On Saturday, May 12 the renowned ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov paid a visit to The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. He brought with him an exciting prospect for all involved in the instillation at the former Lorton Prison site.
"He was very excited about what we do here," said Tina Leone, CEO of the Lorton Arts Foundation. Leone said that she and Baryshnikov are now in the process of forming a partnership between their respective art centers.
"We're at the very, very beginning of this, but we had similar missions," said Leone, who is now planning to visit the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City in the fall. She explained that she and Baryshnikov have agreed to pursue a relationship in which their centers would have joint programs involving both performing and visual arts. This was agreed upon while Leone had dinner with Baryshnikov at 2941 Restaurant in Fairfax, shortly after he saw the facility first-hand.
Even though the Workhouse Arts Center had piqued Baryshinikov's interest when he learned of it several months ago, Leone felt that it was the tour he took of the center's buildings that solidified his desire to be involved.
"One building will likely be developed into a dance center and he may be intimately involved in its planning," said Leone. "He has a vision to see where we're headed."
Located on Ox Road, the Workhouse Art Center area is currently a 288,000 square-foot campus, consisting of 30 historic buildings. Plans are underway to have 10 buildings open to the public by the end of the year. These buildings will include a gallery and studio space. The purpose of the center will not only be to promote visual and performing arts, but also to increase tourism in Lorton, and all over Fairfax County.
"By the time we are done, there will be no other arts center like this across the Eastern Seaboard," said Leone.
— Laura Buck