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The College requires that any renter dispensing alcoholic beverages comply with the regulations of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverages Control Board.

You must submit a form requesting permission to serve alcoholic beverages at the College. Once approved, the renter must obtain a permit to dispense alcoholic beverages from the ABC Board. The renter must show the permit to serve alcoholic beverages to the Cultural Center Coordinator before the event.

A copy of the permit will be kept in the organization's file. Any event where alcohol is served requires a police officer present during the entire event. The charge for the police officer is $80 per hour per security person and will be included in the total rental charge.

Arrival Time

When establishing a rental time table, allow enough time for set up and clean up. Caterers and others should be instructed not to arrive before the contracted rental time. Deliveries of rental equipment, cakes, flowers, etc., must be made during the rental period.

Cancellation Policy

The College reserves the right to terminate facility reservations for any activity if it determines, during an activity, that facility equipment or furnishings are being damaged as a result of the event, or if it determines that the event is endangering the health and safety of patrons, interfering with the process of the College or infringing on the rights of others. Renter may cancel the event at any time with prior written notice to the College.  Depending on the timing of the cancellation, the Renter may not be entitled to a full refund of fees and deposits already made to the College at the time of cancellation. 

The parties agree to the following refund schedule in case of cancellation by Renter:

  • More than 90 days prior to the event: 50% of deposit
  • 10-90 days prior to the event: 50% of contract total                     
  • Less than 10 days prior to the event: no refund


Caterers will be provided access to a set-up kitchen, which includes hot and cold running water, an ice dispenser, cold storage areas (no freezers), convection ovens, warming ovens and stainless steel worktables. Caterers are required to bring all supplies and equipment for presentation and clean up, including table skirts. No trays for warming ovens or refrigerators will be provided. The interior dimensions of this equipment are 12" x 26". Materials must be removed immediately following the event and the kitchen must be left clean. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the caterer has cleaned up and turned off all of the ovens. Additional fees will be charged if the kitchen has not been cleaned or the equipment has not been removed.

Caterers must have a one-million dollar liability certificate of insurance in order to serve any food at the Ernst Community Cultural Center. A copy of this certificate of insurance must be presented to the cultural center representative prior to the event. If you are only serving cookies and sodas, you do not need this liability certificate.


The renter is responsible for all damage to property and equipment. The building and grounds will be reviewed prior to and after use by the on-site designee and the technician on duty to determine conditions and any potential damage charges.

Emergency Procedures

The NOVA Administrative Services Procedures Manual, Section 31: Use of College Facilities requires that in rooms such as theaters, auditoriums and other places of public assembly, an audible announcement shall be made not more than 10 minutes prior to the start of each program to notify participants of the location of the exits to be used in the case of fire or any other emergency.

Event Publicity

No promotion, publicity or advertising (printed or otherwise) may state, imply or allude to any sponsorship by or affiliation with Northern Virginia Community College. Any mention of NOVA in print is restricted to the type point size of the remainder of the address, which must be described as follows:

Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center
Northern Virginia Community College
8333 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003

No other mention of the College name is permitted. Please include your own telephone number for information. College phone numbers may not be used.

Exhibiting in the Galleries

The gallery hours are Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The gallery, which is locked at all other times, also serves as the theater lobby and thus is open without supervision during theater performances. There is limited storage space for the gallery; therefore all work must be removed from the gallery promptly at the end of each exhibition. Artwork designed to be exhibited on the wall must be capable of being hung from a hanging rail. Nothing may be affixed directly to, on or through the wall. If needed, the exhibitor must furnish pedestals and plinths for 3-D work.


All groups/individuals booking space at the Ernst Community Cultural Center must present a Certificate of Insurance showing a minimum of two million dollars in liability insurance. The Certificate will state that the user indemnifies and holds NOVA harmless from and against any loss, damage, cost or expense arising out of or in any way related to the user’s occupancy of the premises. Such insurance must be written with an insurance company recognized as an authorized carrier in Virginia and in form and content acceptable to NOVA. It shall be stated on the Insurance Certificate that this coverage is primary to all other coverage that NOVA may possess. A copy of this Certificate of Insurance must be provided to the cultural center staff at least 10 days prior to the event.

Loading and Unloading

Clients should use the designated loading docks to the gymnasium, backstage area of the theater, galleries and kitchen. The loading docks are located along the sides of the Cultural Center. The doors are kept locked, so a user delivering materials should advise the Cultural Center Coordinator of an expected arrival time. Motor vehicles are not permitted on the upper level plaza. If these procedures are not followed, the campus police will give out tickets. At no time is it acceptable for vehicles to be parked in the fire lanes in front of the building or left at the loading docks after unloading.

Non-Profit Organizations

In order to receive non-profit rates, we must have a copy of the organization's 501-C letter from the IRS stating that organization is a non-profit organization. Until we receive the copy, the event will be priced at for-profit organizational rates.

Outdoor Facility Use

The only maintenance provided by the College is scheduled mowing and seasonal maintenance. All lining of the athletic field, setup and removal of equipment, and post-activity clean up will be the responsibility of the renter. No consumption of alcoholic beverages will be permitted on this site.


If you are coming to campus to attend an event in the Cultural Center you should check with your sponsoring organization to find out the designated parking assignments in the B surface lots. Clients pre-pay for parking and lots are assigned by the event coordinator and the parking office. The Cultural Center will not be responsible for parking tickets received as a result of parking in inappropriate areas.

Payment Information

A 50 percent deposit is required 10 days after the user receives a contract. The final balance is due 10 days prior to the event. Make checks payable to Northern Virginia Community College, or call the event coordinator to pay by major credit card. Charges for damages, excessive cleaning or violation of the contract will be added to the final bill. Users exceeding their reserved time will be charged the applicable hourly rate.


Contracts will be approved for adults who are at least 21 years of age and who accept responsibility for supervision throughout the period covered by the contract. Name(s) of person(s) who will be on the site and in charge at the Cultural Center throughout the course of the event must be given to the Cultural Center Coordinator prior to the event. Only those persons specified by the applicant will be permitted to make additions or changes to the signed contract.


The location of all activities in the Cultural Center are posted daily in the atrium. Signs may not be affixed to any permanent campus buildings or equipment. No decorations or other items may be tacked, taped or affixed to the walls, pillars or any other surface of the building inside or outside. Temporary directional signs on their own supports may be in place the day of the event, but must be approved by the Cultural Center Coordinator and must be removed immediately after the event. No signs are permitted along Rte. 236 in front of the College. Posters or fliers announcing the event may be displayed in the Cultural Center's display cases at the discretion of the Cultural Center Coordinator. Additional fees will be charged for unauthorized display of advertising materials or directional signs, and for any signs not removed after the event. For groups that meet the College's requirements, announcement of events is sometimes permitted on the marquee located on Rte. 236.


Smoking is prohibited throughout the entire building.