Downing-Gross presents Singer/Songwriter Eric Roberson and Blind Piano Prodigy, Matthew Whitaker

Celebrating the 9th Anniversary of the Cultural Arts Center with the Annual Concert, October 7, 2017

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is excited to present their 9th Anniversary Concert. Returning to the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage is Grammy-award nominee, singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Roberson. This New Jersey native and Howard University alum has written and produced songs for artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Vivian Green and many more. His current project is an EP trilogy series entitled “Earth, Wind, Fire”. The Earth and Wind EPs are currently available while the Fire EP is scheduled to be released on October 20th.

Also performing on this night of celebration is 16-year old piano prodigy, Matthew Whitaker. This talented young jazz musician is quickly gaining attention for his likeness to his musical hero, Stevie Wonder, having too lost his sight at birth. Whitaker has toured and performed on world renowned stages including: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, and international venues in France, Italy, Morocco, and Japan. In October, the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage will also be added to the growing list.

The Anniversary Concert will be held on Saturday, October 7th at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $35 and are available online at or at the box office at 757-247-8950.

For more information on the concert and other programs happening at the cultural arts center, visit


About Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is a multi-purpose cultural space in the Southeast community of Newport News, VA. Originally built as the Walter Reed School, the historic building has been restored and open to the public since October 2008. The building is owned and operated by the City of Newport News, Parks, Recreation and Tourism department.

The center houses several event spaces and large/small group gathering rooms available for event rental. The core of the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is the Ella Fitzgerald Theater, a 276-seat venue named for the “First Lady of Song.” Other event spaces in the building include the Anderson Johnson Gallery, the Newport News Community Gallery, the L. Marian Poe Meeting Room, the Banquet Room, and the Charles C. Allen Executive Board Room.