The Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association is comprised of more than 275 professional artists, with 139 small businesses based out of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town. The Art Center sees over half a million visitors annualy and is the #1 ranked tourist attraction in Alexandria. The facility is currently managed by the City’s Office of the Arts, but the TFAA is advocating for artist governance once again. This will be a cost savings to the City of Alexandria and provide the independent businesses who inhabit the Art Center an opportunity to take ownership once again- a method that worked for 40 years and made the Torpedo Factory what it is today. The artist plan includes a non-profit partner organization and the hiring of a facility management company, which will allow the Torpedo Factory to be sustainable for the next 40 years.
As a candidate, I recognize the economic engine that tourism is for the City of Alexandria. That’s why I support artisans and small businesses in Alexandria that create the city’s unique character and bring in visitors. I do not support decisions such as the city council’s recent decision to approve a Taco Bell in old town. This does nothing to increase tourism and detracts from the uniqueness that makes Old Town a tourist destination.