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Russian flag removed from downtown Roanoke display following sister city vote; more …

Southwest Virginia artists invited to apply for new fellowship. Six projects selected for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. 4 Virginia sites awarded brownfields grants.

Russian flag removed from downtown Roanoke display following sister city vote

The Russian flag that has flown for years in downtown Roanoke as part of a sister cities display has been taken down and replaced with a U.S. flag.

The Roanoke City Council last week voted to pause the city’s relationship with Pskov, Russia, because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The two localities have been sister cities since 1992.

The city council and Roanoke Valley Sister Cities Inc. had stood by the relationship in the early days of the war in Ukraine, even as Gov. Glenn Youngkin told Roanoke and Norfolk to end their Russian sister city arrangements.

According to the organization, Roanoke Valley Sister Cities’ position began to shift when some members of its board of directors met with members of Roanoke’s Ukrainian community on Jan. 10 and heard from them about Russia’s assault against the people of Ukraine, including Pskov’s role in the war.

A sculpture representing Pskov will remain in place in Century Plaza alongside those for Roanoke’s six other sister cities, accompanied by a letter explaining the relationship pause.

Southwest Virginia artists invited to apply for new fellowship

Southwest Virginia artists working in traditional or folk arts and culture are invited to apply for a Tradition Bearers Fellowship, a new program funded through a $75,000 grant from Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT), an initiative of Mid Atlantic Arts.

A fellowship consists of a $4,000 award and a variety of professional development opportunities. Fellows will have access to support services such as website development and professional headshots, and will be connected to local resources. Applications are being accepted on the Birthplace of Country Music website through April 14. 

Area nonprofits also can apply for a Cultural Caretaker Grant, a one-time $5,000 award designed for small-scale, limited-capacity and largely volunteer-run organizations that have difficulty accessing typical sources of public and private funding. 

Both funding opportunities are limited to individuals or organizations located in one of 22 Appalachian counties or cities:

  • In Virginia: the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton.
  • In Tennessee: the counties of Sullivan, Washington, Carter, Johnson, Hawkins and Unicoi.

In 2021, Bristol was identified as the CALT anchor community for Virginia, and in 2022 Mid Atlantic Arts worked with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum to invite 13 independent artists and representatives from cultural organizations to design a $75,000 investment to support folk arts and culture in the region. The team designed the one-year grant program, which will redistribute the majority of the $75,000 directly to artists and under-resourced community organizations.

For more information visit BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org/museum/special-projects/ or email BristolAnchorCommunity@gmail.com.

Six projects selected for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants

Outdoor recreation projects in Marion and Henry County are among six in Virginia selected for grants through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program.

The projects for 2022, representing a variety of proposals throughout the state, were selected from 18 applications received during an open application process, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which worked with the National Park Service to award the grants.

The selected projects:

  • Callan Drive Recreation Park development, town of Marion, $1.7 million
  • Dick & Willie Passage Trail phase 6 development, Henry County, $641,750
  • Gordonsville Park development, town of Gordonsville, $1.6 million
  • Lakeview Park development, Colonial Heights, $251,675
  • Moores Creek acquisition, Charlottesville, $175,000
  • Neabsco Regional Park boardwalk development, Prince William County, $750,000

For more information about the grant program, visit dcr.virginia.gov/recreational-planning/grants

4 Virginia sites awarded brownfields grants

Four areas across the state will receive site remediation grants from the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund, the governor’s office announced.

The fund provides grants and loans to local governments to restore and redevelop brownfield sites affected by hazardous materials, pollution or contaminants. It’s administered by the Virginia Resources Authority and is a partnership between the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Department of Environmental Quality.

The grants will cover efforts that include remediation of a contaminated property to remove hazardous substances and wastes, demolition and removal of existing structures, and other site work necessary to make a site usable for new economic development.

This round of grants:

  • $280,750 to the Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission for the ANTDC Railyard.
  • $232,002 to Chase City for Chase City Colgate Square.
  • $150,000 to Gloucester County for the Gloucester Vault on Main.
  • $341,586 to Highland County for the Highland Inn.

Source : Cardinal News