What's one of DC's most romantic museum spaces to host a party? Roxanne Rukowicz of Behind the Scenes Events shares her secret.

By Roxanne Rukowicz, Principal
Behind the Scenes Events

Ask any event planner in DC to name a museum that offers amazing space flexibility and most will point you toward The Corcoran Gallery of Art. Why? We love a blank canvas. The grand marble foyer lends itself to endless possibilities with decor and lighting and the space can seemingly be cut to be as big or as small as you need it — perfect for an elegant and romantic wedding, beautiful luncheon or black tie affair.

And there’s more.

1. Location. Location. Location. The Corcoran sits across from the South Lawn of the White House at 500 17th St., NW. Its spectacular beaux-arts design holds a prestigious permanent collection of American art and the museum also hosts notable exhibits, which makes it a favorite venue for many of Washington, DC’s corporate and social events.

2. A majestic entrance. All events begin with guests passing in front of two stately lions watching over the main entrance. You’ll utilize the ample building foyer area for both a security scan and coat check. Enter next into the Atrium, the main floor of the Corcoran that features marble floors and 40 magnificent columns. A space perfect for large dinners and receptions, capacity here is 400 seated or 900 standing. The Bridge, an area just up the grand staircase that overlooks the Atrium, is a perfect space for cocktails for 200 or an intimate dinner for 100.

3. Gallery space. A downstairs gallery, referred to as the Salon Doré, is a spectacularly ornate room paneled from floor to ceiling with Corinthian pilasters, trophy panels, garlands, and large framed mirrors created by the Comte d’Orsay in the 18th century. The Salon Doré seats 50 people and is available for dinner only.

4. Options. The Ruesch Conference Room, situated in the northeast corner of the Atrium, will seat 25 guests or accommodate 50 standing. And the Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium will accommodate 193 with state-of-the art audio-visual.

5. Insider Tip from Roxanne. When planning your event, remember to ask what exhibits will be on display. The galleries may be accessed by your guests but may require an additional fee. And don’t forget to cue up valet. Though the Corcoran is in walking distance from the Farragut Square metro stations, you’ll want to offer guests the opportunity to drive as parking is a rarity in this neighborhood.

About Roxanne Rukowicz

Ranked one of Washington, DC’s top Meeting and Event Planners for 2009 by the Washington Business Journal, Roxanne Rukowicz’s Behind the Scenes Events, opened its doors in July of 2008 with a single concept in mind: to offer organizations access to an affordable full-service meeting and event planning solution.

Having worked in the Washington, DC meeting and event industry for over a decade, Roxanne started her career at the Greater Washington Board of Trade in 1999. Her experience with this influential regional network of business leaders allowed her hands-on training from the start. What began as a mere temporary work assignment later progressed into a position as General Manager as she excelled at each advanced meeting and event planning position she held.

Her extensive association and non-profit planning skills are accented by experience working in the social and entertainment markets. Positions with The Walt Disney Companies and as a freelance wedding and special event coordinator have featured opportunities with A-list celebrity clients and top ranking government officials.

With a commitment to excellence and focus on the customer experience, Roxanne Rukowicz and the Behind the Scenes Events team create and produce exemplary meetings and events that drive an organization’s mission and goals.

Read all about it: Microsoft tapped Roxanne Rukowicz to be a 2010 “Voice for Small Business”

Late last year, Roxanne was selected to participate in the Microsoft Office 2010 Real Life Stories Program. Just one of ten small businesses to participate out of thousands of applicants, Roxanne is participating in a half-year program to help suss out Microsoft’s latest software.

To celebrate, Roxanne was invited to attend Microsoft’s Open House at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The experience? “Fantastic.”, said Roxanne. “Such a fun and innovative way for Microsoft to engage the press prior to the holiday sales season and the launch of several big concepts next year.”