Aug 22, 2019
News

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles hopes to become fully solar-powered.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Jonathan Velardi.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Jonathan Velardi.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) wants to be the first art museum in the United States to be fully solar-powered. On Thursday, the museum launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter seeking to raise $25,000 toward the installation of 206 solar panels and six inverters on the ICA LA’s more than 12,000 square feet of rooftop, a project that will cost $156,000 in total. Once completed, the installation is expected to produce 100,000 kilowatt hours per year, saving the museum some $30,000 in annual utility costs. On its Kickstarter page, the museum described the move as a step toward L.A.’s citywide goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.
In a statement, the ICA LA’s deputy director, Samuel Vasquez, said:
Our audience counts on us to uphold the wellbeing of our community, and once we looked at the numbers and saw that it was possible to go solar, we felt obligated to make the change. It will not be easy and there will be a large cost, but we feel it is our duty as a civic leader and advocate for social progress.
Rewards for environmentally minded arts patrons who contribute to the ICA LA’s Kickstarter campaign include naming rights for individual solar panels and inverters (for contributions of $100 and $225, respectively).
The ICA LA is the second art museum to take a more proactive stance on climate change and carbon management this summer. Last month the U.K.’s Tate museums group—which includes Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St. Ives—declared a “climate emergency” and pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% by 2023, among other green initiatives.