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Institute of Museum and Library Services: National Leadership Grants for Museums

Deadline: December 1, 2017

National Leadership Grants for Museums support projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. National Leadership Grants for Museums has four project categories:

  1. Advancing digital assets and capacity: Recognizing the dynamic nature of digital technology and its far-reaching benefits for the museum sector, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) welcomes applications to explore, understand, and optimize the use of digital technology in museums. IMLS encourages innovative approaches that allow museums to further their educational missions, engage effectively and in relevant ways with their communities, and increase capacity to share collections and information in a complex connected world. Support is provided for the creation, use, presentation, and preservation of digital resources and shared platforms as well as the development of tools and networks to enhance access, optimize use, and sustain the management of digital assets.
  2. Diversity and inclusion: IMLS supports the work of museums in engaging with communities and providing inclusive services to people of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds and to individuals with disabilities. IMLS encourages museums to deeply understand the current status and future trends in the demographics of their communities and to address it in their programs and services. IMLS seeks innovative projects that help museums work with community members and community-based organizations to broaden opportunity and access.
  3. Collections care and access: IMLS supports the exemplary management, care, and conservation of, as well as broad access to and use of museum collections. Investments designed to contribute to the long-term preservation of materials and specimens are complemented by skill-building and capacity-expanding programs for museum staff, volunteers, and interns. IMLS welcomes applications for projects that help the museum field address state-of-the-art collections care and collections-information management, curation, preventive conservation, conservation treatments, database creation and enhancement, digitization, and the use of digital tools to facilitate discovery and deepen engagement with museum collections. Projects are welcomed that demonstrate cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaboration with libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions.
  4. Professional development: IMLS supports proposals to create models across multiple institutions and that are applicable field wide for professional development of museum staff, volunteers, and interns, and ensure the highest standards in all aspects of museum operations. This includes, but is not limited to, creating opportunities to encourage a more inclusive and diverse museum professional and volunteer workforce, and building the skills of museum staff at all levels, with emphasis on the development of the next generation of museum professionals.

Amount: A total of $6,500,000 is available to fund approximately 11 awards, ranging from $5,000-$1,000,000. The project period is up to three years. Applicants must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the request. No cost sharing is required for research projects or projects in the rapid prototyping $5,000-$50,000 funding level and will not be considered in the review of the application.

Eligibility: Museums that fulfill the eligibility criteria for museums may apply (see https://www.imls.gov/grants/apply-grant/eligibility-criteria), as well as public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or associations that engage in activities designed to advance museums and the museum profession; and institutions of higher education, including public and non-profit universities.

Link: https://www.imls.gov/grants/available/national-leadership-grants-museums

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