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The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is committed, to providing cultural arts for the entire family. This 52,000 square foot facility, houses the 276 seat Ella Fitzgerald Theater, an entire floor dedicated to Youth Programming, the Anderson Johnson Gallery, the Newport News Community Gallery, a banquet room, a multipurpose room, and Executive boardroom. Originally built as the Walter Reed School, this historic building has been restored and was reopened to the citizens in October 2008. The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center offers free and paid events every month including concerts, plays, dance performances, movies, children’s programming and instruction. Past performances range from Area Orchestras to Ensembles, Stage Plays, Local Entertainment, Dance Companies, Movie Screenings and National Recording Artists. In addition, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center provides rentable space available for a variety of functions, meetings, company functions, private parties, weddings, political forums and more.