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Artisphere arts center likely to close next year as Arlington County looks to cut subsidy


ARLINGTON, Virginia — Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan says the money-losing Artisphere arts center should close next June because it has failed to break even after years of subsidies.

Members of the County Board tell The Washington Post ( ) they will likely support the recommendation. Donnellan says Artisphere hasn't drawn enough visitors or supporters to sustain itself.

The move would save about $2.5 million per year. The jobs of 12 full-time staff members and 20 part-time employees would be eliminated.

Donnellan says to continue operating, Artisphere would require substantial ongoing taxpayer support.

Artisphere has exhibited works by Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and other lesser-known artists. Founding Director Jose Ortiz says attendance has grown 11 percent this year to 71,000 visitors. He says the center's financial stability was based on receiving ongoing county support.

Information from: The Washington Post,

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