Call for Project Abstracts: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation: Large Grants Competition

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The U.S. Mission to South Africa is accepting project abstracts for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2017 Large Grants Program.  Abstracts are due January 18, 2017.

The U.S. Mission to South Africa and the Cultural Heritage Center (“the Center”) of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs request project abstracts for partnership-based projects to preserve significant cultural heritage sites through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).  The AFCP Large Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, and major museum collections that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country.  The floor on the amount of awards is $200,000 per project.

Those organizations with abstracts selected to advance to Round 2 will be contacted by the U.S. Mission and requested to submit full proposals.

Please read all guidelines carefully before submitting a project abstract.  This is a competition for cultural projects, not development projects.


The application process for the AFCP Large Grants Program takes place in two rounds: Project Abstract (Round 1) and Full Proposal (Round 2).  Project Abstracts are due to the U.S. Embassy by January 18, 2017.  The top-ranked Project Abstract will be submitted to a global competition managed by the Center.  Following a technical review, the Center will identify Project Abstracts to advance to Round 2.  Should a South Africa project make the shortlist for Round 2, U.S. Mission South Africa will work with the stakeholder to move forward on a full proposal. 


The AFCP Large Grants Program gives top priority to project activities that are appropriate and in keeping with international cultural heritage preservation standards.  An appropriate preservation activity is one that protects the values of the site. 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.  Appropriate project activities may include:

  • preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site)
  • stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [settling, collapse, etc.] of a site)
  • conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or sites)
  • consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site)
  • anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  • restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)

PROJECT ABSTRACT REQUIREMENTS (DEADLINE: January 18, 2017): The project abstract must include the following items:

A.  Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)

B. Project Basics, including title, project dates, location, and site.

C. Project Applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status.

D. Special Designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.).

E. Law/s Protecting the Site or Collection (citations only).

F. Project Purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results.

G. Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the site or collection.

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS: AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

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 application;

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 exploratory 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, objects, 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 the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;

M. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions 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 or documentation 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 award 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 unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;

V.  International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;

W. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;

X.  Independent U.S. projects overseas.

AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

FURTHER INFORMATION ON AFCP:  Click here to review previously awarded Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation grants.  Full implementation of the AFCP 2017 program is pending the availability of funds.

Please submit project abstracts to Amy Christianson; email: and Sheila Goodgall; email: by January 18, 2017.