Arts & Culture

The City of Roanoke views art and culture as integral to the community because of their potential to enhance the quality of life for Roanoke’s citizens, increase tourism, support education, foster wellbeing, strengthen all of our voices, and stimulate the economy. Roanoke also sees public art as a tool to create a heightened sense of place and community identity, enliven the visual quality of public space, and enrich the spirit and pride of our citizens. Join with us as we explore all the arts can do in our corner of the world.

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CALL FOR ARTISTS: Melrose-Orange Bus Shelters

The City of Roanoke seeks artists to provide permanent works of art to be incorporated into four (4) new bus shelters in the Melrose-Orange Target Area (MOTA).

In partnership with Valley Metro, the City will install uniform bus shelters with custom details such as shelter panels and potential treatment of the underlying concrete pad. With the addition of artistic elements, the finished shelters should help communicate the neighborhood themes of “diversity, visibility, and possibility,” continuing the work of a stakeholder-driven process to bridge communities, celebrate diversity and history, and inspire residents to seek and realize opportunities for the future. The elements shall be designed through an inclusive, participatory process engaging neighbors, local business and property owners, and local students. 

An engaged group of residents and stakeholders have expressed a desire for the shelters to incorporate color, educational themes, and a celebration of the diversity of the neighborhood, which incorporates a number of cultures and a large African-American population.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REQUEST HERE.

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Roanoke artists featured in collaborative WE ARE ART Rap Cypher

A collaboration of the Roanoke Public Libraries, the Roanoke Arts Commission, the Grandin Theatre, and the Feeding Southwest Virginia Community Solutions Center has led to the creation of the “We Are Art” rap cypher. The film will be released on Feb. 5, at 10 a.m. on the Roanoke Public Libraries Facebook page and YouTube page.

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END RACISM NOW: ROANOKE SPEAKS OUT THROUGH CITY ART PROJECT LED BY URBAN ARTS PROJECT

The 200 block of Campbell Avenue, SW, is the canvas for a community organized street mural project being implemented on Sunday, July 12. Deploying a dozen artists, the community is expressing its stance that racism has no place in Roanoke. The message: END RACISM NOW. Campbell Avenue will be closed for viewing through Saturday, July 18, 2020.

The Campbell Avenue mural will center on the City’s 1915 classical revival Municipal Building. The design, primarily comprised of 12-foot high letters, spans 140 feet. It is framed by a partial listing of Black victims of police violence across the country.

“Our city is not just painting the words on the street,” says Urban Arts Project volunteer. Alyasa “Aly” Jones. “We’re committed to the message. This is a step in the right direction as Roanoke shows support for their community to effect change.  We hope this sparks a much-needed conversation and the unification our city needs to END RACISM NOW!”

 LEARN MORE & SEE IMAGES OF THE PROJECT HERE.

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The Roanoke Arts Commission is responsible for overseeing the development of Arts and Culture in the City of Roanoke.

The mission of the Roanoke Arts Commission (RAC), as established in 1983, is to “advise and assist city council on matters relating to the advancement of the arts and humanities within the city” to establish Roanoke as a vibrant, prosperous community where arts and culture engage people in all aspects of life. The RAC increases the collective impact of the arts and cultural community by:

    • Advocating for arts cultural initiatives and investment
    • Managing and informing the City’s Public Art Plan.
    • Advancing the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan.
    • Guiding City investments in arts and culture.