Post Content

New Torpedo Factory governance structure could take inspiration from Visit Alexandria and AEDP

The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town (staff photo by James Cullum)

A task force recommended to the City Council at a meeting last week that the Torpedo Factory Art Center (TFAC) be converted (item 9) to a “quasi-public entity.”

The recommendation from the task force, which included representatives from the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association, The Art League and more, is to transition ownership of the Torpedo Factory to “to a
Quasi-Public entity that has autonomy and authority to run daily operations.”

According to a presentation, the task force said:

  • Any new entity will need to meet defined performance metrics established by the
    City.
  • City will likely continue to supplement funding for TFAC operations and capital
    improvements, but the funding expectation of the new entity may increase over
    time.
  • The City has developed successful public-private partnerships with Visit Alexandria
    and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership that may be viable models
    for a new quasi-public entity for TFAC.

The task force said that the transition to a ‘quasi-public entity’ could occur over a two-to-three-year period.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center has a long and tumultuous relationship with the City of Alexandria. Back in 2016, the city stepped in to oversee operations at the Torpedo Factory after studies found maintenance and improvements to the facility would prove costly.

The quasi-public entity could be a middle ground between direct city ownership and the previous complicated relationship where the building was leased to the Torpedo Factory Art Center Board and subleased to the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association and The Art League.

James Stevens, a principal with consultant ConsultEcon, said the idea would be to run the Torpedo Factory similar to Visit Alexandria and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), bodies that receive supplemental funding from the city but have a degree of autonomy in their operations.

“We’re going to be bringing information out to stakeholders and other people in the community to get feedback,” said City Manager James Parajon.

Earlier this year, artists expressed concerns about city plans to reduce the amount of rented artist space in the building to make way for other uses, like a cafe or hands-on activities like gloryholes (spaces for reheating glass).

Some on the City Council were skeptical of this plan. Mayor Justin Wilson said he was concerned that the new governance structure would do little to change the Torpedo Factory being a money pit for the city.

“I’m trying to see where this succeeds,” said Wilson. “I remember hearing from members of the previous board that it was set up to fundraise, and there was never a compelling [donate]. They didn’t have anything, so it was hard to fundraise. Nobody was going to donate to nothing.”

The conversation also touched on plans for the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 50th anniversary event next year.

Diane Ruggiero, deputy director of the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, said the city will be putting together a committee next month (January) to start planning, with an event ultimately taking place sometime in September.

Recent Stories

ALXnow will be running a series of City Council candidate interviews through the local election filing deadline on April 4. City Councilman John Taylor Chapman says that he wants small…

As Alexandria’s City Council and School Board work to reconcile their budgets, Mayor Justin Wilson scolded School Board leadership for not taking a longer view of budgets and planning. Alexandria’s…

It’s a big (green) weekend in Alexandria!  The Ballyshaners 41st Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off from the corner of King Street and St. Asaph Street at 12:15…

Washington D.C. resident Dykwon Perry Davis has been indicted by a multi-jurisdictional jury on two felony charges: abduction with intent to defile and attempted rape. Davis is charged with the…

Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.

Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Are you looking to work on health and fitness from the comfort of your own home?

Skip the big box gym and try out our in-home personal training service. We bring the gym to you so that you can save time and avoid the hassle of going the the crowded gym.

We bring all the equipment you need for a solid workout and if you have a community gym we can use that too.

We offer programs that will help with weight loss, strength, flexibility, more energy and overall feeling better.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list