The New York–based philanthropic arts organization established by celebrated American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler announced today that it has awarded $3 million in grant funding to 49 visual arts institutions, including both museums and schools, for clean energy schemes, carbon footprint-minimizing building upgrades, climate resiliency projects, and other similar sustainable undertakings.
The grant funding comes as part of the second phase of the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative (FCI), the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s multiyear, multimillion dollar grant-making program “dedicated to advancing sustainability and reducing climate impact in the cultural arena.” The program was developed by the foundation in partnership with Colorado-headquartered nonprofit RMI and Environment & Culture Partners.
Established last year, the FCI is the largest program of its kind and has conferred just north of $8 million to date. The pool for potential grantees was expanded this year to include non-collecting visual arts organizations and art schools.
“The first round of FCI’s funding helped museums actualize climate neutrality commitments, prepare for and respond to climate-driven disasters, and create avenues to achieve long-term operational sustainability, among other key goals. This second phase expands our reach and impact by advancing current projects in development and providing a new roster of visual art institutions with the support needed to meet their climate goals,” said Lise Motherwell, chair of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, in a statement.
This round of awarded projects was divided between scoping and technical assistance grants, which, as the foundation pointed out “help institutions assess opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint and energy costs of their facilities and support the specification and budgeting for procurement and financing, and implementation grants, which provide partial and seed funding for fully specified projects.” Recipient institutions must track and report their respective energy and greenhouse gas reductions via the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to “measure project outcomes over time” explained the foundation, which will work with all grantees moving forward so that they can share best practices and insights.
The 49 visual arts institutions awarded during this second round of grant funding spans 19 states from Ohio (the Cleveland Museum of Art) to Washington (Tacoma Art Museum) to Delaware (the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library) to Kentucky (Speed Art Museum) and beyond. Heavyweights such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. are all listed as recipients alongside smaller, specialized institutions like the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Indianapolis’s Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
As detailed in a press release, the awarded grant funding will be used by its recipients in a variety of ways. At Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley, the funding will be to help implement a range of sustainability measures, including the installation of photovoltaic panels; in Marfa, Texas, Judd Foundation will receive a helping hand in reaching its net-zero facility goals; and Philadelphia Contemporary will use its share toward the realization of a sustainable, floating gallery-barge on the Delaware River waterfront.
The full list of 2022 FCI grantees can be viewed here. The application process for the next grant-making cycle is slated to open in February of next year.