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, and stimulate the economy. Roanoke also sees public art as a tool to create livable cities, create a heightened sense of place and community identity, enliven the visual quality of public space, and enrich the spirit and pride of its citizens.
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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.



CITY PROCLAIMS 2020 'The Year of Color, Light, and Motion' IN HONOR OF ARTIST DOROTHY GILLESPIE

The Taubman Museum of Art is hosting a special exhibit – Celestial Centennial: The Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie – in honor of the 100th anniversary of the renowned artist’s Roanoke birth. The exhibit was funded in part by a City grant through the Roanoke Arts Commission. On Friday, July 3, the Museum released a video proclamation read by Vice-Mayor Joe Cobb, designating 2020 as “The Year of Color, Light, and Motion,” in honor of Ms. Gillespie’s career and body of work. The Museum reopened their doors to the public on Friday. Celestial Centennial will be on view through July 26. An additional exhibit, Dorothy Gillespie: Still Enchanting Virginia’s Blue Ridge features Gillespie works in local private collections and will be on view through Nov. 8. 

Watch Vice-Mayor Cobb read the proclamation here.
Click here to see walking and driving tour maps of Ms. Gillespie’s local works. 


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ARCHES PROJECT UNDERWAY

Learn more about the ARCHES project: placemaking under Memorial Bridge with local artists.


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.