Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
45.301 Museums for America
OFFICE OF MUSEUM SERVICES, INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES, NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES
Museum and Library Services Act of 1996, Title II, Public Law 104-208.
To support the efforts of museums to conserve the Nation's historic, scientific, and cultural heritage; to maintain and expand museums and libraries educational roles; and to ease the financial burden borne by museums and libraries as a result of their increasing use by the public.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
To make unrestricted General Operating Support (GOS) grants to museums. GOS grants are 2-year competitive awards made on an annual basis to maintain or improve the operations of museums; successful applicants are not eligible for the subsequent year's competition.
Applicant Eligibility: A museum located in the 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, or the District of Columbia may apply for a grant under the Act. No museum is eligible to apply for General Operating Support or Conservation Project Support funding under the Act unless it has provided museum services including exhibiting objects to the general public on a regular basis for at least 2 years prior to application. A public or private nonprofit organization, such as a municipality, college, or university which is responsible for the operation of a museum may, if necessary, apply on behalf of the museum. A museum operated by a department or agency of the Federal government is not eligible to apply. Under the IMLS definition, a museum is a public or private nonprofit institution which is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes and which, using a professional staff: (1) Owns or uses tangible objects, whether animate or inanimate; (2) cares for these objects; and (3) exhibits them to the general public on a regular basis. A museum must have at least one staff member, paid or unpaid, who devotes his or her time primarily to the acquisition, care or exhibition of objects. The definition makes clear that the term "museum" includes aquariums and zoological parks; botanical gardens and arboretums; nature centers; art, history, (including historic buildings and sites), natural history, children's, general and specialized museums, science and technology centers and planetariums.
Pre-application Coordination: The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Formula and Matching Requirements: 45 CFR 1180. The maximum grant is currently $112,500 or up to 15 percent of the applicant museum's nonfederal operating income, whichever is less, through the General Operating Support Program.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: The IMLS requires final financial and narrative reports from General Operating Support recipients.
Account Identification: 59-0300-0-1-503.
For fiscal year 2001, 826 GOS applications were received and 178 were funded.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
Final regulations are codified in 45 CFR 1180.
Regional or Local Office: Not applicable.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
General Operating Support for an exploratorium, a planetarium, and an art museum.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
The following criteria apply to the evaluation of all applications for General Operating Support: I. Audience: (1) How does the museum reach an appropriately broad and diverse audience? (2) How are the levels of public participation in the services the museum provides appropriate to its audience and activities? II. Collections: (1) How do the museum's collections support the statement of purpose? (2) What is the significance of the collections to the museum's community and constituencies? III. Exhibitions: (1) How do the museum's exhibitions support the statement of purpose? (2) How are exhibitions developed and evaluated? IV. Management and Care: (1) What are the museum's policies and practices for the responsible care and management of collections? (2) How are the collections used? (3) What are the museum's policies and practices for the responsible care and management of its exhibits? (4) What is the significance of the exhibits to the museum's community and constituents? (5) What is the extent, purpose, and use of research by staff, visitors, and scholars? V. Education: (1) How do the museum's education programs support the statement of purpose? (2) How are educational programs developed, disseminated, and evaluated? VI. Physical Facilities/Safety and Security: (1) How does the museum use its physical resources in providing museum services to the general public and specialized audiences? (2) What practices and schedules does the museum follow to ensure the proper care and maintenance of its physical plant? (3) How does the museum ensure the safety of its staff, visitors, facilities, and collections? VII. Staff: (1) How are the qualifications, responsibilities, and professional activities of the museum's permanent, professional staff appropriate to the museum's mission? (2) What personnel policies and practices does the museum follow? (3) How does the museum select, recruit, train, and use supplementary staff? VIII. Governance and Management/Financial Management: (1) How is the museum's governing authority appropriate to the museum's mission and operation? (2) How is the museum's management structure appropriate to the museum's mission and operation? (3) What is the museum's financial condition? (4) What are the museum's procedures for budgetary development and control? IX. Support: (1) How does the community's non-cash support of the museum operations demonstrate commitment to the museum's services? (2) How does the museum acquire non-federal financial support? X. Long-Range Plan: (1) How does the long-range plan support the mission of the museum? (2) How does the museum develop, implement, and update the long-range plan? (3) How will GOS funds, if awarded this year, be used to further the museum's purpose?