Former Bomb Factory Turned Art Space In VA | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Former Bomb Factory Turned Art Space In VA

Play associated audio

By Michael Pope

For years, the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia, made bombs. Now it's an art center where artists perform their craft in public for visitors. But some are concerned proposed changes could blow it up.

Potential changes include closing the south half of the first floor to create a new gallery that would keep later hours and opening a restaurant. Now, the Alexandria City Council has created a new governing board that will take operational control away from the artists, which hasn't met universal approval.

"With 150 artists, there's always different viewpoints," says Penny Berringer, president of the artists' association. "It goes from, like any group, from very, very conservative to very liberal and let's change everything."

Some are concerned that closing half the first floor for a gallery and restaurant would intrude into an important common space that's currently rented out for events. Others say the art center would benefit from better marketing.

Jim Steele is among those who welcome potential changes.

"They have decisions that they're going to have to make," he says. "Hopefully they'll make them in conjunction with us. I'm not sitting here afraid of the future of the Torpedo Factory."

Members of the new governing board are expected to be appointed as early as September.

Michael Pope also reports for Northern Virginia's Connection Newspapers.

NPR

'Save Us, Save Us': A Poem For The Migrants Lost At Sea

We asked poet Craig Morgan Teicher to find a poem to illuminate a recent news event. He says the capsized boat in the Mediterranean Sea made him think of Derek Mahon's "A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford."
NPR

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

The company says Diet Pepsi consumers are concerned about aspartame. But the Food and Drug Administration has long affirmed that the sweetener is safe in amounts commonly used by beverage companies.
NPR

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Gun Control, Vaccines And Science

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was officially sworn in this week. His confirmation was held up for more than a year because of comments he made about gun violence. Murthy talks with NPR's Scott Simon.
NPR

At The Heart Of A Watch, Tested By Time

Watchmakers have long thrived by selling timepieces that will be cherished as family heirlooms. But, if pragmatism rendered the pocket watch obsolete, what happens when watches become computers?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.