U.S. Embassy (Mongolia): Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar with the Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the start of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2021 Grants Program.
Cash Grants for NGOs to improve access to justice around the world
Conservation Grants to research and generate local solutions to environmental problems
Foundation Grants of up to € 100,000 to increase people’s resilience to disasters
Innovative grants to address poverty issues by helping communities reduce violence, promote peace and recover from crises
The U.S. Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress. At the time, the Senate noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military.” The projects recommended for funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show respect for other cultures. Cultural preservation is effective public diplomacy that resonates deeply with opinion leaders and local communities. AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.
Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: U.S. $10,000 per project;
Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: U.S. $500,000 per project;
Anticipated Number of Awards worldwide: 30-40.
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The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts. Appropriate project activities may include:
Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts);
Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site);
Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site);
Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition);
Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state);
Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition);
Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings);
Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).
Some of the most impactful AFCP projects have been designed as part of a greater PD programming arc promoting specific U.S. policy goals and host-country or community objectives. Accordingly, in FY 2021, ECA will give preference to projects that do one or more of the following:
Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations;
Directly support U.S. policies, strategies and objectives in a country as stated in the Integrated Country Strategy or other U.S. government planning documents;
Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery;
Support conflict resolution and help communities bridge differences;
Partner, connect with, or feed into other ECA or public diplomacy programs.
Eligible Project Applicants
The AFCP defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable noncommercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, that are registered and active in www.SAM.gov and able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. The U.S. Embassy vets applicants for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities.
Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs
Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application;
Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
Preservation of hominid or human remains;
Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums
Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist
Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;
International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
Individual projects costing less than $10,000 or more than $200,000;
Independent U.S. projects overseas.
For more information, visit https://mn.usembassy.gov/education-culture/cultural-programs/afcp/afcp-2021-concept-note/