John L. Santikos Collaborative Grants

Leveraging the power of collaboration to create community change.

The Santikos Story

The San Antonio Area Foundation has the privilege of carrying out Mr. John L. Santikos’ commitment of making a difference throughout the community he loved. As a philanthropist, Mr. Santikos’ charitable interests addressed an array of community needs that include:

  • Assisting people in need, specifically individuals with mental and physical challenges, seniors, victims of child abuse and victims of disasters
  • Advancing health through healthcare and wellness initiatives, and medical research
  • Supporting youth and education though college and university programs, pre-k to 12 initiatives, scholarships, and youth development programs
  • Supporting Arts and Culture through arts education, libraries, museums, public parks, public radio and public television


Keeping Mr. Santiko’s philanthropic desires as a guiding force, the John L. Santikos Collaborative Grants intentionally create partnerships to advance equity and make a difference throughout the community.

Recent Collaborations

The San Antonio Area Foundation and the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation collaborated with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County to support the U.S. 2020 Census engagement efforts. Targeting historically undercounted populations. The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation contributed $200,000 in funding to close the Count Me In Complete Count budget gap to support four organizations at $50,000 each.  Funding allowed these organizations to continue their day-to-day operations and impact without disruption, while dedicating resources to the 2020 Census.

San Antonio Food Bank: Incorporated census message into daily services and worked with their network of 500 Partner Agencies to provide outreach materials to educate, motivate and engage clients to participate.

CentroMed: Convened community-based healthcare systems to reach patients at risk of being undercounted.  Strategies included distribution of awareness materials, clinic-based advertising, questionnaire assistance via ACA certified application counselors, health educators and community outreach workers, a healthcare system employee based strategy, and community wide train-the trainer sessions. 

Community Information Now: Established a data collection and analysis system in response to the needs of the community to optimize outreach strategies and create a foundation of data to build from in preparation for the next decennial.  Data collected would help inform future census efforts in understanding and maximizing outreach effort and using response rates to target specific neighborhoods and populations with tailored outreach services.

Bexar County Health Collaborative: Partnered with the Complete Count Committee to provide sub grants to organizations representing historically undercounted populations.

As part of its commitment to fostering a vibrant arts and culture community, the San Antonio Area Foundation the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation partnered with the City of San Antonio to provide $100,000 in support to restore, preserve and revitalize the Alameda Theater, an important cultural landmark for the City of San Antonio and State of Texas. Through this gift, the Area Foundation is one of several cornerstone partners investing in the Latino culture and filling a significant gap in the cultural ecology of San Antonio. Free public programs will be designed for all ages and backgrounds and include a multi-generational focus, community partnerships, bilingual arts education programs for schools, and a training program for Latino arts administrators.

The San Antonio Area Foundation, through collaboration with the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, has partnered with the McNay Art Museum and and the Whitney Museum in New York to broaden diversity in the art community. The $200,000 gift will support the McNay Art Museum’s to bring two exhibits to San Antonio focused on expanding reach to historically under-served and under-represented populations. 

In the fall of 2020, the San Antonio community will have the opportunity to experience Robert Indiana: A Legacy of Love which investigates the art world’s anticipation of our contemporary digital moment – characterized by brief, direct, text-based bursts of communication in our everyday lives. The exhibit includes works by San Antonio artists inspired by the late master, and features six works from a collaborative partner, the Whitney Museum in New York.

In the Spring of 2021, our community had the opportunity to experience Limitless! Five Women Reshape Contemporary Art, which commemorates five global, women artists creating immersive installations and time-based experiences: Martine Gutierrez, Letitia Huckaby, Yayoi Kusama, Sandy Skoglund, and Jennifer Steinkamp. The exhibit also celebrated the 65th anniversary of the McNay and the centennial of women’s suffrage by focusing on the significant contributions made by successful female-identifying artists who emerged in history. 

Both exhibits were brought to life through the partnership with the following organizations: Communities in Schools, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and San Antonio Cultural Arts, Gemini Ink and the UTSA Women’s Studies Institute.

In March 2019, the City of San Antonio opened the Migrant Resource Center in downtown San Antonio to provide needed services to the surge of Central American asylum seekers traveling through San Antonio after being released by Border Patrol and legally on their way to host families and cities. The City of San Antonio Human Services Department operated the center in coordination with other City departments, multiple nonprofits and community volunteers. The San Antonio Area Foundation and the John L. Santikos Foundation partnered with the City of San Antonio to provide $305,000 to nonprofits providing migrant resource services. Some of the nonprofits included Catholic Charities, San Antonio Food Bank, American Gateways, and Travis Park United Methodist Church.

Over a seven-month period, more than 32,000 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. were served by the center.

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