A LEADER IN THE ARTS.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center has a long and distinguished history in the City of Alexandria. Opened in the 1970s, it was once an innovative model of connecting visitors with practicing artists.
Unfortunately, the once dynamic Art Center has become largely overlooked by residents and visitors. It must adapt with an ever-changing landscape of 21st century art institutions to regain its place as an arts leader.
A NEW FINANCIAL
The Torpedo Factory has an estimated $20M liability from years of deferred maintenance on the building. The current combination of subsidized rents, lost tax revenues, and operating expenses cost the City an estimated $6M+ per year.
The City has struggled and will continue to struggle to make the Torpedo Factory a funding priority, with higher priority needs such as affordable housing and improved schools for the City. The City has a once in a generation opportunity to transform the Torpedo Factory from a financial burden to an asset that contributes financially to the City.
A revitalized Art Center, at the epicenter of Alexandria’s waterfront, will increase property value in the surrounding areas, bring more people to the shops and local restaurants, and increase its desirability as a place to work and live.
OUR ARTS CENTER SHOULD REPRESENT THE CITY.
Just as the programming of the arts and the financial model must evolve, the composition of the artists in the Art Center must evolve with the times.
The artists represented at the Torpedo Factory do not reflect the diversity of Alexandria’s population. It is time to update the mission and programming of the TFAC with a broader and more inclusive vision that better aligns with the diversity and interests of Alexandria.
THE TIME IS NOW.
Over the past two decades, 15 studies have been published which outline potential opportunities and challenges associated with a 21st century upgrade of the Arts Center.
In 2019, the City commissioned a Study of the Studies, which combined the findings of these reports offered the following conclusion:
“There is a welcome opportunity for a radical change of direction that should not be missed…”
Torpedo Factory for All is a group of Alexandrians who are excited about the potential for a vibrant and sustainable Torpedo Factory Art Center. It has become a financial burden to the City rather than an asset and has been a victim of special interest groups and politics for decades.
We believe that a revitalized Torpedo Factory Arts Center would become the central attraction of the Alexandria Waterfront. A bold vision would transform it from a City subsidized, permanent home for artists to one that is filled with a dynamic set of artists that can help build a lively Arts District across the City.