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Whether you prefer classical theater, musical comedy, modern dance or contemporary art, you will find it all here.
Described as "...one of the hippest local jurisdictions at attracting adventurous arts and artists," Arlington has a rich, varied and thriving arts scene.
Within the capital region, Arlington is second only to Washington, DC, in its abundance of arts events, with more than 1,500 annually. Visit Arlington's galleries, museums, theaters and nightclubs to find original works, world-renowned artists and critically acclaimed performances just about any time.
When the sun goes down, Arlington springs to life with an eclectic music and entertainment scene. Experience intimate live music venues to suit every taste and genre.
Gather for signature music festivals, such as the Columbia Pike Blues Festival in June and Rosslyn Jazz Fest in September. All year round, the U.S. Army Band presents free concerts that uplift spirits and inspire love of country.
Summertime in Arlington means free outdoor concerts and patriotic performances nearly every night of the week. You can find a free concert series at the Air Force Memorial, Lubber Run Amphitheater, Pentagon Row, Rosslyn’s Central Place, the Netherlands Carillon and the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima).
Artists find free expression by showing their work at the Cody Gallery at Marymount University, Fred Snider Gallery of Art, Gallery Underground and the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, one of the largest non-federal venues for contemporary art in the Washington metropolitan area.
Make a night at the theater part of your vacation. Arlington is well-known for showcasing top talent in award-winning shows. Whether you prefer classical theater, musical comedy, modern dance or a comedy routine, you’ll be spoiled for choice here. For a taste of Arlington’s performing arts companies, here are your options.
Classic and contemporary plays take center stage at a host of small theaters including Avant Bard Theatre, focused on classic works at the Gunston Arts Center; Tony-award winning Signature Theatre, known for Broadway-caliber contemporary musicals; Synetic Theater, which incorporates dance, drama and acrobatics; and Theatre on the Run, an intimate 90-seat black box theater. Catch the Arlington Players or Dominion Stage, both nonprofit volunteer theater companies, or the Encore Stage & Studio children’s shows, which all perform at the Gunston Arts Center.
Dance and opera are on stage, too. The Jane Franklin Dance company performs a lively mix of dance, theater and humor at festivals and theaters throughout the area. Opera NOVA and Urban Arias bring the joy of opera to different venues around Arlington.
For laugh-out-loud comedy acts, along with live entertainment and great movies, head to the lively Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.
Human in scale and global in vision, more than 70 permanent public artworks make Arlington an artistic superstar. Bold and beautiful, inspired and innovative, they adorn sidewalks, buildings, Metro stations, green spaces and courtyards throughout the county.
The winner of seven Public Art Network Awards (PAN) from Americans for the Arts, this internationally renowned collection of public art began in 1979 with the commission of Nancy Holt’s acclaimed Dark Star Park in Rosslyn. You can take a self-guided walking tour of 14 fascinating works within just one square mile in Rosslyn.