There is more to the arts than what is seen and experienced. What happens behind the scenes and away from the public gaze is often what powers great exhibitions, performances and and artists. On this week's 13th Floor Lounge we chop it up with Lionell Thomas, the new Director of Art and Culture for Fulton County, Georgia.
Lionell comes to Fulton County after nearly three decades of dedicated public service in the arts in the Washington, DC metropolitan region and national cultural stage. For over 26 years, Lionell was a stalwart at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), serving in various professional capacities including most recently as the Executive Director from 2011 to 2015. During his tenure as DCCAH’s Executive Director, he directed strategic planning efforts that successfully grew the agency’s budget from $7 million to $17 million in less than four years. He was also credited with oversight of the financial business plan instrumental to restoring the Historic Lincoln Theater. From 2009 to 2011 as the Executive Director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC), Lionell was responsible for raising the visibility of PGAHC, expanding programs to the community and establishing the humanities as central to the core mission of the agency.
Having served on numerous nonprofit national boards and commissions, Lionell is widely respected for his keen knowledge and profound sensitivity to arts and culture. Lionell holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh. Lionell was inducted into the DC Hall of Fame in 2014 for his outstanding contribution to the arts as the youngest ever to receive the honor.