Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2020 Large Grants Program

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The U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2020 Large Grants Program 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 $245,000 to US $500,000. The minimum amount of an award is $200,000, and the maximum is $800,000. 

This opportunity consists of two application rounds: Round 1 (Project Abstract) and Round 2 (Full Application). The deadline for submitting project abstracts in English to the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau is 5:30pm on Monday, December 9, 2019. For abstracts that advance to Round 2, the submission deadline for full project applications is February 11, 2020. Applicants will be notified of the Round 1 results by the end of December 2019.

Funding Areas: 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. Appropriate project activities may include:

  1. Preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site)
  2. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [e.g., settling, collapse] of a site)
  3. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or sites)
  4. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site)
  5. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  6. Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)

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.);

  1. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  2. 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; 
  3. 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; 
  4. 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; 
  5. Travel or study for professional development;
    X. Individual projects costing less than $200,000 or more than $800,000;
    Y. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

Eligible project applicants:
Eligible project applicants are reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in and able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. This may include 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.

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 Project Abstract Requirements:

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

  1. Applicant information, including contact information, resumes of the project director and primary project participants;
    C. Special designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.);
  2. Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only);
  3. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
    F. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) value;
    G. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why theproject must take place now; 
  1. Budget summary;
  2. 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);
  3. At a minimum and required, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.)

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:,   




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