The Arts Club of Washington is the city’s oldest non-profit organization, founded in 1916 by two groups of artists looking to create a multidisciplinary arts club styled after New York’s National Arts Club and the Chelsea Arts Club of London. Its original focus was on painting, sculpture, music and drama, and the Club also had the distinction of being the first such group in Washington to admit women as full members from its founding. Since opening, the club has occupied the historic home of James Monroe (dating to 1802), which in 1920 was adjoined to the adjacent McFeeley House, allowing space for the Club’s expanding activities.
Throughout its history the Arts Club of Washington has attracted the most distinguished artists in the world, programming concerts, art exhibitions, theatrical performances and literary events. The Club is dedicated to fostering a greater public appreciation for the arts, offering seminars, classes in the arts, free public outreach and cultural programs, and providing facilities for artistic development and education. Additionally, a good part of the Arts Club’s energy and resources go into the study and preservation of the James Monroe House.
Arts Club of Washington Information
- Public Transportation: Very Good (steps from buses 32, 36, and 38B at I Street NW/20th Street NW; a 1-minute walk from buses 37, 39, and the DCWE at Pennsylvania Avenue NW/21st Street NW; a 2-minute walk from buses 902, 904, and 905 at Pennsylvania Avenue NW/20th Street NW and buses 901, 950, D1, D3, D5, D6, and L2 at K Street NW/20th Street NW; and a 5-minute walk from the Blue and Orange Lines at the Foggy Bottom Metro Station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Poor (not wheelchair accessible and no handicapped parking nearby)
- Performances/Programs: Programming at the club includes cabaret, jazz, classical-music concerts, seminars, literary events, art exhibits, theatrical presentations, classes, and other arts events. Events take place at the club regularly throughout the year from September to July
- Ticket Prices: Vary based on program. Some events, such as the Friday Noon Concert series, are free and open to the public
- Membership: Membership starts at $750 per year, $400 for Junior (35 and under), $450 for Daytime, $150 for nonresident. Prospective members must formally apply and there’s a $150 application fee. Arts Club of Washington has a reciprocal relationship with the following clubs and organizations: Arts Club of Chicago, the Scarab Club (Detroit), Kansas City Club, Franklin Inn Club (Philadelphia), Racquet Club of Philadelphia, the Providence Art Club, the United Arts Club (Dublin), Glasgow Art Club, the Arts Club (London), the Chelsea Arts Club (London), the National Liberal Club (London), the Penzance Arts Club, the Coffee House (NYC), the Midtown Executive & Chemist’s Club (NYC), National Arts Club (NYC), Salmagundi Club (NYC), and the Montauk Club.