Black Experiences Grant Program Part of Road Ahead’s Centennial Celebration

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
Black Experiences Grant Program

Route 66, USA – Historic Route 66 turns 100 years old in 2026, and the party has already started! The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is helping celebrate the Mother Road’s birthday with the Route 66 Black Experiences Grant Program. The grant program is one of a series of “birthday gifts” to be given to Route 66 in the years leading up to the road’s Centennial.

The Road Ahead was awarded $250,000 by American Express to provide direct grants to help Black owned and/or operated businesses and attractions along Route 66. The funds will also support research and programs that interpret and tell the stories of Black experiences associated with Route 66. The Route 66 Black Experiences Grant Program is part of the Road Ahead’s 100th Anniversary of Route 66 celebration.

Through the Centennial, the Road Ahead aims to help the millions of people who live, work, and travel along Route 66 with projects focused on preservation, promotion, research/education, and the economic development of Route 66.

Applications for The Black Experiences Grant Program are being accepted through Sunday, July 14, 2024, and are available at:

The first two rounds of the Road Ahead’s Black Experiences Grant Program were held in 2022 and 2023. In addition to this round of 2024 grants, the program will also be administered in 2025 and 2026. A total of $50,000 [10 awards of up to $,5000 each] is being awarded each year through the Route 66 Black Experiences Grant Program.

Established in 2016, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments Fund, The
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and
international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, and
economic development.

Bill Thomas, Chairman
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership
(217) 648-5077

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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway