African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Grants for TrustSites: Guidelines and Eligibility
Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic sites, museums, and landscape projects representing African American cultural heritage. A portion of this fund has been set aside to support programs that will have a significant impact on the preservation and interpretation of African American cultural heritage at National Trust Historic Sites.
If you are on this page and are NOT a National Trust Historic Site, click here for the public African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Grant page.
Grants made from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will range from $5,000 to $30,000.
National Trust Historic Sites that are open to the public may apply for grants if they have:
- Met the terms and conditions of their agreements with the National Trust
- Satisfactorily completed projects previously funded by the National Trust’s Interpretation and Education Fund or Historic Sites Fund.
Examples of potential programs are outlined below. The overarching goal of these grants is to create demonstrable impacts in the scale, scope, and quality of the preservation and interpretation of African American cultural heritage at National Trust Historic Sites. For questions on project-specific eligibility, please email Katherine Malone-France at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Art-centered programming, including the creation and production of new works of visual or performing arts of exceptional quality that expand the site’s interpretation of African American cultural heritage.
- Convening an interdisciplinary team to develop and implement programming with a primary focus on African American cultural heritage at the site.
- Retaining scholars/consultants for projects such as developing interpretive themes, implementing new programming or exhibitions, or revising and expanding guide training related to African American cultural heritage at the site.
- Creating a residency program at a National Trust Historic Site for a highly-qualified scholar or artist that results in the creation of new works that expand the site’s interpretation of African American cultural heritage.
- Developing and implementing innovative program series such as symposia or performances with a primary focus on African American cultural heritage.
- Developing and implementing new or expanded interpretation/s of a site’s (or sites’) collections as related to African American cultural heritage.
- Utilizing new technologies and research to significantly expand the site’s experiential programming offerings that focus on African American cultural heritage.
- Staff salaries
- General operations (e.g., overhead, maintenance, utilities, insurance)
- Academic research
- Supplementing existing staff or faculty salaries; volunteer reimbursements
- Catering, entertainment, food and beverage costs
- Costs associated with constructing new buildings or structures
- Capital improvements, renovation, restoration, rehabilitation, or construction
- Fulfilling degree requirements
- Solely academic research or research not directly related to expanding the preservation or interpretation of African American cultural heritage at the site
- Projects that have been completed
Types of Grants
Proposals may range from $5,000 to $30,000. These grant applications are reviewed and approved by a committee of National Trust staff members and outside experts. Sites may partner with other National Trust Historic Sites for larger projects.
Deadlines and Key Dates
The application deadline for AACHAF Grants is January 31, 2018, with awards made by mid-February. Projects must be completed, including documentation and final reporting, by October 31, 2018. Guidelines for a funding round for Interpretation and Education Fund grants not restricted to African American cultural heritage will also be released in early 2018.
All applications must be submitted online using the National Trust’s online grants portal. If you have any questions about the website, please contact Milton Perry at email@example.com.
Project Start and End Dates
Grants cannot support a completed project, either in whole or in part. Grants may support projects already in process; however, they must be separated into clear and distinct phases or components. Funding can only be applied for future and uninitiated phases or components.
All projects must be completed by October 2018, with final reports including project documentation submitted to the National Trust by October 31, 2018.
The applications are reviewed according to the following criteria:
- African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund: Does the project further the goal of the AACHAF to significantly impact the preservation and interpretation of African American cultural heritage at National Trust Historic Sites?
- Connection and Intellectual Approach: Does the project have a strong connection to the site and its history and/or community? Is the intellectual approach thoughtfully conceived and based on sound scholarship?
- National Trust Vision for Historic Sites: Does the project advance the key elements of the National Trust’s vision for its historic sites, especially in the creation of national impacts, implementation of new models for preservation (including the interpretation of historic sites) and alignment with the mission and values of the National Trust.?
- Audience Interest and Relevance: Does the project meet the needs and interests of the intended audience and would it expand the public's understanding of the site and the audiences it serves? Will the project attract and engage diverse audiences effectively? Does the project promote the relevance of its subject matter and/or the site?
- Format: Are the project/program formats appropriate to the ideas, themes, and audience?
- Resources: Have the appropriate materials and resources been clearly identified? Are they the right ones for the project and are they available?
- Project Team: Does the team have the necessary expertise, experience, and technical skills? Does the project utilize African American scholars, artists, consultants, or other partners? (Please provide letters of support from individual or organizational partners in the application’s supplemental documents.)
- Work Plan: Is the plan of work realistic and efficient? Can the project be completed in a timely manner?
- Budget: Are the project’s costs realistic, appropriate, and reasonable?
- Strategy: Does the project take a strategic approach to development and implementation? Does it fulfill existing long-range or strategic plans?
- Track Record: Has the Site completed previous grants successfully?
Conditions if Awarded
Acknowledgment: Recognition should be comparable to gifts received from other similar donors. All products created with grant funds and public announcements about the grant should include the following language: “This project is supported by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, made possible by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.”
Publicity and Copyright: The National Trust reserves a royalty-free nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or use a work produced with these grant funds and to authorize others to do so for educational and informational purposes.
Reporting: Progress or final reports must be submitted with any requests for reimbursement or payment. Progress reports are due June 15, 2018 for all projects. Final reports are due by October 31, 2018.
Disbursement of Funds: Grant funds are paid on a reimbursement basis only and generally should be requested at the conclusion of the project with the submission of the final report. For larger grants, an interim payment can be requested as part of a progress report.
The application can be accessed through the National Trust’s online grants portal. If you have previously applied for another grant through this system--for instance, HSF or Favrot--you can use the same login. Otherwise you will need to create a login.
An access code is required for this application. This code should have been emailed to you, but feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the application.