Cultural Property Agreement Implementation Grants 2021

The U.S. Embassy Libya is pleased to announce the opening of FY21 Cultural Property Agreement Implementation Grants.  The U.S. embassy seeks Concept Notes for projects that advance the aims of a bilateral agreement to protect Libya’s cultural heritage.  Activities may include training, inventories, site security and protection, public education and outreach for crime prevention, and/or livelihood support.  Activities that promote cultural preservation should also promote stability, economic development, and good governance in other countries, while denying financing to terrorist organizations and other criminal networks that engage in illicit trade of cultural property.  Special consideration will be given to proposals with a multi-country or regional focus and that encourage linkages with government agencies, universities or educational institutions, and/or the private sector. 

The deadline for submitting concept notes is February 28, 2021.

This year’s selection process will have two phases.  An initial Concept Paper submitted to LibyaUSAexchanges@state.gov due February 28 will be evaluated by post and the Cultural Heritage Center in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  Applicants with the top proposals will be invited to submit additional proposal details and participate in a Second Round of the Selection Process in June 2021.  

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS:  This competition is organized through U.S. embassies in countries with which the United States has a signed bilateral cultural property agreement or where emergency import restrictions on archaeological and ethnological material are in effect under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq).  Projects advancing U.S. national interests by addressing threats to cultural heritage in the following countries will be considered:  Algeria, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:  Projects must contribute to the implementation of provisions in emergency determinations or cultural property agreements between the United States and foreign governments.  If an action plan to implement a cultural property agreement is in place, then any proposed projects must link directly to a very limited number of activities in the action plan.  Texts of the agreement with Libya is available on the Cultural Heritage Center website: https://www.state.gov/18-223/.  In all cases, projects should address clear needs in the country or region, and support U.S. foreign policy objectives.     

FUNDING AREAS:  Applications for projects that foster cooperation, build best practices, and engage communities through the following types of activities will be considered: 

  1. TRAINING:  Build capacity of foreign law enforcement and cultural property managers to protect sites and objects.  Examples include country-specific or regional workshops (virtual or in-person) on investigation and interdiction techniques, effective record keeping, the role of the judiciary, increased communication between ministries of culture and law enforcement authorities, and training for cultural heritage stewards.  
  2. INVENTORIES:  Support the creation and/or maintenance of centralized, digital, and secure inventories of cultural objects and/or sites to better support resource allocation, aid in recovery in cases of theft, and promote public appreciation for cultural heritage preservation and protection. 
  3. SITE SECURITY AND PROTECTION:  Support practical and sustainable measures to more effectively secure archaeological sites (on land or underwater), museums, libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions against looting, thefts, and vandalism.  Examples include development of site security plans, installation of security systems, and training for guards and/or site stewards.  
  4. PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH FOR CRIME PREVENTION: Support strategies to prevent looting and trafficking through heightened public awareness and outreach.  Examples include educational materials, community engagement and media programs, storytelling, distance learning courses, 3D models, virtual experiences like games and AR/VR. 
  5. SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS:  Support the protection of cultural heritage through economic development and sustainable alternative sources of livelihood to looting and trafficking.  Projects would need to couple support from this grant with other relevant funding streams.  Examples include the establishment of site stewardship programs with compensated participants and skill building for tour guides and docents, such as English language and storytelling training. 

NOTE: Special consideration will be given to proposals with a multi-country/regional focus, those taking advantage of international training centers such as the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs), those attaching cultural heritage themes to other ECA programming, and those encouraging linkages between government agencies (inter-ministerial initiatives) and between governments and the private sector.   

COMPETITION FORMAT:  Eligible embassies will propose projects for funding.  The Center, with input from the CATF and regional bureaus, will select from among them using a process with two rounds.  During Round 1, embassies and potential partners will develop Concept Notes focused on the public diplomacy objectives that may be accomplished through the proposed project and submit notes by March 5, 2021.  Embassies invited to participate in Round 2 will develop the technical aspects of the proposed project and submit a full application by June 23, 2021.  

ELIGIBLE PROJECT IMPLEMENTERS:  Reputable non-governmental organizations, museums, relevant government ministries, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, would be possible grantees.  

 Concept Note – Form Due February 28: Link