Roanoke Finding Unique Ways to Revitalize the Arts - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke Finding Unique Ways to Revitalize the Arts

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Change is becoming more normal by the day for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

A new space downtown combined with new classes and performances are all helping raise the symphony's visibility.

But executive director Beth Pline said change came out of necessity.

"Absolutely nothing is the same as it was five years ago," she said.

The recession forced organizations like the symphony to re-evaluate how they do business and how to draw customers who are on a tight budget.

"Lean, not necessarily mean, but certainly creative," Pline said.

That creativity helped spawn the art community's latest project, Parks and Arts.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant, the city of Roanoke is working with local organizations and artists to bring all types of art to seven different parks in the Star City.

This weekend, Parks and Arts will be in Jackson Park.

"We think strength is going to lie in collaborative projects like this," said Roanoke City Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings. "They will hopefully do some things that will get folks in the community to want to come to their facilities."

Parks and Arts will run on Saturdays throughout the summer.

Jennings says she hopes it proves to be just the first step.

"It's not going to be the solution," she said. "It's going to be part of the whole gambit of things the city is looking at right now."

The revitalization is something Pline said the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra is excited to be part of.

"I believe the arts are building into something that's going to be very tangible."