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Annual ArtsFairfax awards to honor Workhouse Arts Center, Inova

An art installation at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fifteen years after it emerged from the shell of the former Lorton prison, the Workhouse Arts Center will take the spotlight at Capital One Hall in Tysons as the top honoree of the 2023 ArtsFairfax Awards.

The center will receive the Jinx Hazel Award at the annual ceremony and fundraising event on Oct. 26, ArtsFairfax, the county’s official arts agency, announced earlier this month.

Awards will also be bestowed on developer and philanthropist Lola Reinsch, George Mason University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Inova Schar Cancer Institute.

“The 2023 ArtsFairfax Awards honorees all demonstrate how the arts revitalize communities, improve our wellbeing, and spark creativity in unexpected places,” ArtsFairfax President and CEO Linda Sullivan said. “We’re thrilled to celebrate each of these awardees for enriching the lives of Fairfax County residents.”

Given to Capital One Hall last year, the Jinx Hazel Award recognizes “an individual or organization whose vision and commitment has helped shape the cultural life of Fairfax County,” ArtsFairfax says.

Opened to the public in September 2008, the Workhouse Arts Center is the only multi-disciplinary arts facility in the area of southern Fairfax County recently rebranded as Potomac Banks, according to ArtsFairfax.

The 55-acre campus hosts art studios, galleries, performing arts space, classrooms and the Lucy Burns Museum, drawing about 100,000 patrons annually with exhibits and special events like Fourth of July fireworks or the upcoming BrewWorks Festival.

The center is still being built out, with a new location for Bunnyman Brewing expected to open in a recently refurbished building this year. Future developments could include an amphitheater, more events and educational venues and even housing, depending on the master plan that the county is currently finalizing.

Reinsch is this year’s recipient of the ArtsFairfax Philanthropy Award, which goes to a person, corporation or foundation “that has provided leadership funding or long-term monetary support to the arts.”

As president, owner, and CEO of the Reinsch Companies, a residential and golf course developer, Reinsch has been a regular donor for numerous local arts nonprofits, including the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA), the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, 1st Stage theater in Tysons and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Her contributions to MPA include a matching gift to support a future art and education center at Clemyjontri Park, according to ArtsFairfax.

Meanwhile, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be recognized with an Education Award for providing arts education classes, clubs and events to older residents of Northern Virginia.

The ArtsFairfax Impact Award will go to the Inova Schar Cancer Institute for its Arts and Healing program, which supports a permanent art collection, ongoing exhibitions, performing arts events and 20 artists-in-residence to help patients and their families going through treatment or recovery.

Tickets and sponsorships for the awards ceremony are now for sale. Reston Community Center is the visionary sponsor for the awards, which typically attract over 300 guests, according to ArtsFairfax.

“The arts are the heartbeat of all truly great communities, and we can’t envision any world in which the arts aren’t central to what makes us human,” RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham said. “The arts play a central role in Reston’s neighborhoods and Fairfax County has embraced their vital importance to building vibrant places to live and learn. ArtsFairfax is the catalyst for these successful efforts.”