New space for artists to create opens in Downtown Roanoke

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 9:51 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - When you walk into Verses, the goal is for you to feel welcome, and for artists to have a space to create. It’s something that didn’t exist in the Star City, which is why Toya Jones brought the idea to life.

“Roanoke is full of creatives, young professionals, poets, really a lot of poets, and we have open mike night on Wednesdays for poetry, so the poetry scene is actually pretty large here in Roanoke,” said Jones, who is a writer and entrepreneur.

She owns a successful food truck that was recently rebranded as The Avocado and Morning Brew Coffee Company, located on the first floor of the Taubman Museum of Art. Jones opened Verses on Kirk Avenue to combine her interests. So far the concept has been well received.

“We kind of think of it as an outlet in so many ways, which is also a way to promote wellness,” said Jones.

From paint nights to yoga or just a spot to write and drink tea, Verses is not just one thing. The timing of its opening, though, had a lot to do with how one thing has collectively changed just about everyone.

“The pandemic has caused something that we all experienced that we weren’t ready for it, and even when we held virtual poetry sessions, that people were happy, excited to do that. People have been inspired the last two years of the pandemic,” said Jones.

Jones hopes to see that inspiration take off as her new shop finds its identity, and that when folks walk out her doors, they feel encouraged.

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