June 8, 2021

$3.2 Million in Museum Grants to Strengthen African American History and Culture
Federal Investments Generate $3 Million in Matching Funds

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced awards totaling $3,231,000 in Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC). The 24 grantees will match these awards with an additional $3,108,724 in non-federal funds. A total of 72 organizations requested grants totaling $11,273,876.

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture support activities that build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums.

"The African American History and Culture grants program continues to support places of community development, community self-awareness, and community coming together,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. "This year's awards will further the important work that museums undertake to preserve and promote African American heritage most at risk of being lost or unappreciated. Supporting the critical work of HBCUs, museums, and other community organizations to celebrate the rich African American history and culture in our nation is a core mission for IMLS, because African American history, stories, and culture are central to American culture and history."

Examples of AAHC funded grants include:

  • The Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium will provide access to primary source documents and individual stories about the places and people of the civil rights movement at 20 sites in Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham. This collection will give a voice to community activists and leaders whose stories have largely gone untold and unrecorded.

  • Fisk University will increase public access to Fisk University’s collection through a collections assessment and build capacity through the recruitment and training of 25 HBCU students in the fields of conservation and registration. Through this program, Fisk hopes to demonstrate that museums can affordably provide training for new entrants to the conservation and registration fields without requiring unpaid internships or further graduate study.

  • The Great Plains Black Museum and Interpretive Center will create an educational community program consisting of 24 workshop presentations on African American history and culture. This project will provide a cultural education experience that will help participants understand the African American experience in the Great Plains and throughout America.

“Now in its 16th year, the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program continues to nurture museum professionals, build institutional capacity, and increase access to museum and archival collections at African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Christopher Reich, Acting Deputy Director for Museum Services. “We are honored to support these outstanding organizations as they continue their good work throughout the nation’s communities.”

More information about museum grant opportunities can be found on the IMLS website.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture