On Monday, Jan. 14, city officials invite residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in the city’s Melrose-Orange Target Area (MOTA) to attend a public meeting to provide feedback on a public art installation at the new Melrose Branch Library. The meeting will take place at the Goodwill Campus on Melrose Avenue at 6 p.m.
Originally planned for December 2018, the focus of this meeting is to introduce Napolean Jones-Henderson, the artist who was selected to design and construct public art sculptures for the new Melrose Branch Library, which is anticipated to open this spring. Jones-Henderson is a renowned artist with the Research Institute of African and African Diaspora Arts, Inc. Traveling from Roxbury, Mass., he wants to involve MOTA community members in the creative process by gathering feedback and ideas to get a sense of life and history of Roanoke. Susan Jennings, the city's Arts and Culture Coordinator, will be present to facilitate this portion of the meeting. While he is in Roanoke, Jones-Henderson will be holding workshops at both Hurt Park Elementary School and William Fleming High School as well.
The city receives approximately $2 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds from HUD each year, and at least 51 percent of these funds have been allocated to community-based projects in MOTA annually since 2015. These funds are used to help community members with low- to moderate-income levels, eliminate slums and blighting influences, and address urgent community needs, to establish more attractive, safer, and economically thriving neighborhoods. So far, HUD-funded projects in MOTA helped build or rehabilitate 26 homes for new homeowners, provided limited or major rehabilitation to 57 owner-occupied homes, helped open the FASWVA Community Solutions Center, in addition to many other projects.
MOTA public meetings are convened monthly to discuss a wide range of infrastructure projects in the MOTA neighborhoods. For further information about the meeting or MOTA projects, please contact Keith Holland, the city’s Community Resources Administrator, at 540-853-6404 or [email protected] . For more information about the public art project, please contact Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator, at 540-853-5652 or [email protected].