U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2022 Grants Competition

The U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2022 Grants Competition of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). 

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, and currently is helping to preserve the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church in Causeni. 

Competition format

The application process involves two rounds: In Round 1, eligible project implementers will submit a concept note focused on objectives that may be accomplished through the proposed project. In Round 2 invited embassies will submit a full application, due April 18, 2022.

The deadline for submitting electronically Round 1 concept notes in English to the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is 5:30 pm on Monday, December 13, 2021. The Round 1 results will be announced on or around January 15, 2022.

Funding Areas: 

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).

Funding Priorities: 

In 2022, the U.S. Embassy will give preference to projects that do one or more of the following:

  • Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations;
  • Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas; cultural heritage recovery;
  • Support conflict resolution and help communities bridge differences;

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs

The U.S. 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; 

M. 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 fundraising 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; 

W. Individual projects costing less than $10,000 or more than $500,000;
X. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

Eligible project implementers:
Eligible project implementers must be reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are able to demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards. 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.

Round 1 Concept Note Requirements (Deadline: December 13, 2021):A. Project basics, title, anticipated project length (applicants may propose projects of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate in U.S. dollars;

B. Project implementer information;

C. Scope of work summarizing: (1) the preservation goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; and (2) any broader host country or community goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; (i.e., what is hoped to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and what is the plan to get there;) 2,000 characters maximum.

D. Five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

The deadline for concept note submission is close of business (5:30pm) on Monday, December 13, 2021. Concept notes must clearly address the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity, must be written in English and submitted electronically to the e-mail address listed below. If unsure of the project eligibility please call the program coordinator Alexandru Leanca. Incomplete concept notes will not be reviewed. 

The contact person for this program is Alexandru Leanca, e-mail: leancaai@state.govtel: 069126372