The Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. is excited to announce that Leon Scioscia has been appointed as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is an experienced leader in arts management and operations and will begin his new role on July 12, 2021.
As a proven leader, Mr. Scioscia offers the skills and creativity to advance the Workhouse mission in new and exciting ways. Workhouse is positioned to elevate its impact in the community and region, in expansive ways, in the coming years. He will help Workhouse advance the arts by providing a unique community gathering place for visitors to interact, reflect, learn and engage together in a creative, vibrant, and inclusive space.
Mr. Scioscia has a strong history of bringing the arts to the public. He has worked in theatrical venues in New York City, Washington, DC, and Phoenix, Arizona, and his career has also included work in the cultural, governmental, library, and non-profit sectors. Most recently he was the Executive Vice President of Operations at the Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc., a multi-disciplinary arts center and presenting organization.
Kevin C. Greenlief, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “The Workhouse is honored to have Leon join us. He is a proven leader with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the art world. Having thrived throughout the pandemic thanks to ardent supporters, a solid board of directors, and a creative staff, the Workhouse is now poised for a bright future with Leon at the helm.”
While at the Strathmore, Mr. Scioscia managed the day-to-day operations of the 1,976 seat Music Center, the 250 seat AMP Jazz Club, the Mansion at Strathmore (which includes the Shapiro Music Room, educational programs, visual arts/exhibitions spaces, and the Shops at Strathmore). His duties also included the supervision of a 16-acre campus which contains a sculpture garden, a gazebo stage, and a backyard theatre. He also served as the primary liaison with Montgomery County for the $10 million expansion of the Center and a $4 million renovation of the historic Mansion.
Mr. Scioscia has earned a master’s degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, in 1979 and a bachelor’s degree in English and Theatre from the University of Tennessee, Martin, TN, in 1976. He has specialized training from the Racial Equity Institute (REI), Leadership Montgomery, North Bethesda, MD, a COTR License from George Washington University School of Law, Washington, DC, as well as management training with the Executive Education Program (Information Services) at the Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, and with the Leadership Maryland program. Additionally, he served as the Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts (for several years) and has participated in various National Endowment for the Arts panels.
When asked about this opportunity, Leon Scioscia said: “I am honored, and privileged, to have been given the opportunity to lead this wonderful, and vital, community arts organization. I look forward to working with our dedicated Board of Directors, our steadfast staff, artists, and volunteers, as well as all of our Fairfax County colleagues, in order to build upon Workhouse’s solid foundation, and to lead our arts center to a more regional, and national, prominence.” Mr. Scioscia lives in Alexandria, VA, with his son, Alex Scioscia.
The nation-wide search was led by DRI Consulting, Inc.
About Workhouse Arts Center — The Workhouse Arts Center (Workhouse) is housed in the former Workhouse prison facility of the DC Correctional Complex in Lorton, VA that opened in 1910. After closure in 2001, its founders, in cooperation with Fairfax County leadership, transformed the site into a community arts center where people could learn about and participate in art making; be inspired by the region’s and nation’s best artists; experience visual and performing arts talent; and come together for festivals and community building.
Opened in 2008, the Workhouse now houses over 80 resident and associate artists; presents 100 annual art exhibitions and 300 annual performances; and supports dozens of classrooms for teaching 800 classes, engaging over 100,000 people annually. The Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia, operates the Workhouse Arts Center.
The Workhouse fosters innovative collaborations in the visual and performing arts through education, community engagement and personal enrichment for students of all ages and walks of life. The goal of these collaborations is to encourage art making; provide therapeutic art experiences; support physical health through Art of Movement activities; present opportunities for other forms of self-expression; and to provide the public with access to high quality performing arts experiences and events. Through the new Lucy Burns Museum, the Workhouse also provides the public with access to the rich history of this nationally important site.
Since its inception, the Workhouse has dramatically expanded its arts education curriculum and community events calendar, deepened its relationships with the Armed Services through military arts programming, and expanded its in-house performing arts offerings with live concerts, musical theatre, and dance.