Sunday, March 14, 2010

Workhouse Arts Center

I'm getting very good at finding things to do with the family on rainy weekends. Today, I made reservations for us to attend a FREE dance showcase at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. The afternoon was fun for everyone. Frida loved the dance. Peter loved the architectural history of the site. I just loved everything about it.

If you haven't yet been to the Workhouse Arts Center, I highly encourage you to do so. The site was, in fact, an old "workhouse," established in 1912 by President Theodore Roosevelt, where prisoners were sent for "fresh air, natural light and structured, purposeful work as the basis for their rehabilitation."

After the prison was closed, the site was rezoned and in 2008 the Workhouse Arts Center opened its doors. Now, the site hosts visual and performing arts, studios, galleries, events, a film institute, and in the future will house a culinary institute. Workshops and classes are also offered on the campus.

Many of the events on the site are free and open to the public. But, since space is limited, you're encouraged to "reserve space" online via the Workhouse web site.

It's really energizing to me, seeing such a space. And I look forward to features currently under construction, including the Workhouse Museum, which will honor the Suffragists imprisoned at the Workhouse from 1917-1918.

And historic Occoquan is nearby, with lovely little shops and restaurants so you can make an entire day of your visit to this "outside the Beltway" area.

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