Artpace San Antonio Receives $100,000 Award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative

Artpace San Antonio Receives $100,000 Award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative

Artpace San Antonio is delighted to announce that it has received a $100,000 grant award through the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, a grant-making program established by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in collaboration with Environment & Culture Partners and RMI to catalyze climate action in the visual arts. 

The provided funds will be used to install solar panels on the renovated rooftop of the Artpace building. The installation of solar panels is part of a more extensive rooftop renovation that will create an event space for a greatly expanded schedule of contemporary arts programming and additional venue for building rentals.  While the rooftop renovation and structure will provide weather protection and shade for a significant portion of the rooftop, feature state-of-the-art design, and bring a modern architectural element to the building, it is also an opportunity for Artpace to add energy efficiencies to the building and further decrease the organization’s environmental footprint. 

The proposed rooftop shade structure will be an elegant example of an adaptive design that provides a comfortable environment even in the warmer months. Designed by Lake Flato Architects, who led the first Artpace building renovation with Linda Pace in 1994, the planned renovation will integrate seamlessly into the existing building and enhance the organizational design. Artpace is partnering with Texas-owned Big Sun Solar for the solar power management system, which will be integrated into the rooftop design. The combined effect will be a beautiful, functional, and energy-efficient space that works seamlessly with Artpace’s existing facility, organizational needs, and goals.  

The solar panels will be placed on the shade structure on the Artpace roof.

Adding solar panels will reduce Artpace’s energy bill by $9,775, with a 25-years savings of $308,187. Artpace will offset an estimated 75.9 metric tons of carbon annually. Over 25 years, 1,766 metric tons of carbon will be canceled, significantly reducing Artpace’s environmental footprint. Each year Artpace uses approximately 201,733 (kWh) of energy. With the addition of solar panels, Artpace will offset its energy use by 107,125 (kWh), over half its current usage. The addition of solar panel technology is exceptionally impactful to Artpace, given San Antonio has about 250 sunny days annually During Daylight Savings, with an average of 12 ½ hours of sunlight every day. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2022 boasted the third hottest summer on record, with 2023 gearing up to fall within the top ten warmest years on record, perhaps even the top five. Artpace is beyond thankful to have been selected for this award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative so that we can do our part in creating a more sustainable world.  

To read the Frankenthaler Foundation’s Press Release, click here.  

About Artpace

Artpace San Antonio is a nonprofit residency program which supports regional, national, and international artists in the creation of new art. As a catalyst for artistic expression, we engage local communities with global art practices and experiences. To date, Artpace has welcomed over 275 artists through its renowned International Artist-in-Residence program. Annually, Artpace hosts three residencies. Each feature one Texas-based artist, one national artist, and one international artist, who are selected by a notable guest curator. Each eight-week residency culminates in a two-month exhibition on site. The mission of this program is to provide artists with unparalleled resources that allow them to experiment with new ideas and take provocative risks.

About the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative

The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative is the first nation-wide program to support energy efficiency and clean energy use for the visual arts and the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change action through cultural institutions. The $15 million ongoing initiative provides critical support to visual art institutions in the United States seeking to assess their impact on the environment and to lower ongoing energy costs. To date, the Foundation has conferred more than $10.8 million supporting 175 energy efficiency and clean energy projects at 147 institutions across 34 states in the U.S. through the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative.

Building on the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s commitment to social impact philanthropy and to catalyzing positive change on critical issues in the arts, the Foundation launched the Initiative in 2021 in association with RMI, an independent nonprofit that engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs in accelerating the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future; and Environment & Culture Partners, a nonprofit that creates relationships and leads collaborations that engage the cultural sector in broader climate action. For more information, visit

About Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Established and endowed by Helen Frankenthaler during her lifetime, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation advances the artist’s legacy and inspires a new generation of practitioners through a range of philanthropic, educational, and research initiatives. Since becoming active in 2013, the Foundation has continued to strategically expand its program, which includes organizing and supporting significant exhibitions of the artist’s work, fostering new research and publications, advancing educational programs in partnership with arts organizations around the world, and launching groundbreaking initiatives that foster systemic change in the field. As a primary resource on the artist, and a steward of her collection and archive, the Foundation holds an extensive selection of Frankenthaler’s work in a variety of mediums, her collection of works by other artists, and original papers and materials pertaining to her life and work.