Project Outcomes

Breathing Lights supported the local arts community and created opportunities for future art projects.

Breathing Lights strengthened relationships between local arts leaders, promoting regional collaboration on arts initiatives.

11 arts leaders across the three cities consistently worked together during the development and implementation of Breathing Lights, assembling an informal group of arts advocates committed to advancing the role of the arts throughout the Capital Region.

Local artists and creative youth were supported through new grant opportunities developed as a result of Breathing Lights.

11 local artists received funding through the Breathing Lights Arts Awards Competition, an initiative that commissioned a series of projects thematically related to Breathing Lights.

3 media artists helped young residents create short films through the Breathing Lights-supported Youth Media program developed in partnership with Youth FX in Albany, Told By Us Productions in Schenectady and Youth Media Sanctuary in Troy.

The project promoted interest in hosting more public art projects in the future. 

The City of Troy applied for and was awarded a grant from the New York Council on the Arts to create a citywide public art plan as a result of Breathing Lights.

Arts AwardsYouth Media Projects


Arts Leaders


Local Artists


Media Artists


Public Art Potential
“Being a part of a project of this scale was awesome and encouraging to me… Breathing Lights allowed me to become an artist again.” –Art Awardee
Breathing Lights advanced progress on critical civic issues.

Breathing Lights helped leverage or secure new grants and resources to combat blight and vacancy.

$3.9 million in contributions and in-kind support was raised for blight prevention and mitigation efforts, including a grant from the City of Albany to hire a new vacant building coordinator and a $3.4 million grant from the New York State Attorney General for Land Bank efforts in Albany, Troy and Schenectady.

The project bolstered the efforts of Land Banks across Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY.

18% of the 166 Breathing Lights buildings that were consistently lit during the installation have been sold since the start of the project on September 30, 2016.

All three Land Banks saw an increase in interest in buying or renovating buildings because of Breathing Lights, and officials believe that the project helped set a positive image for the properties.

All three Land Banks said that Breathing Lights increased awareness of homeownership resources and elevated the critical role of the Land Bank.

Breathing Lights brought policy makers together to identify and advance effective solutions.

60 regional decision makers attended a policy roundtable conversation, which presented an assessment of existing policies related to blight and identified potential solutions.

68% of roundtable attendees surveyed agreed that Breathing Lights elevated the issue of urban blight throughout the Capital Region.

50% of survey respondents said that Breathing Lights advanced their work to address blight.

Evaluation Report


In Suport


State Grant Funding


Buildings Sold


Policy Makers
“It increased awareness of the issue but I think it also increased awareness of the scale and geographic concentration of the issue… There is real potential and Breathing Lights has opened the door to [that] potential.” –Land Bank Official
Breathing Lights promoted a sense of community, civic leadership and pride.

Breathing Lights stimulated feelings of hope, pride and empowerment in the Capital Region.

67% of survey respondents said that they feel a greater sense of pride because of the attention their neighborhood received.

78% said that it felt good to showcase community assets in such a positive way.

Breathing Lights contributed to the emergence of new community leaders.

12 neighborhood ambassadors were deeply involved in the planning and development of the project, emerging as leaders within their communities.

3 nonprofit organizations in Albany, Schenectady and Troy became focal points of activity through the project, strengthening their influence in the community.

The project promoted a sense of engagement and agency among residents.

64% of residents surveyed said that Breathing Lights stimulated greater community engagement.

Event ArchiveEvaluation Report


Pride Increase


Neighborhood Ambassadors


Non Profits


Engagement Increased
“For me what this project did was not showing that the problem was there, but that we can do something about it… Suddenly to hear mayors talking about it… it is not that we grew awareness, we grew awareness of hope.” –Nonprofit Leader
Breathing Lights encouraged collaboration and the development of new relationships.

Breathing Lights cultivated collaboration across the region.

Breathing Lights was the first art project that brought together officials from all three cities to work collaboratively. Representatives from all three mayor’s offices were in consistent communication and discussed ways to share and streamline resources to combat issues of abandonment across the region.

Breathing Lights deepened relationships between the public and private sectors, as evidenced by the 11 public-private collaboration activated on behalf of the project.

Nonprofit leaders across the three cities developed new partnerships and strengthened existing relationships with the City and other organizations in the area.

Evaluation Report


Public Art Project






“The cities Albany, Schenectady and Troy uniting – that’s always something that people have discussed. But now, through art, they have been able to bring politicians and community members together for a larger conversation. That’s one of the great things about it.” –Artist