Blacksburg looks to attract, support artists with new initiative

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - The town of Blacksburg wants to be the go-to spot, not just for the technology community, but the creative community as well.

Leaders said a new initiative is a means toward communication, which they believe is the most important step in the process.

The program is called Coffee House Talks. It is a series of four gatherings with local artists and government leaders, business owners and Virginia Tech representatives to find out what the town can do to keep artists there and help them earn a good living.

Many artists at the first meeting said they need help marketing themselves and spreading the word about all the art opportunities that already exist in Blacksburg.

Organizers are considering this program an investment not only in the art community, but in the entire local economy.

"We talk about quality of life all the time, and this is truly quality of life," said Blacksburg Partnership director Diane Akers. "When companies are recruiting employees, they look at the job, but they also look at what else you have. Arts and culture are really important in that."

The first meeting happened in December. The next ones are scheduled for January 19, February 9 and February 23. All meetings are open and held at the Alexander Black House from 5:30-7 p.m.