Local Colors was birthed out of a small downtown festival in 1991 that highlighted the cultures of 4 countries—Kenya, Russia, South Korea, and China. Pear Fu, the representative for China, believed that Roanoke should experience this type of festivity every year that demonstrated the value of different internationals cultures represented in the area. Since that small beginning, Local Colors has grown to become the area’s premier multicultural program with thousands in attendance at our signature event.
Local Colors celebrates international diversity and promotes the values of inclusion, equity, and multicultural understanding. Our annual festival in May brings different international cultures together in one place. Residents experience cuisine, performances, and displays from around the world. Children learn about other cultures through the Passport program. We also host events for Lunar New Year and Hispanic Heritage Month. Our services aid cultural sensitivity, serve the international community, and connect people together. New TV programming is on the horizon! Local Colors helps build community by breaking down cultural barriers.
Lisa Spencer came to Local Colors in 2019 with over 25 years of nonprofit experience in human services and community development, with much involvement in homeless services. She arrived in Roanoke from Dallas, TX where she worked for various nonprofit organizations, including Volunteers of America Texas. Prior to Dallas, Lisa was in Rhode Island and managed the Supportive Housing Program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development at Rhode Island Housing in Providence, RI, working with homeless service agencies statewide and serving as the Continuum of Care coordinator. Previous work included the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Boston, MA and other nonprofits involved in the development of affordable housing.
Lisa not only brings extensive experience in grant management, fundraising, nonprofit administration, and program development but also an immense love for exploring food from other cultures. She holds a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Northridge and a Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.