• Workhouse Arts Center - Lorton, Virginia

      Workhouse Artists Colony
      Photo by Dennis Goza
      Under the impetus of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Workhouse opened in 1910 as a progressive penal institution that employed prisoners in agriculture and useful trades, and gave them job skills that would enable them to turn their lives around. Closed in 1968, the site was reborn 40 years later as an arts center. You not only can stroll through the art exhibits but can drop into artists' studios to watch them at work and chat with them about their fascinating projects - if their studio is open, it means they are quite willing to talk to you. The performing arts are also represented, with theatrical productions, classes and special events. And there's a museum showcasing the facility's history as a penal institution.

      If you go:
      Free admission. Studios and museum closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Administrative offices open Monday through Friday. Don't miss the little exhibit about the female inmates who were once housed here after being arrested for suffrage activism.


      9601 Ox Road
      Lorton, Virginia 22079 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      +1 (703) 584-2900