Alexandria's Torpedo Factory Art Center is looking for volunteers to guide tours through its facility. Applications for becoming a volunteer docent are available this month.

The Torpedo Factory is a renovated World War II landmark that provides studio space for about 170 professional artists in exchange for their permission for the public to visit them while they work. The building also houses the Alexandria Archeology Museum and Lab, and the Art League School and Gallery.

The Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center will teach selected volunteers about the history of the art center and factory building, as well as various art concepts and techniques through training sessions, practice tours and artists' demonstrations. Training will take place in October and November.

For application and interview information, contact Karen Plante, 683-0693. The Torpedo Factory is at 105 N. Union St., Alexandria.

Tuesday night is the annual Arlington County Civic Federation's candidates kickoff for candidates running for the state Senate, House of Delegates, Arlington County Board and county sheriff. Candidates will introduce their programs and answer questions from the audience starting at 8 p.m. in Arlington Hospital's Hazel Auditorium. For more information, call Amy Appelbaum at 241-8446.

The Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department is looking for volunteer firefighters for its fall training class. The department is prepared to offer flexible hours to accommodate volunteers' jobs and other commitments and will provide uniforms and necessary equipment. Contact Assistant Chief James Bruno at 671-2564.

The First Annual Loudoun Association for Retarded Citizens' Benefit Music Festival will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Scheduled to appear at the festival are nationally acclaimed guitarist-composer Seth Austen and his wife, vocalist Madeline MacNeil; local Irish music groups Celtic Thunder and The Mighty Possums, and the newly formed contemporary gospel group Mass Choir of Northern Virginia. Rain or shine, bring a blanket or chair along with a picnic dinner to the Bluemont schoolhouse in Loudoun County.

Food, T-shirts and records will be sold during the event, and proceeds from all sales will benefit the Loudoun Association for Retarded Citizens.

Advance tickets cost $4 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Admission at the door will cost $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Tickets are available at Melodee Music in Leesburg and Sterling and at Nichols Hardware of Purcellville.

Tickets may be ordered by writing to the association, P.O. Box 243, Leesburg, Va., 22075.

For more information, call (703) 777-1939.