The Workhouse Arts Center has been operating in the red since it opened in 2008. The former home of the Lorton prison looks like it has it all - a beautiful and historic location, a quad for outdoor events and more than a dozen renovated buildings for artist studios, galleries, receptions and concerts. So, what's the problem?
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"We have been operating at a loss," said Workhouse Executive Director John Mason in a previous interview with Patch. "How can we do that? You move some money around to cover your immediate expenses, and, at the end of the year, the negative balance gets carried to the next year. At some point, you run out of opportunities to plug holes..."
The Workhouse hosts monthly art exhibitions, music concerts, the Clifton Film Festival, summer camp and cooking classes.
But, the arts center revenue was $500,000 in the red in 2010, a drop from revenue of $2.75 million in 2009, according to the nonprofit's most recent tax documents. The arts center took in $1.44 million in contributions and grants in 2010, versus $1.25 million in 2009.
Plans are underway to open the 900-person capacity Workhouse Events Center, which will create rental opportunities for weddings, corporate events and meetings.
The Workhouse is also developing a partnership with George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College to conduct art classes on campus.
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