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

Two Prominent Museum Directors Encourage 'New Ways Of Thinking'

Host Michel Martin speaks with the directors of the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of the American Indian. Both institutions are celebrating important anniversaries this year.
NPR

The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

Tour de France cyclists need to eat up to 9,000 calories a day to maintain their health and weight during the race. But many teams hire chefs to elevate the meals to gourmet status.
NPR

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

The largest union of nurses in California starts contract negotiations Thursday with Kaiser Permanente's hospitals. Talks went smoothly four years ago, but this round will likely be more contentious.
NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

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