August 3, 2023

Federal Grants Advance Museum Profession and Practice

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the selection of 19 projects from a pool of 48 applicants for the highly competitive National Leadership Grants for Museums program.

National Leadership Grants for Museums support projects led by museums and related organizations that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. The projects will receive funds totaling $8,440,410, and the organizations receiving the awards are matching them with $7,352,753 in non-federal funds.

“IMLS is thrilled to announce our latest National Leadership Grants for Museums that are funding institutions and individuals who represent the best of the museum world in service to our communities,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper.

The IMLS website lists all projects funded through this year’s National Leadership Grants for Museums, including:

  • The Utah Arts Council, in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums, will address gaps in professional development opportunities and provide technical assistance for museum professionals by implementing an IMLS-funded museum social impact toolkit. The team will use their experience gathering and analyzing museum social impact measurements to build a community of practice centered around supporting institutions of all sizes and types. This project will support a project manager and external evaluation consultant who, in collaboration with the team, will recruit 30 museums, provide training for using the toolkit, host focus groups and in-person meetings, and develop formative and summative evaluations. As a result, participants will be better able to measure their own social impact, connect with their peers in the field conducting similar work, and advocate for their organizations based on their findings.

  • The Global Conservation Network will provide training to zoo and aquaria professionals in facilitating collaborative species conservation planning processes. Up to 30 museum staff will receive formal mentoring during a 15-month program during which they will design and facilitate their own planning processes to benefit their collections and the wider conservation of linked species. The mentees will collaborate to develop a tool to monitor implementation and results, and an online planning tools library, both of which will be made accessible to the wider U.S. zoo and aquarium community. All mentees will receive training to be trainers themselves, which will provide capacity building support to the sector. This project will support a full-time training officer who will deliver conservation planning workshop courses and manage the recruitment, delivery, and evaluation for a conservation assessment course. Project outcomes and impacts will be tracked to monitor improvements in U.S. zoo and aquarium planning processes and the impacts they have on the stewardship of species within their care.

“The recipients of the National Leadership Grants are forward-thinking leaders in the museum space,” said Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services. “Their projects address critical concerns like accessibility and digital resourcing, and their work is helping to ensure that the future of museums is brighter than the past.”

The FY 2024 National Leadership Grants for Museums Notice of Funding Opportunity will be posted later this month. The anticipated application deadline is November 15, 2023. For more information, please visit the IMLS website.

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.

National Leadership Grants for Museums