September 11, 2019

IMLS Invests in National Leadership Projects at Museums Across U.S.
Federal Grants Generate $6 Million in Matching Funds

Washington, D.C.—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the selection of 15 projects from a pool of 70 applicants for the highly competitive National Leadership Grants for Museums program.

National Leadership Grants for Museums address evolving needs and trends in the museum field and contribute best practices, tested tools, and innovative partnership models for the entire sector. The projects will receive funds totaling $5,747,423, and the organizations receiving the awards are matching them with $6,215,564 in non-federal funds.

“The FY19 National Leadership Grants for Museums awardees are well-poised to make significant contributions to address sector-wide needs of museums,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Director of the IMLS Office of Museum Services. “We were very pleased to see applications that were not only closely aligned with IMLS’s strategic plan and the sector’s needs, but that focused on the five new categories we introduced this year.”

The IMLS website lists all projects funded through this year’s National Leadership Grants for Museums, including:

  • The Chicago Botanic Garden will apply the zoo community's approach to managing captive animals to the conservation of threatened plant species. The Garden will develop protocols for managing living collections of threatened plants across multiple institutions to maintain maximum genetic diversity and ensure chances for long-term survival.

  • The Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, will conduct research on the role small museums and community-based archives play in the welfare of their communities, the value they bring to the local cultural economy, and potential models for their financial sustainability.

  • The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City will partner with New York University’s Ability Project to increase the capacity of historic sites to develop rich, sensory-based interpretive experiences that are accessible to visitors with disabilities. The museum will coordinate with eight local individuals with disabilities and eight professionals representing historic sites across the United States to identify accessibility challenges, field test proposed solutions, and periodically convene to review, evaluate and provide recommendations.

IMLS is currently accepting applications for FY 2020 National Leadership Grants for Museums; the deadline to apply is November 15, 2019. Check the IMLS website or subscribe to IMLS news releases for updates.

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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

National Leadership Grants for Museums