The NOVA Arts and Cultural District mission is to create a cohesive region comprised of the Workhouse Arts Center, the Town of Occoquan, and Occoquan Regional Park to serve as a compelling draw for visitors and tourists. Further, the identification of the region as an arts and cultural district will solidify cooperation through shared identity, furthering the success of each of the three entities.
The NOVA Arts and Cultural District is an exciting regional destination for tourism, commerce, and leisure. And it is the first district in the Commonwealth of Virginia to encompass portions of multiple jurisdictions, in this case both Fairfax and Prince Wililam Counties.
Our partners include:
The Workhouse Arts Center
The Workhouse Arts Center is a 55-acre arts destination built on a passion for the arts, which presents performing arts, visual arts, arts education, and a history museum about the history of the DC correctional system and the suffragists. The site itself is listed on the National Historic Registry and was the original 1910 campus of the Occoquan Workhouse Prison. The campus is pastoral in feel and maintains multiple original Colonial Revival buildings, designed by the then DC Architect, Snowden Ashford. As a significant adaptive reuse project, the organization is a remarkable example of arts fueling the local economy and serving as an economic driver for the surrounding region.
The Town of Occoquan
Occoquan is a small town with a rich history of reinventing itself from a mill town in the mid-1700’s, to an eclectic commercial district of rehabilitated older structures converted to specialty shops, art galleries and restaurants today. The 124 acre community is a nexus for multiple historic, bicycle, and pedestrian trail systems in Northern Virginia. Now known also for its 47-year history of Arts & Crafts Shows, and a flourishing park system, Occoquan is more than just a bedroom community in the metropolitan Washington region. It has matured, organically, into a friendly, charming and culturally rich community replete with opportunities for shopping, dining, art and history.
Occoquan Regional Park
Occoquan Regional Park is a 350 acre outdoor recreation site with multiple opportunities for outdoor experiences including hiking, biking, picnicking, and boating. The park is part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park system along the Occoquan River, at the intersection of Route 123 and I-95. Additionally, the park is where the first dozen prisoners of the Occoquan Workhouse arrived. It is the site of century-old brick kilns and the location is also one of the stops along the Potomac River in the New World by English Explorer, Captain John Smith.