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Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Accepting Applications for Cultural and Historical Support Grants to Museums, County Historical Societies

09/02/2020

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants.

“From the founding of our nation to today, Pennsylvania is home to many fascinating stories and people, and we share those memories through our museums and historical societies,” said Governor Wolf. “These grants will help Pennsylvania’s museum community to tell those stories to future generations and continue to support our wonderful tourism industry in communities across the commonwealth.”

This is the eighth year that the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has worked with the state legislature to provide funding for museums through the grant program. 

“Museums and historical organizations connect visitors with past people, places, events and ideas in ways that are important and meaningful today.  These cultural institutions hold and share culture and history for all Pennsylvanians.” said PHMC Executive Director Andrea Lowery. “The financial support these grants provide is even more important during the current emergency, helping provide a bridge for these organizations through lean times to the other side of the pandemic.”

“For the past several years the legislature has made this program and its investment across our state a priority,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said.  “Our Commonwealth is fortunate to have outstanding museums and historical societies across Pennsylvania, and I encourage them to apply for this support.  These grants will offer assistance to historical sites so that they can continue to provide excellent educational opportunities within our communities.”

Applicants must meet organizational eligibility requirements. Awards are based on a calculation that uses the operating budget from the most recently completed fiscal year. 

The goals of the Cultural and Historic Support Program are:

  • Strengthen the Pennsylvania museum community;
  • Provide general operating support to museum and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs;
  • Provide financial support as unrestricted operating support to address primary needs of museums;
  • Allow applicants to determine and describe how they will use funds;
  • Keep application process fair and simple;
  • Determine award amounts using an equation based on a percentage of the previous year’s operating budget; and
  • Achieve geographical balance in the distribution of grants.

The Cultural and Historical Support grant program is restricted to eligible organizations:

  • Museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies). The maximum award for a museum is $65,000; and
  • Official county historical societies. The awards for Official County Historical Societies range from $2,500 to $4,000.

The application period is now open. All applications must be completed by Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Please note that all PHMC grant applications are now submitted on the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance system. The PHMC website has eligibility information and grant guidelines. Grants are expected to be approved at the December 2, 2020 Commission meeting.

To confirm eligibility or learn about the application process, please contact Rusty Baker, Executive Director of PA Museums, at (717) 909-4951 or c-rubaker@pa.gov. PA Museums is assisting the PHMC with the administration of the grant program.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Learn more by visiting PHMC online or following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

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