The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative (FCI) is widening the eligibility criteria for its grant program, which has distributed over $10 million to nonprofit arts institutions for clean energy projects since its inception in 2021. Groups orchestrating events and exhibitions such as biennials and public art installations, as well as smaller-scale sustainability projects, can now apply starting February 8.
Overseen by the Frankenthaler Foundation and nonprofits Rocky Mountain Institute and Environment & Culture Partners, FCI has funded energy efficiency initiatives at over 150 visual arts nonprofits ranging from archives to community-centered cultural organizations to museums and institutions such as Manhattan’s Morgan Library.
Traditionally, not-for-profit events were excluded from the program, as were smaller climate initiatives. Now, the new $15,000 “Catalyst” grants will fund projects that can be completed within six months.
The other FCI grants are delineated by stage of development. “Scoping” funds provide up to $25,000 to help organizations identify how they can become energy efficient; “Technical Assistance” prizes give groups up to $50,000 to develop detailed plans; and “Implementation” awards — ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 — provide money to bring clean energy plans to fruition.
Last year’s FCI cycle distributed $2.7 million to 48 arts organizations. In Brooklyn, the Pratt Institute received an Implementation grant that will help the university upgrade its centralized steam heating system to include high-efficiency boilers. Upstate, the artist-run gallery and residency program Wassaic Project received a Scoping award. The organization’s Co-Executive Director Eve Biddle told Hyperallergic that the funding allowed her small institution to create a “roadmap” outlining how it could achieve its carbon neutrality goal. The process involved audits of the Wassaic Project’s heating and cooling systems, windows, and insulation, and resulted in a recommendation to install geothermal systems wherever possible.
“It is radical and visionary to recognize that cultural institutions are ready and willing to forge a truly sustainable path for the planet,” Biddle said.