2nd Annual Art by Bus Press Conference

RIDE Solutions, the Roanoke Arts Commission, and the Greater Roanoke Transit Company (GRTC) will unveil the art, musicians, and writer for the 2nd annual Art by Bus program, this Thursday at 10 at GRTC’s administrative offices.


Art by Bus Recognized by NADO

A big thank you to NADO (the National Association of Development Organizations) for its recognition of our Art by Bus program.  We received a 2015 Innovation Award for the effort, with which the Regional Commission‘s Executive Director, Wayne Strickland, poses in the photos below.


New Arts Grant Available from the City of Roanoke

We enjoyed working with the City’s Arts Commission on the “In a Tangle” piece and have some other projects in the work.  Interested neighborhood organizations and others may want to look at the grant, below, as a way to get some interesting bike or transit infrastructure along your streets:

Roanoke, VA – The City of Roanoke and the Foundation for RoanokeValley announced today a partnership to offer mini-grants toward implementation of the city’s Arts and Cultural Plan.  Grants between $500 to $2,500 will be awarded to non-profits, , schools and organizations to fund projects that have a clear community benefit, are collaborative in nature, and which advance one or more of the city’s three main arts and cultural policies: “Vibrant Region–Healthy Economy;” “Livable Communities–Engaged Neighborhoods;” and “People–Education–Lifelong Learning.” A total of $12,000 in funding is available.

The city’s first Arts and Cultural Plan was adopted by City Council in August 2011. The plan was developed by the Roanoke Arts Commission and the City’s Planning Department with partner organizations, as well as citizen input drawn from numerous focus groups, public meetings, and a survey. Additionally, analysis of other communities’ best practices in arts and cultural development helped to shape the plan.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Alan Ronk, noted: “When the City approached us to partner on this effort, we jumped at the chance to help double the amount that could be awarded this year.  Our Community Catalyst Funds are intended to make important projects happen, and we look forward to seeing the many creative ideas that flow from the grants process.”

Mayor David Bowers expressed his appreciation to the Foundation by saying “Arts and Culture are an important business in the Roanoke region. The programs which these grants support will add to the vitality and diversity of the city making Roanoke a place where people and businesses want to live, work and visit. We are grateful to Foundation for RoanokeValley for joining us to sustain the arts in the City of Roanoke.”

Grant applications and information can be downloaded at www.roanokeva.gov. For further information, contact Susan Jennings, Arts and Cultural Coordinator, at susan.jennings@roanokeva.gov.  For information about Foundation for Roanoke Valley, visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org.


City reschedules bike rack unveiling in Grandin Village

Roanoke, VA — The City of Roanoke announces the rescheduled unveiling of an artistic bike rack on Friday, July 1, at 10:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Grandin Road. This bike rack is the latest addition to the city’s public art collection, and is co-sponsored by RIDE Solutions, the sustainable transportation service of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in late 2010 for artists to submit designs for a one-of-a-kind bike rack. Twenty-nine artists responded, and a selection panel made up of citizens, a RIDE Solutions representative, a local artist, and bike enthusiasts unanimously chose the work of Popup Design. Principal artists Joshua Howell and Kagan Taylor bring together backgrounds in public art, architecture, and fine woodworking. Their work can be seen in California, Washington state, and China. Taylor says their design “provides a whimsical play on the standard undulating wave rack by turning it into another familiar object.”

Jeremy Holmes, director of RIDE Solutions and a member of the panel, stated, “This project emphasizes the links between the Valley’s growing bicycle culture and the region’s already vital arts and cultural community. Not only does the rack serve as a unique work of public art, but also as an important piece of bike infrastructure by providing safe, secure parking for cyclists. We believe the installation in Grandin Village is particularly appropriate as the Village is a model for sustainable design, and we’re happy to reinforce its reputation as a fun and welcoming destination for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.”

In May 2010, the City of Roanoke announced its designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Roanoke’s Public Art program has supported the city’s commitment to the cycling community by incorporating a number of custom-designed bike racks into its program of work.

City of Roanoke Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings said, “The newly extended greenway through Vic Thomas Park and the bike lanes on Memorial Avenue allow for easy access for bikers to Grandin Village. We needed a space with sidewalks wide enough to accommodate the art and wanted a location with a lot of activity so we could encourage people to use bicycles to do their shopping, eat out, and attend events. Grandin Village offers all of this in a compact area.”

For more information about the bike rack dedication, or about the city’s Public Art program, contact Susan Jennings at 540-853-5652 or Susan.Jennings@roanokeva.gov. For information about cycling as alternative transportation, contact Jeremy Holmes at 540-342-9393, or visit the RIDE Solutions website at http://ridesolutions.org