We’re three chapters into Roanoke’s lively discussion of Dar Williams’ What I Found in a Thousand Towns. Here’s the update on the weekly series:
- Forty people gathered on the Sweet Donkey patio with owners Dustin Eshelman and Ann-Maree White and host Brent Stevens. The topic: how a business can help build community, how the community can help shape a business. Music by Chloé Hart.
- Twenty people met at The Green Goat with Wasena Neighborhood Forum President James Settle to discuss the role of the river in the revitalization of Wasena’s commercial district. The greenway pulls together the diversity of our place, introducing neighborhoods to the community and to each other. Its rediscovery sparks reinvestment. Music by Bob Casey.
- Thirty-two people attended the outdoor identity discussion at Starr Hill Pilot Brewery and Side Stage. In the picture at the right are: Roanoke Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings, organizer Doug Jackson, Starr Hill’s Allie Hochman, Roanoke Outside Director Pete Eshelman of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Roanoke civic leader Rupert Cutler. Roanoke’s emerging outdoor identity is a strategic economic development effort that starts with improving the community for those who live here. It increases engagement and pride. Our much stronger and growing identity is communicated widely by the community and organically through public and private conservation, recreation, cultural and arts initiatives.
- Seven BOOK CITY residents have attended all three sessions to date.
- More than fifty copies of What I Found in a Thousand Towns have been sold at local book stores. Purchase your book and claim your tickets so that you have a spot on December 11. Contact Doug at bookcityroanoke.com with questions.
- Finding Roanoke Sponsor Book No Further is now open, and proprietor Doloris Vest is selling copies of the book, complete with dinner ticket.
- Beth Macy‘s Truevine is now out in paperback. Our host for the Dar Williams conversation will be available to sign your copy that evening. She’s also reading at 2 PM on Saturday Oct. 28 at the grand opening of Book No Further at 16 West Marketplace.
- As we read the book, chapter notes are added to the Finding Roanoke landing page.
- Read the Roanoke Times Opinion piece.
- Listen for Finding Roanoke on The Mountain’s Community Conversations (101.5 FM).
- Read Dar’s interview with Richard Florida in Citylab.
- Watch Dar on CNBC.
- The rest of the schedule looks like this:
- OCT 30: History at Center in the Square, featuring Historical Society of Western Virginia, Charlene Graves, Harrison Museum of African American Culture, Southwest Virginia LGBQT+ History Project.
- NOV 6: Art and Culture at Aurora Studio Center featuring Beth Deel, developer and Roanoke Councilmember John Garland, Soul Sessions’ Bryan Hancock, and Roanoke Arts Commissioner Scott Crawford.
- NOV 13: Local Food at The Kitchen-hosted by LEAP Executive Directory Maureen Best with local food entrepreneurs Susana Thornton of Thornfield Farm, Anna Willis of Bramble Hollow Farm, and writer and local food writer Christina Nifong.
- NOV 21: Partnerships at the CoLab featuring Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea, Sr., Councilmember David B. Trinkle, Carilion Vice President of Planning and Community Development Shirley B. Holland, and conversation host Scott Tate of Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development.
- DEC 4: Conscious Bridgers at the RSO Green Room, featuring Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Executive Director David Crane, Carilion Chief Development Officer Kay Strickland (Dr. Robert L. A. Keeley Healing Arts Program), and Director of Roanoke Libraries and Star City Reads lead Sheila Umberger.
- DEC 11: Dar Williams with Beth Macy. The capstone dinner featuring local foods, and a conversation with Dar Williams and Beth Macy. Tickets available with a local purchase of the book
The book is a launching point of a conversation of ‘positive proximity’ at work in Roanoke. At each session we have a mix of people who are reading the book and those who are not. Join us! We gather beginning at 6:30 and the conversation starts at 7 PM.
Finding Roanoke is presented by BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke in collaboration with the Roanoke Arts Commission and CityWorks (X)po and is sponsored by Book No Further.