BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (December 5, 2013) Birmingham’s “LightRails” art installation at the 18th Street Railroad Viaduct will convert to a special, holiday-themed program today at 4:40 p.m. and last through December. Immediately following the switch, REV Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham announced funding has been secured for future downtown lighting projects, including 14th, 20th and 19th Street underpasses. The remaining lighting projects will each have their own unique identity. Future installations are scheduled to come online in early 2014.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with REV Birmingham and the city to complete the work we started with the 18th Street light-art project,” said Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham President Kate Nielsen. “The Catalyst Fund, which is making this project possible, was set up to fund big ideas that can spark community change. This lighting project certainly fits the bill. Our Community Catalyst Fund donors believe that having these permanent light-art installations in the four major underpasses will build a vital connection between the north and south side of our city center, contributing to its growing vibrancy. The Community Foundation will continue to work with our Catalyst Fund donors to explore other grant making opportunities throughout our five-county area.”
REV Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the city unveiled LightRails: An Artistic Lighting Installation at the 18th Street Railroad Viaduct on Thursday, June 27th, 2013. Funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham’s Community Catalyst Fund, the 18th Street LED installation is a permanent public display intended to activate underused space and encourage pedestrian traffic in a vital connection between two growing areas of downtown Birmingham. The first installation project was led and designed by nationally renowned San Antonio artist and sculptor Bill Fitzgibbons.
“Our strategy for the City Center is to focus on the connections between the great assets we have downtown,” said REV Birmingham President & CEO David Fleming. “These underpasses, which have long been dark and kind of scary for nighttime pedestrians, are being transformed into works of art that now invite pedestrian traffic between the Parkside District and the Theatre, Civil Rights and Financial Districts to the north.”
About the Community Foundation & Community Catalyst Funds: The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is the oldest and largest community foundation in Alabama, created by and for the community as an endowment to drive positive change forever. Community Catalyst Funds are part of the family of grantmaking funds that make up the Community Foundation and were created to build additional resources to transform the Birmingham region. Donors continue to contribute to these pooled funds, which supported the 18th Street Light Rails installation in June. Find out more at www.foundationbirmingham.org.
About REV Birmingham: REV Birmingham (REV) revitalizes places and energizes business to create vibrancy in the City of Birmingham. REV is an economic development organization that stimulates business growth and improves quality of life in Birmingham’s City Center and its Neighborhood Commercial Centers. REV is a private-public partnership that was formed in 2012 by the strategic merger of Operation New Birmingham and Main Street Birmingham. For more information visit www.revbirmingham.org.