Call for Applications: Museums Connect 2015

The US Embassy in Amman is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2015 Museums Connect grant program.

The Museums Connect program pairs museums in the United States with museums abroad for a cross-cultural exchange that brings people, especially youth, together to open a dialogue through innovative, community-based projects. Through these projects, it links U.S. communities with communities abroad to foster mutual understanding while focusing on U.S. foreign policy objectives like climate change, women’s empowerment, disability awareness, and civic engagement, among others.

The projects funded go beyond traditional exhibit-based exchanges by focusing on community engagement and participation, and showcasing the role of cultural institutions as vibrant, engaged, and committed influencers in contemporary society. Museums Connect grants do not fund construction projects or projects focused primarily on staff/institutional development or capacity building, staff training, standard exhibition design or object exchange, or artist residencies.

Each project involves a partnership between at least one museum in the U.S., and at least one museum abroad.

Awards will be offered for Approximately 8 projects worldwide in amounts between $50,000 and $100,000 divided between the American Museum and the foreign museums collaborating on the project and require a 50% cost-share match. Final funding levels will be based on the projects’ proposed budget and negotiated in consultation with AAM.

Projects should include at least one of the cycle’s designated themes, including:

  • Empowering Women and Girls
    Projects educate and empower girls and women in affirming their identity, self-esteem, and recognition and by providing equal access to skills, choices, and knowledge to advance their active engagement and equal contribution to society.
  • Environmental Sustainability
    Projects develop innovative strategies for environmental protection and sustainability (e.g., renewable and clean energy, conservation, sustainable agriculture, renewable and clean energy, waste reduction, sustainable tourism), looking at both grassroots sustainable development as well as policy implementation.
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Projects advance innovative models and strengthen business development skills (e.g., financial literacy, small business development, new economic models, business leadership skills) that address a critical social, human, or environmental need.
  • Strengthen Civil Society and Social Inclusion
    Projects solidify community bonds and bolster civil society by tackling issues critical to human and social development (e.g., empowering indigenous communities; promoting disability rights; mitigating religious, cultural, or political difference; advocating for human rights), providing opportunities for civic engagement and volunteerism, and/or increasing access for those who feel disengaged or disenfranchised.
  • Youth Engagement and Leadership Development
    Projects expand opportunities for experiential and action-learning to address community, social, and economic needs while fostering cross-cultural social networks that allow youth to develop leadership skills and validate their vital contribution to community service through their connection with others.

 

How to apply:

Application to participate in Museum Connects is a multi-step process. Museums interested in participating must first submit a museum profile, which includes basic information about the museum and potential project ideas. Potential project ideas are non-binding, and need not be expressed in extensive detail at this phase.

During the same initial application phase, interested museums in the U.S. and abroad can peruse the information provided by other museums in order to form partnerships (which must include at least one U.S. museum and one foreign museum), before jointly proceeding in the next phase of the application, which includes a fuller description of the joint project.

If your museum would like to participate in Museums Connect for 2015, you must provide a museum profile by November 7, 2014. Use the form provided here (click on “Appendix I”):

Please e-mail the completed form to museumsconnect@aam-us.org, cc’ingFavorsTE@state.gov and AbdelhadiR@state.gov.

Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply for the 2015 cycle, museums must be open to the public for at least two years by January 1, 2015.  For purposes of the Museums Connect program, the term ‘museum’ is used broadly to include both governmental and private museums of anthropology, art history and natural history, aquariums, arboreta, art centers, botanical gardens, children’s museums, historic sites, nature centers, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.

Participating staff members may come from any field of professional specialization, though ideally a staff member from the marketing or public relations department will be included as part of the project team.

Selection Criteria
Final selections are made based on the recommendations of a selection committee, which evaluates the Final Proposals on the following criteria:

  • Thematic linkage to U.S. foreign policy goals and priorities
  • Community involvement,
  • Project structure,
  • Increased understanding between the communities,
  • Institutional capacity
  • Sustainability.

For more information about the Museums Connect program, including project examples, and timeline for the nomination process, visit the AAM’s Museums Connect website.

Museums Connect is made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the American Alliance of Museums.