Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation is the only cultural preservation program of the U.S. government that provides direct small grant support to heritage preservation in other countries. Through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the U.S. Department of State helps eligible countries around the world preserve cultural heritage such as the restoration of historic buildings, assessment and conservation of museum collections, archaeological site preservation, documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques, improved storage conditions for archives and manuscripts, and documentation of indigenous languages.

Since 2001 the U.S. Government has awarded cultural preservation grants to seven projects in Moldova through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. For more information please visit the program site at

Small Grants Competition for 2020


The U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2020 Small Grants Competition of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). The Ambassadors Fund was established by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for different cultures around the world. Last year grants ranged from US $25,000 to US $200,000. The minimum amount of an award is $10,000, and the maximum is $200,000.

The deadline for submitting proposals in English to the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is 5:30pm on Monday, December 9, 2019. Recipients will be notified of the results in summer of 2020.

The Ambassadors Fund supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three categories: 

A) CULTURAL SITES, that include (but not limited to) historic buildings and archaeological sites.

Proposals in this category may involve, for example, conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.

B) CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS from a museum, site, or similar institution that include archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs.

Proposals in this category may involve, for example, conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.

C) FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION that include traditional music, indigenous languages, and crafts.

Proposals in this category may involve documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional arts or crafts that are threatened by extinction.

Additional Program Information:

The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation does NOT support the following:

A. 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 proposal submission;
B. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
C. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
D. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
E. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
F. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
G. Archaeological excavations or surveys for research purposes;
H. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;

I. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits or collections for new or existing museums;

J. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
K. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
L. Creation of new or modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;Creation of replicas or re-creation of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
N. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
O. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
P. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation effort;
Q. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
R. Cash reserves, endowments or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the grant period (up to five years) and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
S. Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
T. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
U. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award;
V. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;Travel or study for professional development;
X. Individual projects costing less than $10,000or more than $200,000;
Y. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

Eligible project applicants:
Applicants must be 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 able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. The AFCP Program strongly encourages cost-sharing, in-kind contributions, and other forms of cost participation.

Special note regarding sites and objects that have a religious connection: The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government
to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions. For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

How to Apply:

Project proposals must include or address the following:

A. Project basics, including title, project dates, location, AFCP focus area, and summary;

B. Applicant information, including contact information, resumes of the project director and primary project participants;
C. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
D. Project activities description that presents the project tasks in chronological order;
E. Project timeframe or schedule that lists the major project phases;
F. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) value;
G. Statement of urgency;

H. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms;

I. Statement of sustainability outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete;

J. Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.) that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Cost Sharing);

K. At least five digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression.

The deadline for submission is close of business (5:30pm) on Monday, December 9, 2019. Proposals must be written in English and submitted electronically to the e-mail addresses listed below. Applicants must read carefully the instructions provided on the embassy website before filling out and submitting the application form. Both instructions and application form can be found on embassy webpage at If unsure of the project eligibility please call the program coordinator Alexandru Leanca. Applications that do not follow the instructions or are incomplete will not be reviewed.

The contact person for this program is Alexandru Leanca, tel: 022 85-17-14, e-mail:

Instructions ENG (PDF 211 KB) RO (PDF 164 KB)

Application (doc 113 KB)

Ongoing projects:

In 2016, 2017, and 2019 the AFCP awarded $150,000, $200,000, and $380,000 grants respectively for preventive conservation, stabilization, and restoration, of one of the oldest medieval churches in the area. Up until now the grantee, the Archaeological Research Center of the Republic of Moldova, conducted archaeological excavations, built a new sewage and electricity system, replaced the church masonry and pre-consolidated the frescos in church’s altar and naos areas. In 2019/2020 the interior frescos pre-consolidation and conservation will continue, the current roof will be replaced with a sturdy and historically appropriate brick roof, and an aeration system will be built around the church foundation. The total project cost is estimated at $1.6 million.

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary church is among the oldest churches in Moldova. It is the only church in Moldova that has all of its interior walls covered with frescoes. The frescoes were painted by Wallachian artists in 1763. Wallachia wasa historical and geographical region of Romania that existed from the 15th to 19th centuries. These particular frescos are considered the only remaining example of the Byzantine-Romanian style paintings of the 18th century in the easternmost part of Europe.

Preservation of Early 19th-Century Bessarabian Charters and Historical Documents 

In 2017 the AFCP also awarded $55,350 grant to the Librarians League of Moldova NGO to preserve, treat, restore and exhibit Bessarabian Charters housed at the National Library of the Republic of Moldova (NLRM). They represent an unique collection of documents, reflecting economical, political and cultural life of Moldova, part of the printed heritage of the Republic of Moldova. For example, one of the Bessarabian Charters, named “Manifesto” was issued at the conclusion of peace between Russia and France on 18 May, 1814. Several Charters serve as an abundant chronicle of Russian-Turkish war during 1828-1829.

Most of the Charters are published in the first part of XIX century, and the paper used for their production is 200 years old, with evident signs of decay, degradation and pest infection. Properly treated, restored and exhibited in special furniture with microclimate conditions, Bessarabian Carters will be available to local public within new exhibition area, opening of which is planned for 2018.