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The Museum Grants for African American History and Culture

Institute of Museum and Library Sciences

Funding Amount

$5,000 – $500,000
(Grant Period: one to three years)

Cost Share Requirement: If your request for federal funding is between $5,000 and $100,000, then no cost share is required. If your request for federal funding is between $100,001 and $500,000, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of your federal funding request

Matching Funds

Funding Cycle

Application deadline is November 15, 2023


Goal 1:
Projects designed to build the capacity of African American museums may involve
increasing the number of museum professionals working at African American museums to
enable the museum to expand educational programs, engage the community, enhance
professional management, or provide for improved care of collections

Some examples of the kinds of project activities that you may apply for are:
- Exhibition development, design, and fabrication
- Interpretive and educational programs, product development, and delivery
- Developing collection plans, interpretive plans, or strategic plans using consultants,
researchers, and other sources of professional expertise
- Implementing recommendations or action plans from planning activities
- Cataloging, inventorying, documenting, and registering collections
- Digitization of collections designed to enhance outreach, expand access, or improve
collections management

Goal 2:
Projects designed to address Goal 2, supporting the growth and development of museum
professionals at African American museums, may involve developing and implementing
internship, fellowship, and mentoring programs to support emerging professionals entering
the museum field. They can involve developing equitable and inclusive staff recruitment
and retention programs, as well as creating growth opportunities for staff to build skills,
enhance their knowledge, and share expertise

Some examples of the kinds of project activities that you may apply for are:
- Working with consultants and training providers to develop and offer workshops and
training for museum staff, leadership, and volunteers
- Creating and supporting PAID internships and fellowships, including recruitment,
supervision, mentoring, and training for interns and fellows
- Providing professional development and career growth opportunities for museum staff,
leadership, and volunteers

Who Can Apply

All IMLS applicants must be either:
- A unit of State, local, or tribal government or
- A private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code

To be eligible for funding as a “museum,” an organization must also:
- Use a professional staff – An institution uses a professional staff if it employs at
least one staff member, or the full-time equivalent, paid or unpaid, primarily
engaged in the acquisition, care, or exhibition to the public of objects owned or
used by the institution
- Be organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic
- Own or use tangible objects, either animate or inanimate
- Care for these objects
- Exhibit these objects to the general public on a regular basis, at least 120 days
a year
- Conduct these activities in facilities that it owns or operates

Depending on the grant program, other organizations that may be eligible for funding include:
- Colleges and universities
- Organizations that serve museums
- Federally recognized Native American tribes
- Organizations that serve Native Hawaiians

Additional Eligibility Requirements


Additional Information

Mark Isaksen
Supervisory Grants Management Specialist

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