• NEA Grant Supports New Signage Connecting Albuquerque International District to Historic Route 66

    May 20, 2024

    The National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded 75,000 dollars to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the City of Albuquerque, and local art nonprofit Friends of the Orphan Signs to bring local artists and community members together to co-create a new illuminated gateway sign along Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The new sign, when completed, will help connect the city’s International District—which today is the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the city— to the Mother Road.

    The spark of inspiration for this project came from artist Sammy Yuen, who traveled through New Mexico in the Summer of 2023—funded in part by the National Trust’s Route 66 initiative—where he drew a series of images documenting the Asian American experience along Route 66. While most of his pieces were of existing places, one was an imagined neon sign that would bring light to a previously unlit portion of the of corridor, and better connect International District businesses to the vital tourism corridor.

    The funds awarded to the National Trust and its partners will support a community-driven process to co-create the design for a new gateway sign. This project will build on existing city and community-led initiatives to expand public art to honor the identity of the International District by supporting community-led creation and vision for the sign in Phase 1 of the sign. The project team will leverage the investment in this design phase to fundraise for sign fabrication and installation. When complete, this sign will provide the opportunity for increased visitation and foot traffic as the Mother Road celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2026.

  • Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant to Support Women Across the Mother Road

    September 14, 2023

    A sign on the side of the road indicated that the roadway is the historic Route 66 and reads "Arizona US 66"

    photo by: David Kafer

    Route 66 sign near Williams, Arizona

    The history of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership along America’s “Mother Road” is strong, and the Road Ahead Partnership is committed to supporting the women business owners/operators who help Route 66 thrive.

    Launched on August 26, Women’s Equality Day, the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program provides very flexible, small grants to fund critical projects for women-owned or operated businesses and attractions along Route 66.

    Grants of up to $2,000 (no match required) will be available for wholly or majority women-owned businesses, organizations, and attractions along the Route 66 corridor. The funds are extremely flexible and can be used for a wide range of business needs—from equipment purchase to building repairs, marketing materials and signage, to hiring consultants and hosting community events.

    The Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program is part of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership's plan to celebrate the upcoming Route 66 Centennial by helping the millions of people who live, work, and travel along Route 66 through projects that focus on promotion, preservation, research/education, and the economic development of Route 66.

    The deadline for applications in this current round of grants is October 23, 2023. Two additional rounds of Extraordinary Women Micro-Grants are planned for Spring 2024 (to coincide with Women’s History Month in March) and the Fall of 2024.

    Partial support for all three upcoming grant rounds has been provided by the National Trust’s Preserve Route 66 initiative.

  • Celebrate the U.S. by Supporting National Historic Trail Designation for Route 66

    July 4, 2023

    Route 66 in Oatman, Arizona.

    photo by: David Kafer

    Historic Route 66 near Oatman, Arizona

    Happy 4th of July! As we celebrate the United States today, we hope you’ll take a moment to advocate for the country’s most iconic road, Route 66.

    From neon signs and vintage diners to quirky landmarks and classic cars on an open stretch of highway, Route 66 is an enduring piece of Americana that continues to define the nation’s identity.

    In 2026, the “Mother Road” will celebrate its centennial anniversary, and what would be a better birthday gift than official designation as a National Historic Trail?

    This designation would help spur critical preservation efforts in the hundreds of communities that call it home, and most importantly, it will help preserve Route 66 as a vital, iconic, and evolving piece of Americana for generations to come.

    Urge your Congressional representative to support the bill designating the Route 66 National Historic Trail (H.R. 4338) and help ensure House passage this year.

  • Preserve Route 66 Initiative Awards $350,000 in National Trust Grants

    June 26, 2023

    The National Trust’s Preserve Route 66 Initiative awarded $350,000 in FY23 for a range of Route 66 projects to support Native American, Women, Latine, Asian American, and other hidden legacies of the Mother Road. Funded projects, which are being carried out in partnership with other National Trust programs such as our Where Women Made History and America's Chinatowns initiatives, include:

    • $158,000 for the stabilization of the Osterman Filling Station, a 1929 gas station in Peach Springs, Arizona owned by the Hualapai Tribe that was included in the 2023 list of 11 Most Endangered Places. While the Hualapai had secured $210,000 from the state of Arizona and other sources, the National Trust’s grant will ensure that the Tribe has sufficient funds to complete critical roof and wall repairs this summer, as in its current condition it is doubtful the historic building would survive another windy winter.
    • $60,000 for the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership to support their Extraordinary Women microgrant program. These microgrants provide help to small, local women-owned businesses, many of which were hit very hard by the pandemic. In addition to providing regrant funding to help support these businesses, the National Trust is helping build the Road Ahead’s capacity for grantmaking, and is investing an additional $12,000 in National Trust interns and business data to inform legacy business research for this important effort.
    • $50,000 to Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC) to support three Preserve Route 66 Fellows who will complete outreach and research to identify Latine Route 66 sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Their work will be coordinated with LHC’s Abuelas Project, resulting in StoryMaps for each state and a video presentation at the 2024 LHC Congreso in Miami.
    • $45,000 to Cinefemme for the development of curriculum materials built around the 3-part Route 66 Women documentary which aired on PBS and is available to stream for free on Tubi. Curriculum materials will be geared for classrooms as well as Girl Scout troops, and curriculum materials in both Spanish and Navajo will be available.
    • $25,000 to artist-activist Sammy Yuen for creation of the Chinatowns/Asian Americana on Route 66 Postcard series. Sammy has toured Route 66, meeting up with Route 66 leaders recommended by the Trust, and is planning for an exhibit of his work in addition to the creation of Route 66 Asian Americana postcards for sale. The goal of this project is to raise awareness of Asian Americana sites along Route 66 and to consider ways to better connect them to the Mother Road.

    While we already have a number of suggestions for FY24 Route 66 grants, we are always looking for more good projects to support. Please share your grant ideas with Amy Webb at awebb@savingplaces.org. We also anticipate an open round of Route 66 grants in FY24.

  • Travel Route 66 Virtually

    August 31, 2018

    Route 66 in Oatman, Arizona.

    photo by: David Kafer

    Experience Route 66 up close and personal from the comfort of your home with this virtual tour! Together with our partners at Google Arts and Culture and Google Voyager, we are offering an up-close-and-personal look at 10 historic sites along The Mother Road.

    To access your Google Voyager Tour, you must open this link through the Google Chrome browser and be signed into your Google account. If you are using a different browser, you may instead download the Google Voyager application to your smartphone or tablet. (Non-Google Earth option: Check out similar stops in our Route 66 Google Arts and Culture exhibit.)

    Enjoy your travels!

    Join the National Trust in supporting a National Historic Trail designation for Route 66. Together, we can help revitalize it as an iconic and evolving piece of Americana for generations to come.

All 5 updates

The Mother Road turns 100 years old in 2026—share your Route 66 story to celebrate the Centennial. Together, we’ll tell the full American story of Route 66!

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