June 24, 2015

Breathing Lights Selected to Recieve $1 Million Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies!

The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy is thrilled to announce that Breathing Lights, the regional submission by the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, has been selected as one of four areas from across the United States to receive a grant of up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge.

Click here to learn all about Breathing Lights! Video generously produced by WMHT.

Breathing Lights will illuminate up to 300 vacant homes in Albany, Schenectady and Troy nightly over two months in fall 2016. Working with lead artist Adam Frelin, lead architect Barbara Nelson, AIA, and more than 25 community and private sector partners, including the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, this installation aims to regenerate interest in once-vibrant neighborhoods that currently have high vacancy rates. Breathing Lights will culminate in a regional summit on vacant homes and neighborhood revitalization that will engage local residents, prospective buyers and investors, and policy makers.  The Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge is the largest national public art grant opportunity ever offered. In November 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States. Other winning cities are Gary, IN, Spartanburg, SC, and Los Angeles, CA. Full information on all projects can be found at

Breathing Lights was developed as a regional submission and jointly submitted by the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy. The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy served as convener and facilitator for the Public Art Challenge process. Learn more! Visit to learn all about the project, the people behind the lights, and how it’s all going to happen.

Celebrate With Us! Show Bloomberg Philanthropies how happy you are that Breathing Lights was selected as a Public Art Challenge winner by sharing your enthusiasm online!

Sample Twitter Posts:

  • With @BloombergDotOrg’s support, Alb-Schen-Troy is illuminating up to 300 vacant bldgs: #PublicArt
  • With @BloombergDotOrg’s support, Alb-Schen-Troy is shining a new light on community revitalization: #PublicArt

Sample Facebook/Instagram Post:

Our region has been awarded a $1 million grant from @Bloomberg Philanthropies for an incredible public art project! Lead artist Adam Frelin, lead architect Barbara Nelson, the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and more than 25 nonprofit and private-sector partners will illuminate up to 300 vacant homes to shine a light on the need for community development.  Learn more about our project and the #PublicArt Challenge:

The Capital Region Creative Economy Initiative is a community-based collaborative activity to assess the region’s creative assets and define actions to leverage related opportunities, implementation infrastructure and strategies.

The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy is led by Center for Economic Growth and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. For more information on the Creative Economy Initiative, please visit



Center for Economic Growth | 39 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12207| Tel: 518.465.8975

Funding Partners

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the premier economic development organization in New York’s Tech Valley and serves as the Capital Region’s designated Regional Technology Development Center.

With over 300 C-level members in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors, CEG’s vision is to lead Tech Valley as one of the most prosperous and innovative ecosystems in the world. Together with its partners, the organization works to build a skilled and sustainable Workforce and Education pipeline; cultivate a strong Entrepreneurial ecosystem; and ensure a modern Infrastructure to grow local companies, attract new investment and prepare our communities for growth.

In addition, in its role as the Regional Technology Development Center designated by ESD, NYSTAR as part of the NY Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the federal NIST/Manufacturing Extension Partnership, CEG assists local manufacturing and technology companies with generating new sales, creating stronger operational infrastructure and overcoming barriers to growth and innovation.

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