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David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mike Worcester at the Cokato Museum got a Museums for America Grant and he and I have been talking a lot about it. I believe that IMLS would be thrilled to get quality proposals for small projects from museums around the country. We were not sure why there seems to be a dearth of such projects, but our suspicion is that most small museum directors look at the guidelines and throw up their hands.

Admittedly, the federal grant application process has gotten infinitely more complicated, and the MFA guidelines are not written very clearly. But I do think that it is possible that small museums have all kinds of projects, the money for which they could apply. I would love to know how many people have looked at the MFA guidelines, and what the bars are to them applying.  And what is up with no MAP grants being given in Minnesota this year? Has everyone had one?

For my part, I hate to see so many institutions getting the maximum, when that money could have so much more impact if it was just spread around a little bit more.


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2 Responses to Federal Grants for Minnesota Museums

  1. Of the 154 grants awarded in this year’s MFA cycle, 1/3 were for amount between $148,000 and $150,000 (ostensibly the max amount). Another 1/3 received between $100K and $148K. The remainder received less than $100K.

    Of those remaining, ten received less than $25K, and exactly two(!) received less than $10K.

    The results were definitely slanted towards the large awards.


  2. Jack Samson says:

    The process of seeking out grants and applying for them is indeed a difficult one. Finding the grants takes time because there are multiple sources and the applications take skill and practice.
    Anyway, there is some good software which automates the process. The programs will take you through the entire process of finding grants, writing proposals and submitting them. These programs will give you your best chance of getting grants. You can evaluate them at my site.


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