Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

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Contact Information


The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center houses the Ella Fitzgerald Theater, a 276-seat venue that honors the "First Lady of Song," who was born in Newport News in 1917. Originally built as the Walter Reed School, this historic building has been restored, and it reopened to the public in October 2008.

Hours of Operation

Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon-Fri; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat; closed Sun.

Additional Information

  • Associations / Options
  • African American Heritage
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • History
  • Meeting Facilities
  • Meeting Room Count: 5
  • Meeting Facility Sq. Feet: 3,040
  • Banquet Round Style Seating: 144-180
  • Classroom Style Seating: 60
  • Standing Theater Style: 250

Upcoming Events

  • Celebrating Virginia Filmmakers 2019: Sep 20
  • Iconic Film: Sep 21
  • First Lady of Song Concert, starring Brittany Burrell: Oct 11
  • 11th Anniversary Concert: Oct 12
  • Frozen, Jr.: Dec 5-14
Click here to view more information on these events.