New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

MOA and MOIFA Awarded Frankenthaler Foundation Grant to Combat Climate Change   

August 04, 2021


The New Mexico Museum of Art (MOA) and Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) are pleased to announce that both museums have been awarded funding from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation as part of the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative. MOA and MOIFA, both divisions of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), are among 79 visual art institutions in the U.S. that were awarded the funding to support the museums in becoming more energy-efficient. 

As the first program of its kind, the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative was developed in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading global expert and advocate for clean energy, and Environment & Culture Partners consultancy, and was launched in February 2021 as a $5 million, multi-year program. This funding will allow MOA and MOIFA to advance the goal of carbon neutrality in the visual arts.  

The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative was conceived to move art museums toward net-zero, and to set an example for all institutions and citizens to follow suit,” said Fred Isemna, president of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. “We wanted to help U.S. art institutions join the climate fray. There is a void to be filled: a crying need to provide technical know-how and financial support to art institutions to scope their needs, define problems, and implement solutions.” 

“The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is committed to taking action to decrease the department’s carbon footprint through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, Cabinet Secretary of the NMDCA. “With the support of the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, MOA and MOIFA ensure their commitment not only to the vitality and future success of art and culture but also a very visible commitment to environmental sustainability.” 

MOA will use this award to fund the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the new Vladem Contemporary, set to open in the Santa Fe Railyard District in 2022. On average, Santa Fe has more than 300 sunny days per year, making the Vladem Contemporary an ideal location for solar energy. Installing a PV system on the Vladem Contemporary will reduce the Museum’s power bill by an estimated $4,500 per year, lower the Museum’s carbon footprint, and positively impact its economic viability. 

MOIFA plans to use the funds to redesign the Museum’s atrium roof. This space serves as the hub of MOIFA’s highly popular public programs, such as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), Asian New Year, and Community Day, each of which draws more than 1,000 participants. Used daily by school groups and visitors, it is also the focal point of private events, weddings, and rentals. The roof redesign will address energy consumption as well as chronic issues such as water leaks. This will result in a lasting impact on energy efficiency and provide a model for addressing climate change through building modification. Once implemented, there is an anticipated savings of up to $2,500 a year in energy costs.


About The New Mexico Museum of Art
The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The mission of the Museum of Art is to create authentic experiences that foster a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout our state. With a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of work, the museum brings the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world.

About the Museum of International Folk Art
The Museum of International Folk Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the International Folk Art Foundation and Museum of New Mexico Foundation.  The mission of The Museum of International Folk Art is to shape a humane world by connecting people through creative expression and artistic traditions. The museum holds the largest collection of international folk art in the world, numbering more than 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries. 


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