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Katzen Arts Center

American University
Washington, DC
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Katzen Arts Center at American University

Katzen Rotunda exterior in full sun

The Katzen Arts Center brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one 130,000 square foot space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the new center provides state-of-the-art instructional, exhibition, and performance space for all the arts disciplines.

The Center features the extraordinary 30,000 square foot AU Museum, directed by Jack Rasmussen, with a variety of gallery spaces for exhibition of exciting contemporary art from the nation's capital region and the world, along with AU's own Watkins Collection, the collection of Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen, and the Alper Initiative for Washington Art.

The Katzen Arts Center stands as a clear statement to the community that, at the heart of the city, there exists a place where the arts are honored as the an essential part of higher education. That place is American University.


The Art Department remains committed to helping students gain access in an authentic way to the realm of aesthetic expression, intuitive thought, the language of visual form and symbolic expression, and the nature of creative discovery, as well as to an understanding of how art and artists have functioned historically. In keeping with this commitment, programs and courses are designed to enable students to learn to ask important questions rather than to present synthetic solutions. Programs include Art History, Graphic Design, and Studio Art.

Performing Arts fosters excellence in scholarship, artistry, and experiential inquiry within and between the disciplines of arts management, dance, music, theatre, and music theatre. The faculty includes composers, playwrights, choreographers, and directors. The Visiting Artists and Artists-in-Residence programs provide students with an opportunity to work with experts in each of the disciplines. Programs include:

Rental Information

For information about renting Katzen facilities, please see our Facilities Rentals page.

Katzen by the Numbers

  • Overall building length
    660 feet
  • Sculpture Garden
    6,000 square feet
  • Parking square footage
    211,000 square feet,
    550 car spaces
  • Building square footage
    130,000 square feet
  • Museum Galleries
    30,000 square feet
  • Performing Arts Space
    33,000 square feet
  • Studio/Fine Arts Space
    37,000 square feet
  • Support Space
    13,000 square feet

Photo Tour

Katzen Rotunda entrance at night

Katzen Rotunda, night.

Katzen Arts Center parking entrance panorama

Parking entrance from Massachusetts Avenue.



Katzen Arts Center parking entrance

Katzen Arts Center parking entrance.



Museum portico.

Museum portico.



Katzen Plaza south

Katzen Plaza south.



Katzen Plaza hallway exterior

Katzen Plaza hallway lit blue for Autism Awareness.