» Southeast Greenway Gateways


With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, we’re partnering with the Southeast Neighborhood to strengthen some neighborhood gateways along the Roanoke River Greenway. 

This section of the greenway is already beautiful, historic, and accessible to the neighborhood. For visitors using the greenway, it can be an introduction to Southeast Roanoke. There’s a lot to communicate and celebrate, and through a round of community meetings, we’ve developed goals for community driven and artist-led projects in the area at two primary sites: the 13th Street Bridge at the Bennington Parking Lot and the 9th Street Bridge adjacent to the Roanoke Industrial Center.

OUR GOALS: The selected projects will create a low-maintenance solution that:

  • Creates a welcoming gathering space that discourages graffiti by activating the space and adding color to the concrete under the bridges, encouraging stewardship of the greenway and the site.
  • Engages viewers with the history, character, and future of Southeast Roanoke, from honoring the indigenous people who first used the river and lived on the land to welcoming new residents to the neighborhood and introducing greenway users to Southeast Roanoke. Specific themes that might be drawn upon and communicated in responses:
    • The natural history of the site.
    • The Tutelo / Monacan people who first used the site.
    • The role of the Roanoke River in settlement.
    • The industrial history of the neighborhood including the railroad, the textile industry, and the workers who lived in the neighborhood and worked in the industries.
    • The transition from large family farm plantations.
    • The dynamic and resilient nature of the greenway and the community.
    • The diverse and energetic neighborhood today.
    • The welcoming sense of the neighborhood in attracting current and future residents and investment.
    • The (13th Street) site as the first fully accessible boat launch and riveraccess point in the community.

Additionally, Southeast Roanoke is a very active neighborhood with many residents ready to participate. The selected projects will engage the community in the process of art. Some ways viewers and neighbors might be involved.

  • Creation
  • Appreciation
  • Interaction with art through the senses: sight, sound, touch, etc…
  • Can viewers add to it?
  • Does it inspire the telling of more individual stories?
  • Does it create connections across people?
  • Does it evoke joy, happiness and a sense of belonging?

GET THE CALL: Download the PDF or visit the City of Roanoke Purchasing Page

2 PM 
February 22

Watch the February 1 YEAR OF THE ARTIST session on this call (YouTube).

GET SOME INSPIRATION! Student groups of Julia Sienkiewicz’s public art class at Roanoke College.explored the area’s history and aspects of public art interpretation and celebration and shared them with the community. View poster presentations below:

Published by Douglas Charles Jackson

Roanoke VA based writer and community coach.

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