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Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America

Deadline: November 15, 2019

The Museums for America (MFA) grant program will support projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public.

Indicators (characteristics) of successful projects in the MFA program are as follows:

  • Institutional Impact: The project addresses a key goal identified in the institution’s strategic plan
  • In-depth Knowledge: The project design reflects a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter
  • Project-based Design: The work plan consists of a set of logical, interrelated activities tied directly to addressing the key need or challenge identified in the application
  • Demonstrable Results: The project generates measurable results that tie directly to the need or challenge it was designed to address

Awards funded under this program will support one of the following three goals and an associated objective:

  • Promote Lifelong Learning: Early, digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other literacies; Cross-disciplinary and inquiry-based learning methods; Continuous learning for families and individuals with diverse backgrounds and needs; Distinctive role of museums and libraries as trusted sources of information
  • Build Capacity: Recruit, train, and develop library and museum workforces; Share and adopt best practices and innovations; Identify trends to help organizations make informed decisions; Serve as trusted spaces for community engagement and dialogue
  • Increase Public Access: Investments support access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums; stewardship of museum and library collections; Tools, technology, and training that enables discovery and use of collections and resources by all; Policies and partnerships to address access barriers to collections, programs, and information; Increased access to knowledge through effective communications

Amount: Approximately $19,900,000 is available to make up to 120 awards ranging from $5,000-$250,000 and averaging $170,000.

At least 1:1 cost share from non-federal sources is required.

Eligibility: Applicant organizations must meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. Be either a unit of State, local, or tribal government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code
  2. Be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau
  3. Qualify as one of the following: (a) A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates; or (b) A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria applying on behalf of the museum.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=319579

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