Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios under one roof. In an effort to sustain the arts in Alexandria, the Torpedo Factory is temporarily part of the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts.
Just south of Washington, D.C., the Torpedo Factory Art Center overlooks the Potomac River in the Old Town section of Alexandria. Each year, more than a half million national and international visitors meet and interact with more than 160 resident artists in 82 studios and seven galleries. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is also home to The Art League Gallery and School, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. For more information, visit torpedofactory.org or follow the Torpedo Factory on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest via @torpedofactory.
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Torpedo Factory Community Engagement Report
As part of the continued transition of the Torpedo Factory Art Center (Art Center), staff in Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; Planning and Zoning; and the City Manager's Office engaged Diane Mataraza and Surale Phillips to undertake a community engagement process and get feedback from the community about their use and experience at the Art Center. The Alexandria Commission for the Arts appointed a five-member task force to advise on the community engagement process.
The full report is available here.
To ensure that a variety of voices and perspectives were gathered, the consultant team, with input from the Task Force, developed a community engagement strategy that included a variety of opportunities for people to participate and provide their feedback with the intent of reaching the diverse residents of Alexandria.
Three survey protocols were developed – an intercept survey, an online survey for members of The Art League, and an artist survey. The questions in the intercept survey and the online survey were identical, however the intercept survey (done in person and by phone) were geographically representative and was designed to be the primary survey and has been given more significance. The artist survey was developed to ensure that all points of view were considered.
The report only contains the feedback from participants who indicated they live within the city of Alexandria. Additionally, the report combines the results of the Intercept Survey and the Online Survey and is called “City Resident Survey Results".
The engagement process was completed in spring 2018 and received by the City and presented to the task force in September 2018. The Alexandria Commission for the Arts received the report in October 2018.
In March 2016, the Torpedo Factory Art Center Board (TFACB) and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts (ACA) approved the Torpedo Factory Art Center Report by Cultural Planning Group that had been commissioned by the TFACB. The report outlined four recommendations to align the facility for future success. Since then, the City Manager has received three additional reports:
Vision for the Torpedo Factory Art Center submitted by Community Members for the Future of the Torpedo Factory
A Discourse of the Recommendations for the Torpedo Factory Art Center submitted by the Executive Committees of the TFACB, the Torpedo Factory Artist Association (TFAA), and the President and CEO of The Art League