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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Artist at work image


Celebrate Roanoke’s Year of the Artist by proposing a temporary sculpture for our Elmwood Art Walk, the cherished community space at the heart of the city.

The City of Roanoke is seeking at least eight (8) artists or artist teams to exhibit sculpture in the sixth Art in Roanoke (AIR) temporary sculpture exhibition running May 26, 2023 through April 11, 2025.  The “Artist at Work” exhibition will be installed on Roanoke’s Elmwood Art Walk at 98 Bullitt Avenue, SE.


Grab all the information here, or download the PDF directly.

greenway gateway mural

Southeast Greenway Gateway Murals Dedicated!

In late October, I HEART Southeast and Roanoke Artist Jon Murrill hosted an outdoor chili gathering on a beautiful Saturday to dedicate three new murals. See press and images of the mural here.

City Grant Cycle for Arts and Culture Organizations opens December 1

Each year the City of Roanoke supports programming from the arts and cultural sector to benefit the citizens of Roanoke. Grants are available to 501(c)3 organizations who have provided services for at least 3 years. Join the Roanoke Arts and Culture community on December 1 at 9 AM to learn more via Zoom for a how-to-apply workshop. Register and get all the information here.

crowd at dedication in front of WALLS that UNITE sign on brick building


Check out the work of 9 local artists on the Roanoke Co+op wall.  This Art in Place Project celebrates the values that unite across across the neighborhood and city.

Get all the information and read press here!

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This spring we’ll offer trainings, networking opportunities, calls for art, artist grants, grants for art projects, community residencies and more. Together, we’ll prepare for the official July 2022 “YEAR OF THE ARTIST” launch. And over the course of the coming year, we’ll watch how Roanoke’s creative spirit advances community good.

Upcoming events:

OCTOBER 22, 11 AM - SE Roanoke Mural Celebration 

Collective arts & culture marketing kicks off with BUZZ!

The arts help us express our values and build bridges between cultures. A fundamental component of a healthy community, the arts strengthen social, educational, and economic outcomes, especially in difficult social and economic times.

The City of Roanoke granted $30,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Roanoke Cultural Endowment  for a Collective Arts & Cultural Marketing project.

The project will result in collective storytelling tools around collaborative arts and cultural events, strategies, and challenges. “The goal is to benefit the entirety of the arts and cultural community in the City of Roanoke through a recovery and resiliency marketing project,” said Shaleen Powell, Executive Director of the Roanoke Cultural Endowment.


WE ARE ART The Roanoke Self-Portrait Project Poster
image of mural on a brick wall with colorful floating figures


In 2021, the City of Roanoke began a pilot public/private partnership strategy to encourage public facing art on private property.  Dubbed ART IN PLACE, the program requires a 2 to 1 match provided by the property owner and a neighborhood or business association.

Pictured above: Floating, Together (detail) by Josh Nolan at 210 4th St. SW. To date, three projects have received approval from the Roanoke Arts Commission: Learn more here.

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Reimagining Roanoke Sculpture Exhibition

Head on out to the Elmwood Artwalk, the campus of Hollins University, and the Roanoke River Greenway to see new sculpture reflecting our city. Read about the artists and their work here.



Visit and subscribe to the Roanoke Arts Blog for frequent updates on projects, resources and opportunities.

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.