If you have not yet done so, please respond now to the request from IMLS posted below. The AIC Board of Directors agree that that the proposed new grant guidelines pose a real threat to conservation funding and the long-term care of collections. It is imperative that IMLS hear from the conservation community—from individual conservation professionals as well as from AIC as a whole. AIC is submitting a response on behalf of the organization. Some points taken from it include:
- By merging Museums for America (MFA) and Conservation Project Support (CPS), there will no longer be a funding source dedicated to conservation.
- Although multiple applications will be permitted by IMLS, multiple submissions from institutions will ultimately compete against each other. Exhibition or education proposals, for instance, would be pitted against conservation proposals.
- If museums focus their grant writing efforts on the support of exhibitions, education, and community outreach, the grants will provide important support for annual programming budgets, yet these funds will do little to support museum missions to preserve and make their permanent collections accessible in a more lasting way.
- One January 15 deadline for all proposals puts a great burden on museum staff members, particularly for those working in smaller institutions.
While AIC applauds IMLS for considering changes to improve its grant services, combining the CPS and MFA programs and instituting a single application deadline will have unintended consequences that will result in museums placing less emphasis on conservation of collections. AIC urges IMLS to consider leaving CPS as a separate program or combining it with collections stewardship.
How have the collections for which you are responsible benefited from IMLS conservation support in the past? What impact on collections care do you envision with the implementation of the draft guidelines being presented by IMLS?
Speak up! Now!
Meg Craft, AIC Board President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2012
Draft Museum Grant Guidelines Available for Public Comment
Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is seeking public comments on the draft guidelines for the FY 2013 Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs. The guidelines for these programs have been revised to align with the IMLS Strategic Plan. We are seeking comments to assess how well these guidelines accomplish the following goals:
- Make federal dollars more accessible by reducing complexity
- Increase clarity and readability
- Make it easier to see where a project idea fits best
- Make it easier to articulate the impact of project ideas
- Allow grantees greater ability to pursue comprehensive collections care projects by combining the purposes of the current Conservation Project Support and Museums for America programs
- Allow grantees greater ability to pursue professional development activities by combining the purposes and funding for the current 21st Century Museum Professionals and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs
- Provide greater ability for museums and organizations that serve museums to pursue National Leadership Grants that have broad impact for their communities and create models that can be adapted by others
- Make it possible for IMLS to continue to support the full range of museums, large and small, and representing every museum discipline and every geographic area
The comment period will end on Friday, July 6, 2012. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Final guidelines will be posted no later than October 15, 2012.