About us

Welcome to the Rail Arts District Napa!


In June of 2014 members of the Napa Valley Vine Trail's Arts, Culture and Education (ACE) committee began focusing on improving the user experience and engaging the community through art on the existing rail and bike corridor, currently known as the “Cross Town Commuter Path” located in the heart of Napa.   A sub-committee started meeting regularly to discuss potential art applications and coordination with our local public agencies.  The new Napa Valley Wine Train owners learned of our endeavors and approached us as a partner, adding momentum and support to our artistic vision.

Receiving it's inspiration from numerous art districts around the world, this innovative group has formed Napa's first Art District, the Rail Arts District (RAD Napa) under the direction of a Rail Arts District Steering Committee (the RAD Committee) to spearhead the beautification of this vital route.  As RAD Napa unfurls it will establish itself as a source of civic pride, building bridges of connection and understanding through collaborative art in our Napa Valley.

Goals of the Rail Arts District (RAD)

The Goals of RAD Napa are to:

  • Beautify approximately 1.7 miles of the rail and bike corridor through the City of Napa
  • Serve as an example of how similar Arts Districts can be organized and administered throughout the City and the rest of the Napa Valley
  • Provide a focus and critical mass to the efforts of fundraising, volunteer help and community input for this effort.

Boundaries of the RAD

RAD Napa will run approximately 1.7 miles from the Wine Train crossing at Soscol Avenue just south of Vallejo Street to the Wine Train Crossing of Highway 29 just south of Redwood Road.

The RAD Committee

The goals of RAD Napa will be worked on by the RAD Committee.  The size and composition of the RAD Committee are under development.

Guiding Principles of the RAD Committee

The RAD Committee will follow these guiding principles in its operations:

  • The Committee will be open and inclusive. All meetings will be open to the public and additional members representing any constituency interested in the goals of the RAD will be welcomed.
  • All easements or use agreements with adjacent landowners will be voluntary. No coerced use of property will be used.
  • Adjacent private landowners will be encouraged to incorporate art of their choosing on their own property. The RAD Committee will suggest but not mandate these art selections.
  • Maintenance of RAD Napa projects is an integral part of the RAD Committee’s work and a plan for maintenance of RAD projects will be developed as part of each project’s creation.

Responsibilities of the RAD Committee

The initial tasks of the RAD Committee will be to:

  • Develop a Master Plan for the Rail Art District outlining potential sites and types of installations that would be appropriate for those spaces (e.g. murals, pocket parks, sculptures, living walls, landscaping, etc.).
  • Establish a brand, logo, website and social media presence that documents the work of the Committee.
  • Execute one or more of the “Early Win” projects outlined in the next section to create momentum for the district by making it a reality in the next six months.
  • Raise the funds necessary to fund these efforts.

“Early Win” Projects of the RAD

Several projects have already been identified for RAD Napa. It is a major task of the Committee to bring one or more of these projects to completion. The projects include:

  • The Southern Gateway Project. An installation along Soscol Avenue just south of Vallejo Street signifying the Southern Boundary of RAD Napa. This project will be on Wine Train property and funded by the Wine Train and community donors. It will include signage, a gateway element, landscaping and possibly a Vine Trail rest stop.
  • The Napa Quake Mosaic. An installation of a rail boxcar or caboose on Wine Train property at the Napa Street circle decorated with memorabilia from the Napa earthquake of 2014. This project will be funded by the Wine Train and community donors.
  • The Matthews Mattress Company Mural. This mural will be on the southern and western faces of the Mathews Mattress Company Building located at 1551 Soscol Avenue. This mural is on private property and will be funded by the Wine Train.
  • The Napa Autoparts/Napa Register Mural. This mural will be on the western face of the Napa Autoparts/Napa Register building located at 800 Vallejo Street and 1703 Tanen Street. This mural is on private property and will be funded by the Wine Train and the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition.

Maintenance of RAD Projects

Maintenance of RAD Napa will be addressed by the RAD Committee as set forth in the RAD Guiding Principles and Master Plan. Fundraising for RAD projects will include provisions to maintain the projects for their expected useful life. In some instances, maintenance funding will be provided for up front. In other cases, a plan for maintenance and future funding sources will be developed and tracked to make sure that current projects are maintained before new projects are undertaken. 

Funding for RAD Projects

Funding for private installations on private property will generally be raised from private sources. A qualified 501(c)3 will receive the funds and act as fiduciary for their investment in the installation in order to qualify funding as charitable donations.

Mentis has agreed to act as the fiduciary for the Napa Quake Mosaic Project with 10% of the funding retained by Mentis for its administration of the Quake Mosaic project.

The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition has agreed to act as the fiduciary for all the other Early Win projects above with 10% of the funding retained by the Vine Trail for its administration of the projects and subject to Vine Trail Board approval.

Longer term, the RAD Committee will decide its appropriate nonprofit structure.

It is also anticipated that the RAD Committee will apply for available grant funding from the City and County of Napa, including TID funding among other sources.