December 19, 2023

The 21st Century Museum Professionals Program will fund projects that create, expand, or enhance professional development initiatives within the museum field.

Group of people sitting at tables.
Through regular interdepartmental meetings, the New-York Historical Society fosters a culture of collaboration through peer-to-peer training sessions. Courtesy of New-York Historical Society.

Washington, DC— The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting applications for its relaunched 21st Century Museum Professionals Program (21MP). 21MP will support projects that offer professional development opportunities to the current museum workforce, employ strategies to train and recruit future museum professionals, or evaluate such efforts.

In addition to supporting the museum field, 21MP aims to contribute to US economic recovery. A special emphasis for the program this cycle will be on spurring economic growth through workforce development in the post-pandemic environment, especially for cultural institutions in rural and economically distressed communities.

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services is relaunching the 21st Century Museum Professionals Program to reflect the diversity of the museum world and the increasing focus on community impact,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Providing resources to support this is the proud mission of our agency.”

IMLS recognizes the important role of strong local and regional networks as an essential tool for providing peer-to-peer learning, training, and mentoring opportunities. The 21MP Program encourages applications from museum associations, institutions of higher education, and museums that serve as essential parts of the professional learning and training environment.

To facilitate 21MP applications, IMLS provides several virtual resources:

The 21MP program fulfills a strategic objective for IMLS: to support the training and professional development of the museum and library workforce – which is listed in our agency strategic plan for 2022-2026. IMLS is legislatively authorized to create and operate this grant program in 20 USC, Chapter 72 “Museum and Library Services”, Subchapter III “Museum Services”, Section 9175.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

21st Century Museum Professionals Program