Jan 13, 2021

Fox Theatre Institute joins forces with Southface Institute to fund historic theatres’ energy sustainability

$30,000 matching grants will support energy sustainability upgrades to historic theaters

ATLANTA, GA—JANUARY 11, 2021 At a time when a global pandemic has forced theaters across the country to go dark, the Fox Theatre Institute (FTI), a department of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, Inc., is partnering with leading national environmental nonprofit Southface Institute to make historic theaters across the Southeast become more resilient, resource-efficient and save operational dollars through Southface’s GoodUse program.

Through the partnership, FTI will offer outreach, consultation and sustainability education to historic performing arts venues while Southface will provide technical assistance and grants to make the environmental upgrades that will reduce carbon emissions and energy costs which will allow the theaters to redirect the financial savings to core programming, educational outreach and important ongoing restoration efforts. The funding comes through Southface’s GoodUse nonprofit grant program and will provide $30,000, 2:1 matching grants to be awarded to historic theaters across the Southeast beginning in March. 

“We are grateful to partner with Southface and bring 12 years of FTI experience in funding, preservation assistance, presenting and fine arts management,” Leigh Burns, Director of the Fox Theatre Institute said. “While we have worked with Southface on our own energy efficiency here at 660 Peachtree Street in Atlanta, this grant continues our own mission to preserve and share the Fox Theatre’s commitment to sustainability. Additionally, we look forward to learning from the knowledgeable and enthusiastic team at Southface and hope this is just the beginning of other shared initiatives.” 

Historic theaters are important community mainstays but also require a lot of maintenance. They can struggle to cover their expenses in normal times. Add a pandemic to that, with nonessential businesses shuttered to protect community health, and costs are threatening to close their doors forever. The financial grant initiative allows these beloved theaters to apply for grants that will help them address building performance and reduce costs long-term. 

“Southface has been a proud partner with Fox Theatre since 2014 when the theater first received funding through GoodUse’s predecessor, Grants to Green,” said Andrea Pinabell, President of Atlanta-based Southface Institute. “Together we’ve made extensive water and energy efficiency upgrades that have reduced the theater’s utility expenses and helped this beloved Atlanta icon continue to thrive in our community. Given that approximately 20% of primary energy use in the United States is consumed by nonprofits, including historic theaters that have yet had the opportunity to be upgraded, we’re excited that through FTI we can give that same boost to theaters that are the centerpiece of cultural life in many other communities and help them find a sustainable and more resilient path forward.”

GoodUse applications are open on the Southface website (www.southface.org/gooduse) and are due February 5, 2021. One major requirement for eligibility is that a historic theater must be 50 years or older or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The awarded organization also must have a three-to-one match to apply, and some of the match may be provided by an in-kind source. The application outlines other requirements, including theater location being in one of the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia or Tennessee.


About Fox Theatre Institute
The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) is a dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation, and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region. Created by Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, an iconic attraction widely applauded for being a catalyst for positive change in the community, FTI pays it forward, helping other cultural institutions renew, reinvigorate and restore artistic vitality in their backyards and beyond. Keeping environmental and economic impact top of mind, FTI offers the financial assistance, restoration support and operations mentoring needed to leverage scarce resources and stimulate local economies. Not only that, but it keeps the artistic pulse of beloved communities beating for decades to come. FTI was recently featured on NPR’s Marketplace for its substantial impact on historical theatre restoration and community building throughout Georgia and the Southeast. For more information, visit foxtheatreinstitute.org and please stay connected on Facebook.

About Southface Institute
Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is leading the way toward a sustainable, equitable, and healthy built environment for all. Since 1978, our programs have closed the gap between environmental awareness and action by promoting scalable resource efficiency and clean energy solutions for homes, workplaces, and communities. Our practice of regenerative placemaking amplifies real-world strategies to create a built environment where the synergy between ecological and human needs supports health and well-being while creating resilient, equitable and thriving communities, striving to achieve a low-carbon future. For more information, visit: www.southface.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.