In Fall 2016, the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association (TFAA) commissioned the Stephen S. Fuller Institute to conduct the attached study to better understand the effect of our unique organization on the City of Alexandria. The resulting Economic Impact Study confirms the Torpedo Factory Art Center is critical to Alexandria’s economy, and offers a broad perspective on what needs to happen in order to capitalize on the Art Center’s history and grow it’s success.

Facing increased competition from neighboring tourism industry attractions and the prospect of dwindling federal spending, the Art Center needs a management structure that is flexible, forward-looking, and, crucially, versed in what makes us unique.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is an economic powerhouse; it is Alexandria’s strongest catalytic force in generating tourism year-round. The Fuller Study finds that $35.2 million in direct spending is generated annually from non-resident Torpedo Factory visitors, and the City benefits from $47 million in transactions associated with the total spending.

What is driving that traffic? A one-of-a-kind experience:

  • Working artists engaging with the public
  • High quality artwork with standards set by a blind jury process
  • Something new to see on every visit

The Art Center’s uniqueness lies in the ability of visitors to engage with artists during the creative process. With dozens of the world’s finest museums and galleries within a few miles, the 43-year legacy of the Torpedo Factory continues to succeed because of the dedication from an ever-changing group of artists and the one-of-a-kind immersive experience. This experience is found not only in our artist studios, but also in the Arts League classrooms, the Archeology Museum, and the special events and projects artists create with the public.

The Fuller Study illustrates how we can succeed in a rapidly changing economic environment. The artists (all small business owners) have the greatest motivation to manage this resource effectively: their economic success is intertwined with that of the Art Center. Allowing artists to be creative, flexible, and collaborative is essential to the Art Center’s continued success.
The City of Alexandria will always be a stakeholder in the Art Center, but without the constant constraint of cumbersome bureaucratic decision-making, the TFAA can more easily create partnerships with retail enterprises, neighboring arts organizations, corporate sponsors, and private giving sources. Artist governance of the Torpedo Factory Art Center will provide the City of Alexandria with more visitation, increased tax revenue, and expanded community programming without increasing City spending.  We encourage you to read our plan for governance at www.torpedofactoryartists.com/plan.

To read the full report, click here: The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center.

To watch a video of Dr. Fuller’s presentation, please click here.


0 thoughts on “Fuller Study Findings”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Artist News

The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the City of Alexandria’s Economy

The Stephen S. Fuller Institute for Research on the Washington Region’s Economic Future and the Schar School of Policy and Government George Mason University recently completed a study titled The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Read more…

Artist News

Torpedo Factory Artists Offer Management Plan

Proposal Restores Artist-led, Marketplace Approach to Govern Renowned Art Center The artists of the Torpedo Factory Art Center have presented a comprehensive business plan for governing the nationally recognized Center and ensuring its long-term financial Read more…

Uncategorized

Art + Architecture

The past week has brought a lot of news about the connections between art and architecture. Many reflected on the life and work of sculptural architect Zaha Hadid, who also sometimes used paintings as plans for Read more…