Contact: Sherri Brueggemann
May 12, 2021
City of Albuquerque to Receive $100,000 Our Town Grant
from the National Endowment for the Arts
ALBUQUERQUE - The City of Albuquerque has been approved for a $100,000 grant to support “Innovation Rail Trail: Revitalization and Creative Placemaking and Placeknowing Along Albuquerque’s Historic Railroad." This is one of 63 grants nationwide that the National Endowment for the Arts has approved in this category to support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes; ultimately laying the groundwork for sustainable systems change.
“As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce this Our Town funding. These awards will support cross-sector partnerships such as the one lead by the City of Albuquerque that demonstrate the power of the arts to help communities create a better future for themselves,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers.
The “Innovation Rail Trail” project will start the transformation of a one-mile commercial area along downtown Albuquerque’s historic railroad line. Through an extensive community engagement creative placemaking and placeknowing process, the project will accomplish two key objectives: (1) Commission local artists through cultural organization partnerships to create works of temporary public art to be installed along the Innovation Rail Trail and (2) Develop a Public Art Plan that envisions permanent public art along the trail and how it will contribute to downtown Albuquerque’s vibrancy based on the experiments and successes of the temporary installations. Beneficiaries are artists, arts organizations, and downtown businesses and residents.

"Albuquerque is at a critical juncture of redevelopment, and we're pursuing projects that boost our economy and enrich the sense of culture that makes our city so special," said Mayor Tim Keller. "I’m grateful that we will be able to offer another place that folks can interact with cutting-edge public art and support local businesses, all while building community."

The project is strategically located at the regional transit crossroads with the new Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus line on Route 66 and neighboring Alvarado Transit Station (with Amtrak, Greyhound, and commuter Rail Runner service). The Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) is responsible for the trail’s physical construction and maintenance, and will work with project partners facilitate the location and installation of temporary artwork. MRA and the Department of Arts & Culture's Public Art Urban Enhancement Division will work together long term to ensure public art along the trail is well placed and maintained.

Project partners for this grant include: Downtown MainStreet Arts and Cultural District, UNM Indigenous Design Planning Institute, the city’s MRA and Department of Innovation and Technology and key stakeholders along the Rail Trail including Fusion Forum and Glorieta Station.

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit
The City of Albuquerque's Public Art Urban Enhancement Program, one of the oldest in the country, began in 1978, with the passage of the Art in Municipal Places Ordinance. This forward thinking initiative set aside 1% of the City of Albuquerque's construction funds derived from the general obligation bond program and certain revenue bonds for the purchase or commission of works of art.
For additional information on all of the public art installations in Albuquerque, visit or For additional information on the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund visit TTY users call 711.