Rothko Chapel Receives $1 Million Grant Towards New Campus

by Jessica Fuentes May 11, 2024

The Rothko Chapel has received a $1 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports projects and nonprofits around the world in the areas of arts and culture, education, health, sports, and social welfare.

The gift is in support of a multi-use community and education space within the Chapel’s new Program Center, part of the second phase of the organization’s long-term development plan. Last month, the Chapel broke ground on Phase 2 of the $42 million project. While Phase 2a is focused on the construction of an administration and archives building and meditation garden, Phase 2b includes the Program Center, housing for guest speakers and fellows, and a plaza. 

A rendering of the design of the interior of an educational space at the Rothko Chapel.

Rendering of Rothko Chapel Phase 2, Program Center

In a press release, Christopher Rothko, the Chairman of the Opening Spaces project, said, “The community and education space in the new Program Center will transform the depth and breadth of our community engagement, and will further learning, civic discourse, and activism focused on societal transformation. We are greatly appreciative of this generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and its support in achieving these goals.”

David Leslie, the Executive Director of the Rothko Chapel, added, “This grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will support the Chapel’s dual mission as a space of both contemplation and action. When Phase 2 is completed, we hope our campus will become an even more important global destination and center for thoughtful reflection, cultural engagement, and expansive dialogue among our growing community.”

To date, the Opening Spaces campaign has raised more than $27 million, with support coming from private donors as well as local, national, and international foundations. The initial phase of the campaign received contributions from the Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation, and individuals, including Lynn Wyatt and Suzanne Deal Booth.

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