Before I left for vacation, I put together this story about the new River Laker Cultural Center at 16 West. Have you been to any of the new events? (Scroll down to see a full schedule.) Comments welcome.
The name of Roanoke’s newest artistic hub will no doubt raise eyebrows — in delight or, most likely, surprise.
And that’s just fine with developer and retired engineer John Garland, who welcomes the attention for the River Laker Cultural Center.
“I’ve always been attracted to unique people,” said Garland, who has known Laker for more than 10 years.
Laker, president and founder of Silver Seas PR, remains most notorious as the man who stripped down to a strategically placed bicycle helmet and flower bouquet — an act he characterized as a protest — at a raucous 2011 fundraising event held in Roanoke.
Yet it was Laker’s work as an innovative events organizer and promoter for Roanoke City Public Libraries from 2007 to 2012 that inspired Garland to hire him to stage artistic events at 16 West Marketplace, the building Garland owns on Church Avenue that’s become home to art studios, restaurants, a gym, a chiropractor’s office and a coffee shop.
Laker “has the talent that this space needs,” Garland said.
Events at the River Laker Cultural Center in 16 West Marketplace
16 W. Church Ave., Roanoke
All events free.
Show and Tell
6 p.m. July 16 and the third Tuesday of each month thereafter.
A chance for adults to talk about experiences and projects.
Jazz and Blues Night with Marc Baskind Trio
6 p.m. July 23 and fourth Tuesday every month thereafter.
Live jazz and blues with the Marc Baskind Trio.
Roanoke Urban Barn Dance with Old Man Kelly
6 p.m. July 30
PechaKucha Night Roanoke
6 p.m. July 31 and the last Wednesday every other month thereafter.
For more information or to be a presenter, call 632-3305 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TED Talks & Discussion
Every Wednesday, noon to 1 p.m.
Evening screening 6 p.m. Aug. 7 and first Wednesday of each month thereafter.
Music To Draw To …
6 p.m. Aug. 6 and the first Tuesday of every month thereafter.
Live ambient music from DJ HempGnosis for artists and crafters to work by, with occasional dance breaks.
For the Sake of the Children
10 a.m. to noon Saturdays
Activities for children up to age 8.