Meetings » Year of The Artist

We’ve had more than 50 YOTA conversations from January 22 through May of 2023. Now we’re hosting conversations every Tuesday as part of Arts Connect Tuesdays! Check out those sessions here.

We’re preparing together, learning together, and scheming together. Be part of our community arts movement: register for our weekly updates and join in!

REGISTER HERE for the weekly newsletter!

Download our Very Brief Guide to YOTA Conversations
or just start digging around the conversations below.

ARCHIVE: OUR 2023 Trainings (scroll down for 2022 Trainings)

JAN 17 – 2023 Kick-off & Call Overview (online)
Project progress, calls for new projects, and an overview of our winter and spring events! Watch the video here.

JAN 24 – Eureka Park Input Session, 6:30 PM, in person
Join Artist in Residence Robyn Mitchell and the Eureka Park Redevelopment Team of Play Roanoke to hear what the community wants its new center in Eureka Park. How can art help engage residents and shorten the distance between the public and the decisions that affect them? Join us and be part of the exploration. Just show up! No registration needed. Roanoke Academy of Math and Science, 1616 19th Street NW

JAN 31 –  Daisy Art Parade Artmaking Night, 7 PM at Art Rat Studios (VIDEO here)
Join Artist in Residence Brian Counihan for a hands-on introduction to the Daisy Art Parade. Connect with other artists and make art while getting a taste of what’s in store for the community with the Inaugural Daisy Art Parade on April 15! Learn more about the Daisy Art Parade and sign up for the newsletter here. Art Rat Studios, Building 10, Roanoke Industrial Center, Roanoke S.E, Roanoke, VA 24013.

FEB 4* – Building from Our Strengths Facilitation Training, (Saturday, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM)
Take advantage of this free facilitation training with a group of your YOTA colleagues. The session will help you be more confident in managing group processes related to your current projects and prepare you to respond to future community arts opportunities. Mountain View Recreation Center, 714 13th St. SW

FEB 4* – Building from Our Strengths Facilitation Training, (Saturday, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM)
Take advantage of this free facilitation training with a group of your YOTA colleagues. The session will help you be more confident in managing group processes related to your current projects and prepare you to respond to future community arts opportunities.

FEB 7, 6 PM* – The Silver Lining in Grey Skies: Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones. The creative spirit loves to see life through the lens of curiosity, exploration, and the courage to make something new. Learn how to use these natural gifts to accept and move through times of growth and change. Hosted by Kathryn Schnabel.

FEB 15, 6 PM – Dance Español for Artists, (video)
Join Coach Pedro Szalay of an interactive look behind the scenes at Dance Español, a project the artistic director of Southwest Virginia Ballet developed to engage Roanoke 4th graders in exploring the community around them through movement and the Spanish language. Watch the video here.

FEB 21 – Municipal Building Gallery Talk: St. Lo, France, 6 PM
Join Roanoke Valley Sister Cities and our Roanoke self-portrait artists for a conversation about how art builds bridges around the world and in our city. There will be more sessions in subsequent months on the third Monday of each Month. We meet in the lobby of 215 Church Ave. SW. Self-portrait artists: sign up to talk about your work here.

FEB 28* – Local Food, Local Art, watch the video here.
Join YOTA Coach, Katie Trozzo, and Maureen (Mo) McGonagle of LEAP (Local Environmental Agricultural Program), both on the leadership team of the Roanoke Foodshed Network (RFN), to hear about the RFN and the intersections of art and food in our community. This conversation will feature a number of YOTA artists already working in this area and upcoming opportunities for artists to engage in work that supports food systems in Roanoke.

MAR 7 –  Art and the Neighborhood: Activating emerging centersVIDEO
In December, City Council approved the Emerging Neighborhood Centers Vision Report. This spring we’ll stick our toes in the waters of this study and its recommendations. Guided by Artist in Residence Polly Branch and Assistant to the City Manager Wayne Leftwich, we take a look at what’s ahead and how art can play a role in getting things started. Watch the conversation here.

MAR 14* – Finding Agreement: Decision-Making Processes for Greater Success, 6 – 7:30 PM. Learn simple facilitation techniques that ensure all voices are heard and that decisions reflect the needs of those most affected by your work. We’ll explore the what, why, when, and how of participatory decision-making process and will provide an opportunity to practice during the session. YOTA coach and Roanoke Foodshed Network (RFN) leadership team member, Katie Trozzo, will lead this workshop open to both the YOTA and RFN communities. Katie learned participatory decision-making approaches through her graduate work at Virginia Tech and has facilitated processes with groups and networks for the last 10 years. Grandin CoLab, 1327 Grandin Road, SW,

MAR 22 – (Special this week – YOTA Wednesday!) Dance Español at Berglund Center
Following up on YOTA Coach Pedro Szalay’s (DATE TBD) presentation, we’ll join Roanoke fourth graders and their families as they take to the Berglund Center Performing Arts Theatre Stage. Don’t miss this free and powerful celebration of our youth and movement in exploring and bettering the community around us. Get ready by going behind the scenes with YOTA movement coach Pedro Szalay!

MAR 28Your YOTA Project in Review: Reflect on the Work, Recognize the Meaning
The session will present a process for considering the work that has gone into the project and assessing the challenges and accomplishments both personally and professionally. We’ll look at how to find meaning and value where it might be hidden, and how to use these aspects to move forward with our work. Online at 7 PM, No registration needed.

APR 4Make Soul Boxes with Gun Violence Artist in Residence Jane Gabrielle. Check out the new EnVision Center and learn about the national Soul Box project with Jane. She’ll offer two sessions. One at 4 PM and one at 6 PM. No registration required. Come on out to the EnVision Center at 2607 Salem Turnpike, N.W.

APR 15 – DAISY ART PARADE!!!! We’ll see you there!

APR 18Poetry in Place Workshop with Art Matters grantee Amanda J. McGee. Many great poems have been grounded in place. In this workshop, we will review examples of poetic works from around the world and the places that inspired them, then use our own surroundings to prompt new work. Come prepared to learn about poets such as Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Li Bai, and more! Bring an image prompt or use provided images and prompts from the community to write your own verses at the end. Share them if you want! Space is limited. Register here.

APR 22 – Earth Day Movement Workshop at Gainsboro Library. 2 PM with YOTA Movement Coach Pedro Szalay. No registration necessary. Come on out to the library at 15 Patton Avenue NW.

MAY 2 – YOTA TUESDAY (online), 7 PM – What we’ve learned, where we’re headed. Join YOTA Coaches for an interactive conversation on how we’re going to measure and promote our collective work. Watch the video here.

MAY 5 –  Art by Night. Learn more at the Downtown Roanoke Arts Collective.

MAY 9 Behind the scenes with THE ARLINGTON ART TRUCK (online), 7 PM. Join guest Cynthia Connolly online for a look at Arlington’s community art resource. Click here at 7 PM.
Learn more about the Arlington Art Truck here.

MAY 13 – POETRY IN MOTION. LARK ASCENDING Deaf Accessible Ballet, 5 PMMill Mountain Theatre, Trinkle Stage. Get Tickets available for purchase at the Center in the Square Box Office, 540-224-1200 (Tickets for the 5/12 dress rehearsal tickets available for free for the deaf community.)

MAY 16 – *Artists, Makers, Movers & Shakers Business Start-up Roundtable. Join Katherine Devine and other members of our diverse creative community for an informal gathering to learn about resources available in the City of Roanoke to grow your small business. LEAP’s Gathering Space, 6-7:30 PM, 1027 Patterson Ave. Register Here*

MAY 23 – YOTA Greenway Walk and Ice Cream Break, 6:30 PM, Hang Ten, 805 Winona Ave. SW. Fun, casual connection time out of doors with frozen treats!

MAY 27- 3-D Printing Workshop with John WoodrumWilliamson Road Library, 1-3 PM, no registration necessary. 3837 Williamson Road NW Roanoke, Virginia 24012.


WINTER 2022 Sessions

Jan. 25 – YOTA 1: Kickoff – Program Overview

Feb. 1 – YOTA 2: Artists at the Table and in the Community

Feb. 8 – YOTA 3: The Artist as Leader

Feb. 15 – YOTA 4: Partnerships & Collaborations

Feb. 22 – YOTA 5: Building on Assets & Resources

Mar. 1 – YOTA 6: Creativity and Well-being

Mar. 8 – YOTA 7: Artist in Residence Opportunities

Mar. 15 – YOTA 8: Artist in Residence Opportunities 2

Spring 2022 Book Discussion

April 11 – May 9 – Designing Creative Communities (Notes here)


Session 1, June 7 Artist Groundwork from HANDBOOK section one

Session 2, June 14Artist Groundwork from HANDBOOK section one

Session 3, June 21 – Community Groundwork from HANDBOOK section two

SEP 13 – Intro to Coaches & Resources (Video)

SEP 20 – Art Matters Projects (Video) – an introduction to a number of Art Matters grantees and projects

SEP 27 – Project Scoping & Planning (Video) – Getting started on creating community change! We dig into some of the basics of planning your project to advance our community. 

OCT 4 – Building a Budget (Video) – Your #1 planning and management tool. 

OCT 11 – From Artist to Business Owner (In person, video not available)

OCT 18 – Hosting Effective Meetings as Community Artists (Video)

OCT 25 – Expanding Your Work as an Artist & Collaborator (In person, video not available)

NOV 1 – Coaches’ Call 1 – (Video)

NOV 8 – Art as Creative Problem Solving – (Video)

NOV 22 – Meet the Artists in Residence(Video)

NOV 29 – Art to Business: Steps to Opening up Shop in Roanoke* – (In Person, no video)

DEC 6 – Art Matters Q&A(video)

DEC 13 – YOTA Winter Social –  (In person, video not available)

Register here to show your interest, and we’ll make sure to include you as we build our cadre of community artists. The Year of the Artist is funded by the City of Roanoke and the National Endowment for the Arts.