Mission | History | Planning Your Visit | Parking Lot Closures | Support Us | Staff

Image of a gallery space with vibrant art on the walls

The exhibit Nature in Vogue by artist Neena Buxani.


The mission of the Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) is to support emerging through established artists who create, showcase, and experience the arts first hand.

We envision the DAC as Austin’s cultural living room where people of all ages, races, ethnicities, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses, nationalities, and religions gather to create community through the arts. 


​​Formally a Naval and Marine Reserve Center, built in 1947, the building was dedicated to the City and named for the late arts advocate Mary Ireland Graves in 1978.

Since then, the Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) has been offering arts experiences for a broad audience through its four (4) main components:

An image of two people dancing together

Dance India Presents: Breaking the Binary

Planning Your Visit

Located just south of the Colorado River (see map for directions), the Dougherty Arts Center overlooks the iconic Butler Park and ever growing Austin skyline. Admission to the Julia C. Butridge Gallery is always free. After visiting the DAC, enjoy a meal at one of the many nearby popular Austin restaurants, located along Barton Springs Road.

Click here for more FAQs about visiting the DAC. 


Metered parking is available at the Dougherty Arts Center. Guests can pay for parking using the app Park ATX.

During business hours, guests will need to check in at the front desk to receive a parking permit while on premise.

Patrons and guests of the DAC will need to display a parking permit when the parking lot is officially closed to the general public. Patrons and Guests include anyone visiting the gallery, creative spaces, performance or special events, or anyone who is attending a workshop or class.

During special events, the DAC will close its parking lot to the public. (See Parking Lot Closures.)

Parking Lot Closures

The DAC parking lot (facing Barton Springs Road) will be closed to the general public on the following dates and times:

Date Time(s) Reason For Closure
Wednesday, May 22 6:30-9pm Artist Talk
Saturday, May 25 6:30-9pm Performance in Theater
Wednesday, May 29 6:30-9pm Performance in Theater
Friday, May 31 6:30-9pm Film Screening
Saturday, June 1 5:30-9pm Performance in Theater
Wednesday, June 5 6:30-9pm Community Event
Saturday, June 8 10am-3pm Community Event
Wednesday, June 12 6:30-9pm Artist Talk
Saturday, June 15 6:30-9pm Performance in Theater
Saturday, June 22 2:30-7pm Performance in Theater
Wednesday, June 26 6:30-9pm Community Event

After School Parent Pick Up Parking 

The DAC runs a large after school program, Creativity Club, during the school year, and follows the Austin ISD Calendar. Parking along the east side of the building near the school entry (pictured below) is designated as 15 minute Parent Pick Up Parking Monday through Friday, 4pm to 6pm. Signage also listing this information will be visible from the parking lot.  

An image depicting where parent pick up is located at the Dougherty Arts Center with the text 'Designated Parent Pick Up Parking Monday - Friday 4pm-6pm' The designated pick up location is between the Dougherty Arts Center building and Butler Park

We ask the public to be considerate and not to park in the designated spaces during those times, to help parents access the building to pick up their students. 

Support Us

Want to support the Dougherty Arts Center and stay up to date with the latest news on workshops, programs, performances, exhibits, receptions and more? 

Two people and a child look at artwork on a gallery wall

The exhibit Boxed In, by artist Jacob Guzman



Guiniviere Webb Culture & Arts Education Manager  512-974-4019

Lucy Miller-Downing Culture & Arts Program Supervisor 512-974-4045

James Byers Theater & Event Coordinator 512-974-4020

Morgen Denton-Jackson Gallery & Outreach Coordinator 512-974-4007

Lori Luce Business Specialist 512-974-4036

Cidnye Stott Visitor & Volunteer Services Specialist  512-974-4026

Jefferson Lykins Theater & Event Specialist 512-974-4002

Daphne Holland Culture & Arts Education Specialist, Adult Programs 512-974-4033

Catherine Chao Culture & Arts Education Specialist, Youth Programs 512-974-4022

Mackenzie Blair Culture & Arts Education Specialist, Youth Programs 512-974-4046

HR Wright Visual Artist Residency Program Advisor 512-974-4391

Drew Garcia Maintenance 512-974-4010

Louis Arellano Building & Grounds Assistant 512-974-4010

Claire Bryant Marketing Specialist 512-974-4021

Kyle Armstrong Graphic Designer 512-974-4035


Dougherty Arts Center Replacement Logo

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is taking the next steps toward moving the Dougherty Arts Center out of the beloved naval center and into a newly envisioned building to be constructed on Butler Shores Park. Learn more by visiting the DAC Replacement Project Webpage.