Lionell Thomas returned to the District of Columbia Government in October 2011 after serving as the Executive Director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for two and half years. He was previously with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for over 22½ years, where he served in numerous capacities throughout the agency; eventually serving as the Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director. Over the years, Thomas has been cited as a dynamic and steady arts administrator.
Thomas earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh. Thomas is a native Washingtonian and has received various accolades for his creative approaches to arts management and programming. Thomas’ was most recently inducted into the DC Hall of Fame for his contributions to Cultural Arts.
Notwithstanding, Thomas’ oversight of the establishment the first-ever dedicated tax revenue stream for the arts that will potentially yield more than $20 million of additional funds to the arts annually is demonstrative of his ability to manifest political reality into action. Thomas is also credited with securing a long-term sustainable business plan to support the iconic renewal of the Historic Lincoln Theatre. Thomas continues to serve on a number of state grants panels as a reviewer and site evaluator, as well as an advocate for the arts and humanities in the community. Thomas currently serves on several nonprofit boards including the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington and others.
Of all his accomplishments to date, Thomas is proudest of the initiatives developed to bring arts programs to underserved communities—several of which remain staples of the District of Columbia’s arts community today, inclusive of the Upstart Capacity-Building Program, and the East of the River Arts Initiative.