Event & Space Rentals at the Katzen

Katzen Rotunda set up for an event

The Katzen Arts Center’s modern facilities offer a unique Washington locale for conventions, trainings, workshops, film screenings, weddings and live performances. Beyond a gorgeous setting, Katzen offers:

Variety of event spaces: from a 400-person seated dinner to a private lecture and book signing, Katzen Arts Center likely has a space that will fit your needs. See below for a list of spaces.

Convenient location: near several local hotels with the ease of on-site parking in the Katzen Garage.

Abundant capabilities and services: offering state-of-the-art audio/visual technology, front-of-house coordination, online ticketing, etc.

All rental inquiries should read through the Rental Rates & Regulations below and fill out the Katzen Facilities Request Form to inquire about availability. Please send your request form and questions to:

Lisa Ager,
Katzen Facilities and Operations Manager

Rental Rates & Regulations

Overview of available Katzen Arts Center rental spaces:

  • Must have a 501(c)3 IRS letter in order to qualify for non-profit pricing.
  • All prices below do not include event staff and equipment costs.
  • All prices below reflect the Full Day rate. Rentals of less than 4 hours (including load-in and load out) will qualify for the half-day rental rate, a 50% reduced space rate.

Performance and Reception Spaces

Katzen Arts Center Rental Spaces
Name Capacity Features & Notes Rates
Abramson Family Recital Hall 207-211 seated Offers tailored lighting settings during your event, A/V support, a stunning space for orchestra and choral concerts, lectures, etc. $2,250 (for profit);
$1,913 (non-profit)
Kreeger Lobby 40 seated reception;
200 standing reception
Adjoins the museum and Recital Hall to provide a great location for pre- or post- event gatherings. $1,500 (for profit);
$1,275 (non-profit)
Studio Theatre 50-90 Multi-purpose black box theater perfect for intimate performances, workshops, rehearsals, etc. Can only be rented during the non-academic summer months (late May to mid-August). $1,500 (for profit); $1,275 (non-profit)
Classroom/Ensemble Room 112 45 with tables & chairs;
75 with chairs only;
105 standing
Includes a custom lighting panel to meet a variety of event needs, floor to ceiling windows that can be shaded and moveable desks to create the space your own. $1,125 (for profit); $956 (non-profit)
Classroom/Ensemble Room 151 70 Includes risers wide enough for an orchestra or a standing chorus; also, perfect as prep space to support events happening in other parts of the building. $1,125 (for profit); $956 (non-profit)
Rotunda, 1st Floor 400 seated reception;
400+ standing (depending on set up)
Architecturally stunning space for cocktails, catered dinners, weddings receptions and ceremonies, music performances, etc. $1,200 (for profit); $1,020 (non-profit)
Rotunda, 2nd Floor 150+ Typically acts as an extension of the Rotunda 1st Floor, for larger events. This space is also ideal for a breakout cocktail hour, VIP space, etc. $1,125 (for profit); $956 (non-profit)

Other classrooms, studios, and labs are available: please inquire.


All Katzen facilities rentals either include or offer the option to take advantage of the following:

  • Building access from 8:00 a.m. to midnight
  • Access to corridors, dressing rooms, performance and lobby space, as well as audience registration and seating areas, etc.
  • HVAC, basic custodial service, open/close of facilities
  • House audio system and A/V personnel support
  • Professional online ticketing system and Ticket Office support
  • Standard orchestra chairs, music stands, stand lights, conductor's podium, etc.
  • Front-of-house coordination
  • Other staff and equipment (when/if available) as needed

Please note:

  • For alcohol to be served at events a formal request process must be followed as specified in the AU Alcohol Policy form.
  • All rentals require insurance. Please reference your event’s specific “Rental Agreement” contract, listed under Section 10, for more details.
  • Additional services can be arranged through your event consultation with Katzen staff. Please contact 202-885-3884 or AUarts@american.edu for more information, or see our Facilities Usage Policy.
  • Please also consider our sister facility, the Greenberg Theatre on Wisconsin Avenue, featuring a larger space, better equipped for musical and traditional theater productions.

Additional Rental Information

  1. Fill out and Return the Katzen Facilities Request Form.
  2. If the date/space is available, you will be sent an estimate.
  3. Sign and return the estimate. A formal contract will be created between you/your organization and American University. At the time of signing, the following will be due:
    • Deposit (44% of the estimate)
    • Non-profit 501(c)3 letter (if applicable)
    • Insurance
  4. After your event is over you will receive a final invoice reflecting the remainder of your bill (including actual staff hours and equipment used).


Catering: Your caterer must have a DC catering and liquor license. Alcohol must be served by a licensed bartender. Please contact us for a list of vendors that have worked at Katzen before and know the space well.

Alcohol: If you would like to have alcohol served at your event, Katzen will need to put in a request form to the CAS Dean’s Office for special permission.

Tables/Linens: Katzen does NOT own or have catering tables and linens. Everything must be rented through your caterer or a party rental company. All deliveries must be dropped off and picked up the same day as your event.

Insurance: Please note that in order to rent space within the Katzen Arts Center, all rentals must acquire commercial general liability insurance. This insurance must include a minimum of $2,000,000.00 general aggregate and $2,000,000.00 each occurrence. The certificate of insurance must have American University listed as an additional certificate holder for the date(s) contracted.

Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs & other Private Receptions: Because the Katzen Arts Center is home to AU’s Departments of Performing & Visual Arts, we can only host weddings & private receptions during our non-academic summer months (including late May through mid-August). We must give scheduling priority to AU campus organizations; which means, we cannot book summer dates to external clients until January prior to the following summer. For example, if you would like to hold your event on 5/28/2020 in the Katzen Arts Center, we could not reserve the space for you until January 2020—until then there is no guarantee of availability, but we are happy to show you the space and discuss pricing prior to that time.

Ticketing Services: Please inquire if your event requires ticketing services, including open box office hours for your event.

Event Staff: Staff time and requirements for all events is at the discretion of the Katzen Arts Center.


All inquiries should be directed to Greg Anderson, Facilities & Production Manager, Greenberg Theatre, at ganderso@american.edu.

Type of Events:

  • Performances: best used for private recitals, choirs, instrumentals, poetry readings, and theatre that requires minimal stage and lighting support (the space is not equipped with a grid, colored lights, etc.).
  • Non-Performance Events: lectures, film screenings, presentations, panel discussions and audience Q&A

Sample Rental Costs: Please fill out the Katzen Facilities Request Form in order to check availability and receive a custom estimate to your specific event needs.

  • Mandatory Costs:
    • Recital Hall, Space Rental Fee: $2,250 (for-profit org)/ $1,913 (non-profit org) Half Day Rental: reduces the rental fee by 50% and includes a 4-hour event window (including load-in and load out).
    • Events Manager: $47 per hr. (for profit)/ $42 per hr. (non-profit) This position is mandatory to all events, load-in through complete load out.
    • Usher (x1-2): $21 per hr. (for profit)/ $19 per hr. (non-profit) Ushers are mandatory based on event size and complexity.
    • Recital Hall Lighting: $50 (for profit)/ $40 (nonprofit)
  • Optional Costs and Highly Recommended:
    • Computer/Audio Engineer: $42 per hr. (for profit)/ $37 per hr. (non-profit) This position is mandatory when renting any additional equipment besides Recital Hall Lighting. This includes lighting needs (i.e. having the house dim at a certain time), mic operation, PowerPoint, stage setup etc.
    • Acoustic Panels: $100 ea. x 7 = $700 max (for profi t)/ $50 ea. x 7 = $350 max (non-profit) Strongly encouraged for small performances and non-performance events to help control natural acoustics; creates an elegant on-stage backdrop.
    • Lectern (includes 1 wireless hand-held mic): $50 (for profit)/ $40 (nonprofit)
    • Kreeger Lobby, Space Rental Fee: $1500 (for profit)/ $1,275 (non-profit) If you are planning a reception or any formal gathering, before or after, an event in the Recital Hall, then a rental fee IS mandatory for the lobby. If you ONLY plan to use the lobby for event check-in/registration, then you will not be charged a space fee for its use.
  • Optional Equipment Costs:
    • PowerPoint/Fixed Projector Package: $75 (for profit)/ $50 (non-profit)
    • Macbook Pro: $150 (for profit)/ $120 (non-profit)
    • Handheld Audio Package (includes up to 4 mics): $125 (for profit)/ $100 (non-profit)
    • Q&A Discussion/Panel Audio Package (includes 4 table top mics, 2 wireless mics): $200(for profit)/ $150 (non-profit)
    • Steinway Grand Piano: $200 (for profit)/ $150 (non-profit). Piano rentals also require a piano tuning $200 (for profit)/ $190 (non-profit)
  • Misc. Equipment:
    • Lavalier mics, HDTV packages, Kawai Upright piano rental, 6-foot folding plastic tables(cannot be used for catering purposes), black orchestra chairs, a greenroom with private bathroom (located backstage), etc.

Type of Events: Seated/standing receptions, fundraisers & galas, opening receptions for exhibits (when also rented with the rotunda gallery walls), weddings & private receptions (only possible during non-academic months, including late May through mid-August), etc.

Sample Rental Costs: Please fill out the Katzen Facilities Request Form in order to check availability and receive a custom estimate to your specific event needs.

  • Mandatory Costs:
    • First Floor Rotunda, Space Rental Fee: $1,200 (for profit)/ $1,020 (nonprofit) Half Day Rental: reduces the rental fee by 50% and includes a 4-hour event window (including load-in and load out).
    • Events Manager: $47 per hr. (for profit)/ $42 per hr. (non-profit) This position is mandatory to all events, load-in through complete load out.
    • Events Assistant: $32 per hr. (for profit)/ $29 per hr. (non-profit) All additional event support is at the discretion of the Katzen Staff and based on event size and complexity.
  • Optional Costs and Highly Recommended:
    • Computer/Audio Engineer: $42 per hr. (for profit)/ $37 per hr. (non-profit) This position is mandatory when renting any additional equipment to Katzen.
    • Rotunda Audio Package: $325 (for profit)/ $250 (non-profit) Includes mics & speakers. If you have a DJ, they can plug into our audio system, which is custom built for the space.
    • Catering Room (this is a classroom with concrete floors that serves as a catering “kitchen”): $1,125 (for profit)/ $956 (non-profit) Choral/Ensemble Room 151 is most commonly used, and is located right under the 5 stairs. If this is not rented, then make sure that your caterer is able to set up a pipe and drape kitchen. Please note, it will be visible to your guests and “kitchen” noises will likely be heard.
  • Optional Costs:
    • 2nd Floor Rotunda, Space Rental Fee: $1,125 (for profit)/ $956 (non-profit) Acts as an extension of the 1st floor Rotunda for larger events, or for events that would like to create a VIP space or cocktail hour.
    • 60-inch LED HDTV w/Life Case: $500 (for profit)/ $400 (non-profit) Ideal for scrolling PowerPoints, sponsorship announcements, live tweets, etc. HDTV packages that include 2-3 TVs are available with special pricing.
  • Misc.:
    • Equipment: piano rentals, 6-foot folding plastic tables (cannot be used for catering purposes), black orchestra chairs, etc.
    • Spaces: a variety of classrooms can be rented for board meetings, breakout sessions, workshops, prep spaces, etc.