New arts tech program to launch at Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces

The current revival initiatives and tactics in Birmingham are simple; restore yet maintain the city’s historic districts.

According to, Sloss Furnaces will soon be the site of a new “world class” arts tech hub!

Sloss Furnaces - Birmingham - National Endowment for the Arts
via Wade Cline

A master plan is in the works after the City of Birmingham received the Our Town grant, of $100,000. The National Endowment for the Arts organization represents the grant, focusing on “creative placemaking projects”.

Our Town Grant

The grants awarded by the NEA are given to those city projects representing a certain criteria.

“Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects that represent the distinct character and quality of their communities.

These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization.

Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking.

These projects are available to arts and design service organizations, and industry, policy, or university organizations that provide technical assistance to those doing place-based work.

National Endowment for the Arts website

Sloss Furnaces - Birmingham - National Endowment for the Arts
via National Endowment for the Arts

The City of Birmingham

Of course, the many forms of revitalization in Southside and Downtown continue to play a major role in revival.

Real estate re-development, local startup and art support, to “keep it local” initiatives, continue to shine a light on Bham.

Sloss Furnaces project

“The plan will address underutilized space and facilities at the Sloss Furnaces site and build workforce capacity in Birmingham through site-specific planning and design and arts and technology workforce development plans.”

– reports

The most anticipated aspect, as cited by the City of Birmingham, is the “Spark Sloss” program; focusing on metal arts, robotics, and industrial design.

Sloss Furnaces - Birmingham - National Endowment for the Arts
via Wade Cline

On Thursday, June 1st, the Chairwoman of the NEA, Jane Chu, announced that 9 other Alabamian organization received a portion of $1 million.

Specifically, $765,000 will be for funding the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Also, over $100,000 was awarded last fall to 6 Alabama organizations.

Clearly they are noticing our local talent and the need to preserve this vital part of our communities!

Wade Cline
Wade Cline

Marketing Producer at Bham Now, Tech Junkie, Foodie, Bham Lover, Movie Snob, Wannabe Quantum Physicist. You can likely find me either at Trim Tab Brewing or O'henry's Coffee in Homewood.

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