2023 Art by Bus Application Period Now Open!

After a pandemic hiatus, Ride Solutions, the City of Roanoke Arts Commission, and the Greater Roanoke Transit Authority are once again partnering to present a unique suite of public art projects celebrating the role of transit and artists in our community.

Project Elements:
• ART BY BUS: Up to four Valley Metro buses will display artworks selected from Roanoke’s Year of the Artist during the month of September.
• MUSIC ON THE BUS: Performing artists will present works on select routes during September.
• WRITER BY BUS: Finally, during spring 2023, a writer (or writers) will be provided a bus pass and paid an honorarium of $1,000 to create a unique work of literature while riding different bus routes. The work may be any genre including short stories, poetry, essays, plays, etc. and may also be multimedia and include art, music or photography. Writers are encouraged to consider the project in terms of the Year of the Artist goals of wellness, justice and inclusion. The work will be printed and published on websites in September.

WRITER BY BUS Project Goals:
• Draw attention to the important role public transportation plays in connecting our neighborhoods and communities,
• Reflect on the role of transit in creating a just, healthy, and welcoming community that works for all residents,
• Encourage transit ridership and celebrate riders,
• Share the work of artists and the arts in making Roanoke a better place, and
• Encourage riders, residents, and Roanoke visitors to explore and participate in the community around them.

Application Process
Individual writers or writer groups may submit an application by submitting an entry form, a writing sample, a résumé and references. A panel made up of representatives from the sponsoring organizations, community members and writers will review the applications and select the writer(s).
The panel seeks original family-friendly content that creatively and constructively celebrates our community and its potential. Writers of color are encouraged to apply.

To apply click here.

February 28, 2023, midnight:            Applications due
March 18, 2023                                   Selected writer notified
April 1, 2023                                        Project onset
June 30. 2023                                     Deliverables finalized and submitted by author
September 2023                                 Transit Month celebrations and public reading

Putting Art on the Bus, and Bringing it to our Community

Check out the Visual Arts, Music, and Literature sections of the Art by Bus pages to learn more about each part of the program.  And be sure to follow our Writer by Bus on Facebook to participate in creative writing programs, collaborative writing projects, and more.

Why Art by Bus?

Public transportation is one of the few features of our region that touches every part of a community.  Buses travel through every neighborhood; get people from home, to work, to the doctor, to the grocery store; they serve every age, every race, ever income level.  A bus trip will take you through parts of your community you may have never seen before, and introduce you to people you never would have the opportunity to meet.

By putting art on the buses, we want to remind people that taking public transportation is making a choice about how you spend your time.  You can fight with traffic, or you can close your eyes and listen to music.  You can spend money on gas, or you can pay your fare and enjoy a book.  Public transportation is an opportunity to have experiences, not just an alternative way to commute.

Plus, it’s a way to bring art into all of our neighborhoods, for people who may not otherwise have a chance to experience all the culture the region has to offer.