March 15, 2018


IMLS Press Contact
Giuliana Bullard, 202-653-4799

Open Grant Opportunity Encourages Community Development Approaches
Deadline for applications is May 14

Washington, D.C. — The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting grant applications for Activating Community Opportunities Using Museums/Libraries as Assets now through May 14, 2018.

Museums, libraries, and archives, as well as universities and non-profit organizations with experience in museum, library, or archives projects and expertise in community development work, are eligible to apply. Award amounts will range from $25,000 to $150,000, and a one-to-one cost share is required. More details can be found in the application guidelines (PDF 475KB).

The grant is part of IMLS’s Community Catalyst initiative, which examines how libraries, archives, and museums can work collaboratively with their communities to improve community wellbeing.

“Libraries, archives, and museums have distinctive abilities and assets, such as their relationships, knowledge, and spaces, that can be leveraged to bring about positive community change,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The word ‘catalyst’ refers to how these essential institutions can spark ideas, energy, and action around a community’s vision.”

The Community Catalyst funding opportunity encourages applicants to use innovative, collaborative approaches and to explore new project partners within their communities. The definition of a proposed project’s community and desired impact is unique to each applicant. Successful proposals will draw on collective impact methodologies, social well-being indicators, asset mapping, and other approaches from the community development field.

In addition to receiving IMLS funding, applicants may be considered for technical assistance through the Environmental Protection Agency’s“ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities” program. EPA will provide technical assistance to selected applicants, helping them achieve their desired development goals, improve quality of life, and become more economically and environmentally sustainable.

To Learn More

Applicants are encouraged to review the 2016 report and Community Catalyst blog series.

IMLS invites all interested applicants to attend an informational webinar on Monday, March 26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.

IMLS uses the Blackboard Collaborate system for webinars. If you are a first-time user, please see the bottom of the IMLS webinar page for more information or to check your system compatibility. Recordings of the webinars will also be available.

For questions, please reach out to Dr. Marvin Carr,, 202-653-4752, Steve Schwartzman,, 202-653-4641, or Sarah Fuller,, 202-653-4783.

Community Catalyst