The Parks and Arts Program emphasizes the city’s Arts and Cultural Plan goal to bring performing and visual arts directly to neighborhoods. The program is partially funded by an “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which the Roanoke Arts Commission received in partnership with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.
Working with the Office of Neighborhood Services and the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates, parks in each of the city’s four sections have been identified for programming based on need, accessibility, and proximity to adjacent neighborhoods. They are: Washington Park, Jackson Park, Kennedy Park, Mill Mountain Park, Eureka Park, Highland Park and Elmwood Park.
Parks and Arts events will provide venues for a wide variety of local and regional artists, dancers, and musicians to showcase their talents. With a focus on community settings, these events will meld the outdoors with the arts, engage residents in art, and promote neighborhoods’ diverse cultural and historic resources.
Through this program the city hopes to strengthen support for neighborhood-based art and culture; attract and retain artists by supporting programs that encourage them to live and work in Roanoke’s neighborhoods; and develop new audiences for arts and cultural groups and individual artists.
In addition, it is hoped that the Parks and Arts Program will address the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) outcome for livability: Strengthening communities through the arts by providing exposure and opportunity to participate in the arts at the neighborhood level, which will lead to greater participation in neighborhood associations through civic engagement.
For a complete event schedule, visit www.roanokeva.gov/parksandarts. For more information about the program, please contact Susan Jennings, the city’s Arts and Culture Coordinator, at 853-5652 or email her at [email protected].