I am an area artist and crafter. I went to the Roanoke City Market
on a recent Sunday to sell some of my crafts. Being new, I was unaware
of the protocols, but was advised to just set up, and then someone
would come around and collect the table fee.
When the market manger came to collect my fee, she told me that
before anyone could sell on the market, they'd need to apply with the
city, and they'd need a business license. These two criteria are
completely acceptable. What is unacceptable, however, is that, to sell
crafts, a sample or picture of each item would have to be provided to a
review board for approval before it could be sold. And, she said, there
were items here she would not approve.
There is absolutely nothing offensive about my creations. I make
jewelry and crafts out of clam shells. When I asked which item she
specifically wouldn't approve, she pointed to a magnet in which I glued
a couple google eyes and added a tuft of hair on top. She told me that
she didn't know what that was, and didn't "get it," and would never
approve it. (read the rest here)
I, for one, welcome the googly-eyed refrigerator magnet makers of the world. As we pack up the HQ in prep for HQ2.0 - for the first time in a few years, we can see the fridge fully.
This is just another version of the current "class-ification" of Downtown Roanoke. Catering to a limited class of citizens, rather than serving the population as a whole. If the intent is to drive out the very people who are the lifeblood of the city market - then this is going well, I'd say.