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The Factory, St. Pete is not closing after all

A social media post stating it was closing was made in error and caused confusion.
Artist Ricky Watts of San Francisco works on a sunset-inspired mural on The Factory, St. Pete during Shine Mural Festival in 2021. A news release sent Tuesday by The Factory said “inaccurate social media posts” saying the arts destination would close were made in error and were the result of a “miscommunication.”
Artist Ricky Watts of San Francisco works on a sunset-inspired mural on The Factory, St. Pete during Shine Mural Festival in 2021. A news release sent Tuesday by The Factory said “inaccurate social media posts” saying the arts destination would close were made in error and were the result of a “miscommunication.” [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 20|Updated Sep. 21

Followers of arts destination The Factory, St. Pete were surprised when a social media post made on Monday stated that it was closing. The post showed a photo of the compound with the words “out of business” stamped across it.

Later Monday night, that post had been removed and a post with a quote from Albert Einstein about mistakes appeared. That post made it clear the facility was not closing.

Then, on Tuesday afternoon, The Factory, St. Pete issued a news release stating it is open for business and will continue to be. Its tenants and artists are open and the planned events for this weekend are still happening. They include an opening reception at new gallery Heiress on Friday and the End of Summer bash on Sunday.

The Factory opened in 2020 as a creative arts destination and is home to arts attraction Fairgrounds St. Pete, Daddy Kool Records and artist studios.

The post saying it would be closing caused confusion, leaving people wondering if the tenants were going to be affected. The release sent Tuesday cited the “inaccurate social media posts” about the closing and said they were made in error and were the result of a “miscommunication.”

Liz Dimmitt, co-owner of The Factory and CEO of its anchor tenant Fairgrounds St. Pete, said in the release that she is a “deeply invested member of this community and plan(s) to be operating onsite for years to come. I look forward to being part of The Factory’s future.”

In an email following the release, Dimmitt emphasized that Fairgrounds St. Pete is open and operating on its regular schedule.

Co-owners Jordan and Kara Behar said in the release, “As co-owners we believe in the unique mission and purpose of The Factory.” They said they support the creative community in establishing the venue as a place where “artists and neighbors can connect, thrive and flourish.”

The release said changes are coming soon, including activation of new areas and improvement on the 6½-acre campus at 2622 Fairfield Ave. S.

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