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Who Controls The Torpedo Factory?

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By Michael Pope

Who controls the Torpedo Factory? For most of its history, the waterfront art center has been controlled by the artists. But city officials are concerned that the operation is not making enough revenue.

That's why Councilman Paul Smedberg and other City Council members want a business-friendly new governing board.

"This is not a wholesale takeover to turn the Torpedo Factory into some sort of Disneyland," says Smedberg.

One artist who has been particularly critical is Marian Van Landingham, a former member of the House of Delegates, who says she was surprised to learn how many business interests would have a vote on the new board.

"This board was going to be stacked heavily against the artists if there was ever a major issue of art interest," says Van Landingham.

Van Landingham says the city should ditch its plan to create a new governing board. Instead, she says, the city should create a new Department of Recreation to run the Torpedo Factory.

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