Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

Space Reservation: Due to Covid-19, space reservations are temporarily suspended

Eligibility: Duke University staff, faculty and students can reserve space in the MLWC for University affiliated events, meetings, luncheons, lectures, and campus programs that are open to the Duke community. The Underground Multipurpose Room and the Julian Abele Conference Room may be reserved. Because reservations require closing the MLWC to students, we have established the requirement that activities occurring at the MLWC in some way support our mission.


MLWC wide shot downstairs photo

The Underground Multipurpose Room easily accommodates 50 to 150 depending upon the room set-up and type of event.  The room is furnished with 1 long folding table, 4 drum end tables, 1 oak table with 1 bench, 14 cafe chairs, 3 adjustable cafe tables, 6 bar stools, and 1 piano.  The room may be arranged to suit your event, but must be returned to the original configuration afterwards. See Attached Diagram.  Be mindful of artwork that it is not disturbed. The stackable chairs and 8-foot tables also available for use during programming. Tables and additional chairs may be requested through Event Management for non-catered events or Dining Services for catered events. We recommend that you bring your own tablecloths.

Equipment: The Underground Multipurpose Room has Blu-ray player, Digital TV receiver, ipod/laptop computer hook up, video projector and microphones.  Audio/Visual equipment may be used upon receiving permission and training.

MLW Center Conference Room

The Julian Abele Conference Room will accommodate 12 seated around a conference table.  There are 2 buffets, and 1 credenza

Equipment:  The Julian Abele Conference Room has ipod/laptop computer hook up video projector and conference phone. Audio/Visual equipment may be used upon receiving permission and training. 

To Reserve Space: Please click on the link at the bottom and fill out the corresponding form. It may take up to 3 business days to receive a reply so you should plan ahead. We will not typically approve requests received less than 72 hours prior to the event. You will be notified in writing of the of your request. The MLWC requires patrons to complete a mandatory 10-20 minute consultation.  There are no exceptions to this requirement.  Failure to complete this requirement may result in the rejection of your reservation.

Unapproved Reservation Requests: In the event that the center is not available or that you would like to use alternative spaces for your event, we recommend checking with Duke Event Services for additional spaces.

Usage Guidelines: Use of the MLWC for events is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities meant to ensure that the facilities and equipment remain in ideal working order for all of our patrons. Select the link below to read the usage agreement for the space you are interested in reserving. Please know that you will be held accountable for following these guidelines if your reservation request is approved.

Click here to read the User Agreement. 

Reserve the Space