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Since 2021, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has awarded $8.1m to 128 art organisations under the auspices of its Frankenthaler Climate Initiative (FCI), which seeks to support art schools and museums’ efforts to transition to clean energy and operate more ecologically. Beginning on 20 February (until 31 March), it will begin accepting proposals for its latest round of funding, with recipients to be announced this summer.

The initiative, one of the most prominent of its kind in the visual art sector, announced its previous round of grant recipients last August, awarding a total of $3m to 49 organisations across the US. Projects supported in that round of grants included supporting the construction of a thermal envelope of high-efficiency glass at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, installing solar systems at the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York, assisting preservation and conservation projects at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery, and helping the Museum of Modern Art in New York to develop its cold storage vault.

“We decided to do FCI because it filled a key gap—a museum board couldn’t raise money to do the carbon reduction work it wanted to do on its building because there was no financial constituency to back that,” says Fred Iseman, president of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, in a statement. “Yet we saw there was and is a massive social and scientific need to do so.”

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The FCI is a partnership between the Frankenthaler Foundation, clean energy systems non-profit RMI and Environment & Culture Partners, which advocates for climate action in the cultural sector. The initiative is one of a small but vocal group of programmes launched in recent years aimed at reducing the art industry’s deleterious effects on the environment. Other groups advocating for a greener art world include Art to Acres, Galleries Commit, the Gallery Climate Coalition, and the artist-led initiatives Artists Commit and A Cool Million.

Schools, foundations and museums interested in applying for the next round of FCI funding can access more information through the initiative’s website and by attending a webinar on 1 March.

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