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

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

In her new book, journalist Jill Leovy studies the epidemic of unsolved murders in African-American neighborhoods and the relationships between police and victims' relatives, witnesses and suspects.
NPR

Tossing Out Food In The Trash? In Seattle, You'll Be Fined For That

Seattle is the first city in the nation to fine people for not properly sorting their garbage. The law took effect on Jan. 1 as a bid to keep food out of landfills and encourage composting instead.
NPR

Abortion Vote Shows How Much Democrats' World Has Changed

Of those 64 Democrats who cast a key anti-abortion vote in November 2009, only 12 remain in the House today.
WAMU 88.5

Drone Found On White House Grounds, Not Regarded As Ongoing Threat

A drone landed in a tree on the White House grounds shortly after 3 a.m. Monday morning, touching off a security response.

Leave a Comment

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