June 6, 2022

$3.9 Million in Museum Grants to Support African American History and Culture
Federal Investments Generate Over $3 Million in Matching Funds

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced awards totaling $3,970,069 in Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC). The 33 grantees will match these awards with an additional $3,686,498 in non-federal funds. A total of 46 organizations requested grants totaling $5,919,809.

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.

"It has never been more important for us, the IMLS, the museum world and all American citizens to understand the extraordinary richness of our culture and heritage,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. "The grants we make with this announcement in the field of African American History and Culture are a profound and persuasive indication of that and we are proud to support these great programs across the country.”

Examples of AAHC funded grants include:

  • The Whitney Plantation Museum will create an exhibition and related programming focusing on resistance and freedom-seeking in south Louisiana before and during the Civil War. The museum will work with partners to research exhibition content, then develop supplemental online materials, programs for the general public, and curriculum materials for K–20 teachers. This project will benefit visitors to Whitney Plantation and those interested in learning about self-emancipation and resistance by enslaved Africans and African Americans.

  • Jefferson School African American Heritage Center will identify, map, and interpret the history of African American land ownership and residential life in central Virginia from 1744 through 2020. Staff and volunteers will analyze more than 400,000 pages of property, land, and public records using tools developed for citizen-science crowdsourcing projects. The project will examine the mechanisms that allowed for the large-scale legalized displacement through eminent domain, urban renewal, and racial covenants of African Americans, as well as how this history connects to contemporary life outcomes and social inequities. This historical analysis will then be combined with oral histories, deepening the community’s understanding of its foundation and the legacy of African American landscapes and spaces.

  • The Louis Armstrong House Museum will catalog, digitize, and preserve multiple collections housed at the Louis Armstrong Archives. Museum staff will work with a consulting archivist to organize the new archival materials added to the Lillian Hardin Armstrong, Jack Bradley, Jeann Failows, Selma Heraldo, and Louis Armstrong collections. The project will make a significant archival trove of materials available to scholars, historians, educators, and the public. Staff will integrate these newly cataloged collections into the museum’s virtual and in-person exhibits, helping to tell important stories about Louis Armstrong and the history of jazz.

“With a landmark increase in funding this year, IMLS is able to support the highest percentage of applications to the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program in its seventeen years of implementation,” said Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director for Museum Services. “We are honored to continue nurturing museum professionals, building institutional capacity, and increasing access to museum and archival collections at African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities 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