Museum Grant Program

Portal ID:
Closed (120 total applications submitted)
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The program seeks projects that assist the California Cultural and Historical Endowment in supporting and enhancing museums services that recognize the importance of making art, science, history and culture available to the residents of California, with an emphasis on underserved communities.

Priority funding will be given to museums that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and that serve underserved communities and/or Title I 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 to 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 of capital projects to include programming such as 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.

This program is intended to solicit proposals for program projects, capital projects, or a combination of program and capital projects that assist and enhance museums that are deeply rooted in, and reflective of, previously underserved communities.

In total, between $500,000 and $1.0M will be available for awards during Fiscal Year 20/21 and 21/22.   In response to impacts caused by COVID-19, it is anticipated projects will be awarded in two parts – March 2021 and again July 2021.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including museums, located in the State of California may apply. Museums of any size and discipline are eligible to participate but must have been open to the public for at least two years, for a minimum of 120 days per year pre-COVID-19, and have the institutional and financial capacity to complete the project and create the outputs described in their proposal.

Eligible Geographies:


Matching Funding Requirement:

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.10 Nonprofit organizations are not required to provide a match.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
March and July 2021.
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$20,000 – $40,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

Funds collected through the sale of a specialized license plate featuring the image of a dancing Snoopy, licensed by Jean Schulz and Peanuts Worldwide (Section 5169 of the Vehicle Code).

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

Payments will be made on a reimbursement basis. This means the grantee pays for services, products or supplies; submits invoices and proof of payment; and is then reimbursed by the State. It generally takes six to eight weeks to receive payment after grantee submits a completed payment. Advances of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the grant award at a time may be available upon need.

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.