Fairfax County, VA


Arts Center Economic, Operational, And Management Review

In 2011 The PFM Group and Fairfax County, Virginia retained B&D to conduct an operations assessment of the Lorton Arts Foundation and Workhouse Arts Center. We were charged with identifying variances between the Arts Foundation’s initial financial forecasts and actual financial performance, identifying projected operating shortfalls, gauging the level of future County support, and identifying immediate and long-term transitional opportunities. We conducted meetings with county administrators and leaders of the Arts Foundation to establish project goals and to gain an understanding of the Arts Foundation’s and Arts Center’s respective mission and vision, existing policies and governance processes, and operating strategies. Interviews with Arts Foundation directors were conducted to better understand organizational and facility operations. We then identified immediate (FY 2012) and future (5-10 years) possibilities for the Arts Center’s financial and operational performance. We also analyzed the Arts Foundation Board’s policies and staffing structure, as well as reviewed the operating paradigm between the Arts Foundation and the Arts Center tenants, considering key revenue drivers, pricing strategies, and risk/benefit sharing. The Arts Center’s physical configuration was assessed to understand how the existing program of spaces was being utilized. Programmatic strengths and improvement opportunities were identified. Finally, we explored a broad range of cost-reduction measures and revenue-enhancement opportunities to improve the Arts Center’s operating performance. As a result, we identified a series of immediate (FY 2012) and long-term (5-10 years) transitional opportunities and recommended next steps for consideration by the Arts Foundation and the county.