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Route 66 Rides Again!

City’s Department of Arts & Culture wins National Park Service Award for Route 66 corridor preservation, announces neon history video series.
November 06, 2023

The City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts & Culture was just named a recipient of the National Park Service (NPS) Route 66 Corridor Preservation cost-share grant awards.

According to their website, the NPS program “provides grant assistance for eligible historic preservation, research, oral history, interpretative, and educational projects related to historic Route 66. Since 2001, 175 projects have been awarded $2.72 million with $4.36 million in cost-share match, totaling $7.08 million in public-private investment toward the revitalization and commemoration of the Route 66 corridor.”

The Department of Arts & Culture will use its $30,000 cost-share grant from NPS to produce a six-part public access video series, Albuquerque Neon: The Stories Behind the Signs. Albuquerque is home to a record 18-mile stretch of urban Route 66, with a unique and memorable neon landscape. The video production will approach neon signs as works of art and modern architecture, vital landmarks, and historical artifacts. Themes will include design evolution, sign preservation, creative processes used to make neon, and neon’s impact on Albuquerque art, culture, and commerce—past, present, and future.

Arts & Culture will contract Albuquerque independent producer, Andre Ross, to lead the creation of the series, which will look at the city’s iconic signs, their mystique and roles in economic development, the craft of neon, and what is happening around neon restoration right now in Albuquerque.

Other winners of the Route 66 cost-share grants include the Round Barn in Arcadia, Okla.; an independent researcher doing documentary photography on New Mexico’s Route 66; the Nomad Motel in Seligman, Ariz.; Road Runner’s Retreat Neon Sign Restoration in Chambless, Calif; and Roy's Motel & Café in Amboy, Calif.

Albuquerque Neon will be able to be viewed on a number of free, public platforms online and in person upon its completion in 2025. The video production is part of the City’s larger Albuquerque Route 66 Centennial Celebrations of 2025 and 2026, with Route 66 turning 100 in 2026.

For more information about the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and the 2023 cost-share grant awards, please visit