Saturday, April 18, 2020

City of Alexandra: Step up!!!

The City of Alexandria, Virginia owns the Torpedo Factory building - one of the greatest art jewels of the United States. In these strange times, this is what one of the artists who rents a studio in that building notes:
Its a surprising to me that the hasn't waived rent for the artists at the Torpedo Factory. Actually, it disgusts me. I mean, I get it, it now runs on tax dollars and our rent but what is the Office Of The Arts (no facebook page, weird but unsurprising) going to do when they are faced with several empty studios come the end of this bc artists are struggling and don't want to face owing the city thousands of dollars? The city said they would waive rent for now but we'd have to pay it back, but they will work with us on a payment plan. No fucking way, I'm already struggling, not going into hock to a tyrannical government. "We're from the government and we're here to help."
The city really hasn't been very effective. There was one studio empty for months bc they couldn't fill it, another that is rented but the artist is never there, never. I know of at least 2 studios that will be empty soon, before this mess. Under the watch of the Torpedo Factory Artists' Association that never happened. Never. Ever. Maybe the city needs to reconsider allowing a thriving artist association to manage the studios again, or at the very least, allow our 2019 artists to sublet and be eligible for studios. After all, they went thru the same blind jury process that's been in place for 45 years and created the center that is today so beloved. Weird, right, that the city would draw such an arbitrary line, especially when they can't fill studios on a slow day. It sure will be interesting to see how this unfolds....