the Theater & Performance Studies Program. The Davis Center is a hub for interdisciplinary exchange with the wider community. In addition to mainstage productions, the Davis Center hosts special residencies in theater, music, and dance.

Blues Alley​ / The oldest, continuously-operated jazz supper club in America is both a locally recognized landmark and an international jazz icon. The venue has hosted every major jazz artist from Ella Fitzgerald to Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett and Wynton Marsalis.

Georgetown Piano Bar​ / This is the place for a glass of Pinot and pitch-perfect sing-alongs led by dueling piano players. Visitors can book a private party, or join in on the fun with everyone else.

SEASONAL​

Dancing on the Waterfront​ / The free weekly outdoor dance class transports attendees into a world of rhythm and movement, with the Potomac as the backdrop. Participants of all ages and skill levels gather at Georgetown Waterfront Park to learn everything from salsa to square dancing.

Fete de la Musique-World Music Day​ / Each year, over 1,000 cities around the world throw citywide music celebrations around the summer solstice. It all started 42 years ago in France, when the Ministry of Culture imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, storefronts, and mountaintops. And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music and host performances. The Georgetown BID is partnering with the Embassy of France-Villa Albertine to host the first edition of Fête De La Musique-World Music Day in Georgetown on Friday, June 21.

GLOW​ / Set against the historic backdrop of DC’s oldest neighborhood, GLOW in Georgetown is the region’s only free curated outdoor public light art experience. Established in 2014, the innovative exhibition is one of DC’s annual holiday traditions.

Art All Night / Georgetown Art All Night, part of the city-wide Art All Night event, is a free annual arts festival hosted by Georgetown Main Street. It brings together local artists and businesses to celebrate the neighborhood – featuring live music, dance, exhibits, live painting, crafts and food along Wisconsin Avenue.

Murals

Georgetown Murals Tour / There are more than a dozen murals in Georgetown that provide unexpected pops of color and unique origin stories. Check out our Murals Guide to take a self-guided tour of Georgetown’s most Instagram-worthy backdrops – from a look back at life in the late 19th century to the most recognized ‘big bike’ in DC.

Sculpture

Mother Earth / Barton Rubenstein, co-founder of the Mother Earth Project, installed “Mother Earth” at the end of 31st Street NW on the Georgetown waterfront. Rubenstein created the 15′-tall stainless steel sculpture as a symbol of solidarity for global sustainability, and hope for the world in the face of a changing climate. “Mother Earth” connotes neither race nor nationality, and is symbolically facing downstream toward the world’s oceans – a body of water connecting all nations.

Natural Chaos Scarlet​ / Weighing 28 tons and measuring 41 feet tall, “Scarlet Natural Chaos” by Arnie Quinz was completed in 2017. Overlooking the Georgetown Waterfront, the sculpture behind Sequoia restaurant features an assemblage of unique, sculpted organic forms brought together in a nest-like composition. According to the artist, the piece was inspired by both femininity and the Scarlet Oak tree – rooted in the history of DC, and reinforcing the cultural link between civic symbolism and natural imagery. Quinz says it’s a statement on modern culture’s loss of connection with nature.

ABCDC / Created by Jesse Kirsch for Art in Bloom, the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s 2021 public art exhibition, “ABCDC” now permanently resides in Georgetown – currently overlooking the C&O Canal at 33rd St. The piece was inspired by antique wood type from the world of letterpress and the alphabetized streets of DC. Each letterform has a unique shape and history – much like the city, its iconic cherry blossoms, and its people. A hidden message among the jumble of letters aims to bring viewers hope for a better day to come. Get your photo opp sitting in the petal!

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