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Call for Applications: FY 2013 Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums

October 16, 2012


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard,

Call for Applications: FY 2013 Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums

New guidelines for nation’s largest museum grant programs

New deadline is January 15, 2013

Washington, DC—IMLS is accepting applications for its Museums for America (MFA) and National Leadership Grants for Museums (NLG-M) programs. We encourage museums of all sizes and of all types, from art, history, science, and children’s museums to zoos, botanic gardens, and aquaria, to review the new guidelines, participate in our webinars, and submit applications.

MFA and NLG-M programs will support projects that do the following:

  • Place the learner at the center and create engaging experiences in museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and global society
  • Promote museums as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality
  • Support exemplary stewardship of museum collections and promote the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage

The two grant programs together are the largest source of federal funding specifically for museums in the United States.

We encourage all museums to learn about these grant opportunities and use IMLS resources to help them submit applications: 

We invite any interested museums to participate in one of five free pre-application webinars to learn more about the grant programs and application process, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. Directions for participating are on the IMLS program pages for MFA and NLG-M.

Five Informational Webinars (Each session covers both grant programs.):

  • Thursday, October 25, 2012, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern Time
  • Thursday, November 8, 2012, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern Time
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2012, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern Time
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern Time
  • Wednesday, December 19, 2012, from 2 - 3 pm Eastern Time

Museums with additional questions may get in touch with the IMLS contacts listed on the MFA and NLG-M pages of the IMLS website.

Returning applicants will notice some changes in the grant guidelines. The purposes of the Conservation Project Support and the 21st Century Museum Professionals programs have been incorporated under the MFA and NLG-M funding umbrella, resulting in the following improvements:

  • Applicants may now combine activities into one project. Previously they would have had to apply to two different programs to fund overlapping work. 
  • There will be no restrictions on the number of applications a museum may submit to MFA or NLG-Museums in FY 2013. 
  • Partnership statements are no longer required. Letters of commitment are recommended instead.
  • Some documents that were formerly required are now optional and can be submitted as supporting documents.
  • Fewer sections are required in the narrative. The narrative section is restructured.
  • Eligibility criteria are presented in a way that makes them more easily understandable.
  • The Program Information Sheet clarifies the information sought.

We are committed to being the best stewards of government funds possible and to supporting small, medium, and large museums in their efforts to effect change in their communities.

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 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our grants, policy development, and research helps communities and individuals thrive by providing broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning. To learn more about IMLS, please visit

Museums for America
National Leadership Grants for Libraries