What happens when arts and culture organizations from different backgrounds come together for one spectacular day? 

You get a magical event like August 24th’s Star City Arts Festival. 

Led by local arts and culture mainstay, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the inaugural community event took place at Roanoke’s Elmwood Park. After holding their first Symphony Under the Stars at Elmwood in 2017, it was clear that this revived venue also revitalized the community’s interest in local festivals and performances. They knew it would be ideal for an arts and culture festival. 

A New Spotlight on Roanoke Arts & Culture

While the Taubman Art Museum’s Annual Sidewalk Art Show brings artists and tourists from far beyond our region, the goal of Star City Arts Festival was to uplift the wider variety arts and culture organizations that call this region their home. That meant bringing visual arts, performing arts, and cultural organizations together for one big celebration.

Upon entering the park, attendees were greeted with a long row of booths from local organizations like the Center in the Square, Taubman Museum of Art, Science Museum of Western Virginia, and more. Attendees enjoyed performances from the Southwest Virginia Ballet and Roanoke Ballet Theatres, Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Children’s Theatre, Grandin Theater,  and the Jefferson Center’s Music Lab. The event finale featured a breathtaking performance by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra accompanied by the Southwest Virginia Ballet. Music in the stylings of R&B, Gospel, Latin, and more filled the air throughout the day.

Why It’s Important

It was important to the organizers and sponsors of the event to avoid charging admission fees so that anyone seeking a day full of arts and culture would be able to attend. 

As a sponsor of this event, we were blown away by the energy put into the event and the enthusiasm of the crowds. With around 5,000 attendees, local organizations had the chance to directly engage with local citizens and future arts advocates. 

While there is no official date set for Star City Arts Festival 2020, everyone involved is very hopeful that the event will return. 

About the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1953, is the largest orchestra in Virginia west of Richmond, and is the oldest continuously operating professional symphony in the state. RSO is dedicated to enriching lives, educating, and entertaining diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral concerts, and enhances traditional performances with innovative programming in a welcoming environment.

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