New DC Commision on the Arts & Humanities Exec Director


The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities has named a new executive director – Lionell Thomas.

Lionell Thomas at Prince Georges County event “Poetry Between the Lines”.

Thomas, who most recently served as Executive Director for the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council, replaces outgoing Interim Director, Ayris Scales.

“As Chair of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities, I am thrilled to welcome Lionell Thomas as our new Executive Director,” said Judith Terra, Chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “He brings great knowledge of the city and the Commission. He brings great vision for the future of the city, as well as dignity and presence to the office. With his leadership, Washington will be a world-class cultural city.”

Prior to his position with Prince George’s County, Mr. Thomas served with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for 22 years in several capacities, eventually serving as the Deputy Director and Interim Director.

“I am delighted to be returning home to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, ” said Lionell Thomas. “I am looking forward to working together with Mayor Gray’s administration and the community to expand and cultivate the creative energy of our great city on behalf of the residents and visitors to Washington, DC.”

Mr. Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Thomas has received various accolades locally and nationally for his creative approaches to arts management and programming. He has also served on a number of state grants panels as a reviewer and site evaluator.

Of all his accomplishments, Mr. Thomas is most proud of the initiatives developed to bring arts programs to underserved communities; many of which remain staples of the District of Columbia’s arts community today.