The Museum Grant Program is intended to solicit proposals for projects that assist the California Cultural and Historical Endowment in supporting and enhancing museums that are deeply rooted in, and reflective of, previously underserved communities.
Priority funding will be given to museums that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and that serve underserved communities or Title 1 Students.
Assembly Bill (AB) 716 established the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) in 2002. Funds for the CCHE came from Proposition 40, the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002.
$122 million in grants were distributed competitively for the acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of historical and cultural resources.
In 2013, AB 482 (Atkins) authorized the creation of a specified competitive grant program administered by CCHE to support small capital projects in museums.
On September 23, 2018, Senate Bill (SB) 1493 was approved and expanded the museum grant program’s project focus to include exhibits, educational programs, outreach programs, public programs, curriculum, marketing, and collections care in museums.
SB 74 Budget Act of 2020 states that the California Natural Resources Agency shall prioritize the funds for museums severely affected by COVID -19 and that serve historically underserved communities and/or students subject to Title 1 of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
AB 128 Budget Act of 2021 appropriated $50 million for museum grants and directed the California Natural Resources Agency to continue prioritizing the funding for museums severely affected by COVID-19 and that serve historically underserved communities or students subject to Title 1 of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Eligible projects include program projects, small capital projects, or a combination of a program and related capital elements.
All projects must support at least one of the following to be eligible: exhibits, educational programs, outreach programs, public programs, curriculum, marketing, collections care, and small capital projects.
Step 1: Applicants submit Project Proposals through the System for Online Application Review (SOAR).
Step 2: Field visits are conducted for the most competitive projects.
Step 3: Applicants selected to further compete submit additional documentation.
Documentation is evaluated with the most competitive applicants being recommended for funding.
In evaluating projects, scores are used to determine initial rankings and facilitate discussions for each proposal. To achieve equitable distribution of funds, the State may consider additional factors including, but not limited to, geographic distribution of funds, previous grant performance, disadvantaged community status, and feasibility to accept partial funding.
Tribal Consultation: Applicants should consult and involve Native American Tribes and stakeholder groups regarding projects that affect California tribal communities.
- Public Agency
- Tribal Government
Public agencies and nonprofit organizations that operate or own museums located in the State of California may apply.
Museums are defined as public or private nonprofit institutions that are organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes and that own or use tangible objects, care for those objects, and exhibit them to the general public on a regular basis.
Matching Funding Requirement:
Nonprofit organizations are not required to provide a match.
Matching funds are required for public agencies in an amount not less than 5% of the requested grant amount. However, public agencies directly serving an underserved community, and with compelling circumstances, may ask the State to consider approving a lower match.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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