U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)

The Fund was established to help countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures. The Fund is aimed at preserving cultural sites or objects that have an historical or cultural significance to the cultural heritage of Malaysia.

Proposals should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Cultural sites: This might include (but is not limited to) historical buildings and sites, sacred places, monuments, and archaeological sites.
  • Cultural objects and collections: from a museum, site, or similar institution. This includes archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, photographic and film collections, and general museum conservation activities.
  • Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression: This includes traditional music, rituals, knowledge, languages, dance, drama, and crafts.

Priority Activities

AFCP gives top priority to project activities in keeping with international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  • In the case of Cultural Sites, restoration of a historic building, an archaeological survey as a component of a preservation plan, preservation management planning for a site, or documentation of sites in a region for preservation purpose.
  • In the case of Cultural objects and collections, 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 purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  • In the case of Forms of traditional cultural expression, documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for preservation and eventual dissemination, or support for training

An appropriate preservation activity is one that protects the values of the site, object or collection, or form of traditional cultural expression as they are understood by stakeholders. Stakeholders may include national, regional, or local cultural authorities, the local community, and others with vested interests in the site and the outcome of a project.

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.

Project Performance and Budget Periods: Applicants may propose performance periods of up to 60 months (five years) with five budget periods of one year each.

Performance and Deliverables: Successful recipients must submit periodic performance progress and financial status reports, and a final report, as required.

Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: AFCP encourages cost sharing, contributions in kind, and other forms of cost participation.
Application Guidelines:
Proposals shall not exceed 1,000 words (excluding budget). Please refer to the attachments below in the preparation of your proposal. Proposals must include the following information:

  1. Project Title: A short, descriptive title – up to 10 words
  2. Project Purpose that briefly explains the project objectives and desired results.
  3. Project Activities Description that explains how the applicant intends to achieve the project objectives and results, presents proposed tasks in a logical order, and describes how those tasks directly contribute towards achieving the project objectives and results.
  4. Project Timeframe or Schedule that identifies the major project phases and milestones, with performance target dates for achieving them.
  5. Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, object, collection, or form of traditional expression.
  6. Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now.
  7. Rationale for U.S. Support that explains why the U.S. government ought to fund this project.
  8. Detailed Project Budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), that lists all costs in cost categories (Personnel, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs), indicates funds from other sources, and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs.
  9. Applicant Information, including resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants, that demonstrates that the applying entity (Ministry of Culture, NGO, etc.) has the requisite experience and the capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.
  10. Proof of Official permission to undertake the project and the endorsement and support of the appropriate national authority.
  11. Attachments: including at least three high quality digital images (JPEGS) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, show the urgency of need for the proposed project (collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.).

AFCP does not support the following:

  1. 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;
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  7. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  8. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  16. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  18. 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);
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;
  22. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  24. Individual projects costing less than $10,000;
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

Strong encouragement is given to local non-U.S. government source cost-sharing (including in-kind) from sources such as governments, international organizations, and the private sector.