The City of Alexandria has undertaken a process to determine the vibrancy and sustainability of Torpedo Factory Art Center. As part of that process, the City contracted with SmithGroup and Chora to review the 15 existing public and privately commissioned studies that touched on the Art Center. They developed a set of overarching goals and recommendations based on those existing plans. In July 2019, SmithGroup and Chora presented to the City, “A Study of the Studies: Themes and Recommendations for a Vibrant and Sustainable Torpedo Factory Art Center.”

The Action Plan included three interconnected Core Strategic Directions (CSDs) to guide the Art Center:

  • Re-establish the Art Center’s Identity for a 21st Century Audience.
  • Curate the Building, with a Focus on the First Floor, for Improved Visitor Experience and Artist/Studio Program.
  • Establish Policies and Procedures that Identify the Art Center as a High Performing Organization and Rebuild the Art Center’s Role as a Leader in the Country.
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Both consultants were selected based on their work with outstanding national and international arts and culture institutions.  SmithGroup has a vast knowledge of the City of Alexandra from working together in the past and is supported by a seasoned Cultural division having worked with institutions including the National Park Service and Smithsonian Institution. Chora has completed strategic planning for notable institutions including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.


These 15 existing studies, publicly and privately commissioned, informed the master study:

  1. 2002 City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities Strategic Master Plan, 2002 (by Leon Younger and PROS for the City of Alexandria)
  2. 2010 A Study of the Torpedo Factory Art Center (Management Analysis, Incorporated)
  3. 2012 Alexandria Waterfront Small Area Plan, February 2012 (City of Alexandria Planning and Zoning, Adopted by Ordinance No. 4749)
  4. 2014 An Implementation Plan for Alexandria’s Public Art Policy, 2014 (Todd Bressi, Via Partnership, and Lardner Klein for City of Alexandria Office of the Arts & the Alexandria Commission for the Arts)
  5. 2016 Alexandria Arts and Cultural Master Plan (Cultural Planning Group for City of Alexandria Office of the Arts)
  6. 2016 Charting a New Course: Steering the Torpedo Factory Art Center Toward a Sustainable Future, 2016 (KAPTIVATE for the Torpedo Factory Artist Association)
  7. 2016 Torpedo Factory Art Center: Business Analysis and Recommendations, January 31, 2016. (The Cultural Planning Group for the TFAC Board)
  8. 2016 A Vision for the Torpedo Factory Art Center: Community Members for the Future of the Torpedo Factory, 2016 (Community Members for the Future of the Torpedo Factory)
  9. 2016 A Discourse of the Recommendations for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 2016. (Torpedo Factory Art Center Joint Executive Committee – Torpedo Factory Art Center Board, Torpedo Factory Artist Association, the Art League)
  10. 2017 The Impact of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the City of Alexandria’s Economy, 2017 (The Stephen S. Fuller Institute for Research on the Washington Region’s Economic Future, Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, with analytical support from KAPTIVATE for the Torpedo Factory Artist Association)
  11. 2017 City Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 (Reingold, Inc. for City of Alexandria)
  12. 2017 Torpedo Factory Art Center Community Engagement Report (City of Alexandria and Alexandria Commission for the Arts Task Force)
  13. 2018 Public Hearing and Consideration of a Governance Recommendation for Torpedo Factory Art Center Vibrancy and Sustainability Plan, November 7, 2018 (City of Alexandria)
  14. 2018 Alexandria: The New Experience (The Cultural Planning Group)
  15. 2018 Development of a Vibrancy and Sustainability Plan for the Torpedo Factory Art Center (City Council Legislative Meeting, November 7, 2018)