U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund was established by the U.S. Congress in 2001 to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for different cultures around the world. AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world. The minimum amount of an award is $10,000, and the maximum is $500,000.
The AFCP has provided over 1.5 million dollars in grants to fund projects throughout Moldova over the last two decades. These grants have helped to record traditional forms of Moldovan music and dance, build a Visitors Center and preserve the medieval bath complex in Orhei Vechi, preserve the Treasury Room Objects at the National History Museum of Moldova, preserve old and rare books at the National Library of Moldova, preserve Gagauz folklore, customs and rituals, currently is helping to preserve the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church in Causeni, and the Beit Kaddishim (funeral hall) within the Chisinau Jewish Cemetery.
The U.S. Embassy Chisinau is now accepting applications for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2024 Grants Program!
The deadline for submitting electronically Round 1 concept notes in English to the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is 5:30pm on Friday, January 19, 2024. The Round 1 results will be announced on or around March 15, 2024.
Conservation of the 17th-Century Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church in Causeni
In September 2021, the U.S. Embassy announce a new and final grant of $290,000 for the preservation of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation project. The total U.S. contribution to the preventive conservation, stabilization, and restoration, of one of the oldest medieval churches in the area is $1,070,000. 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, replaced the roof with a sturdy and historically appropriate brick one, built an aeration system around the church foundation, and consolidated and preserved the frescos in church’s altar, naos, and pre-naos areas. In 2023 the interior frescos consolidation and conservation in naos and pre-naos areas will continue and the project is expected to be finalized in 2023.
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 was a 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.
Conservation of the Ruins of the Late 19th-Century Beit Kaddishim (Funerary Hall) in the Jewish Cemetery in Chisinau
On September 12 the U.S. Embassy announced a new grant of $200,000 to be awarded to the National Jewish History Museum of the Republic of Moldova through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation for the preservation of the Beit Kaddishim (funeral hall) within the Chisinau Jewish Cemetery.
This three-year project is a partnership between the U.S. and Moldovan governments and will conduct an archaeological site survey, historical research, and ultimately restore the Beit Kaddishim.
The Jewish Cemetery of Chișinău was established in the early 19th century. The Beit Kaddishim, a funeral hall hidden in the heart of the cemetery dates from the second half of the 19th century, and still bears traces of shelling from the Second World War. Eight decades of neglect led to the loss of part of the roof, but the original interior decoration and dome remain intact.
Since the establishment of the Museum of Jewish History in 2018, the Jewish cemetery on Milano Street has become an integral open-air part of the museum.