Call for proposals: 2022 Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)

The Embassy of the United States in Beirut announces a call for proposals for the Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2022. The Embassy seeks proposals that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Organizations interested in applying should submit their proposals to PDBeirutGrants@state.gov by Friday, December 10, 2021.

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Department of State established the AFCP in 2000 at the request of Congress (Conference Report 106-1005 accompanying H.R. 4942). At the time, the Senate noted that the preservation of cultural heritage “offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and nonmilitary.”

The projects recommended for funding advance U.S. foreign policy goals and show respect for other cultures. Cultural preservation is effective public diplomacy that resonates deeply with opinion leaders and local communities, even in countries where ties may be otherwise limited. AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.

The AFCP Grants Program supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts. Appropriate project activities may include:
a) Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts);
b) Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site);
c) Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site);
d) Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition);
e) Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state);
f) Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition);
g) Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings);
h) Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).

Sites and Objects Having a Religious Connection: The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions. For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

Funding Priorities: Some of the most impactful AFCP projects have been designed as part of a greater PD programming arc promoting specific U.S. policy goals and host country or community objectives. Accordingly, in FY 2022, ECA will give preference to projects that do one or more of the following:

a) Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations.
b) Directly support U.S. policies, strategies, and objectives in a country as stated in the Integrated Country Strategy or other U.S. government planning documents.
c) Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery.
d) Support conflict resolution and help communities bridge differences.
e) Partner, connect with, or feed into other ECA or public diplomacy programs.

NOTE: All grant activities must comply with the latest guidance related to COVID- 19/coronavirus. Please clearly document whether activities will take place virtually or in person. For any in person activity, please be sure to include how applicable health precautions will be followed.

B. PROGRAM INFORMATION:

Closing date for concept notes- Round one: Friday, December 10, 2021
Expected size of individual awards: $10,000 to $500,000
Closing date for Round two: Friday, April 8, 2022

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION:

Eligible Project Implementers must be reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that can demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards.

Potential implementers must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive U.S. federal assistance. Potential implementers are only allowed to submit one (1) concept note.  Concept notes that do not address the themes as outlined in the program description will be deemed ineligible.

All project activities must take place in Lebanon, and inclusion of cost share is highly encouraged.

D. CONCEPT NOTE INFORMATION -ROUND ONE, ROUND TWO AND NECESSARY EGISTRATIONS, AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS:

ROUND ONE (Deadline December 10. 2021):

Each concept note submitted must include:

a) Project basics, including working title, anticipated project length (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars).
b) Project implementer information, including name and SAM registration.
c) Scope of work summarizing (1) the preservation goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; and (2) any broader host country or community goals and the activities planned to achieve those goals; (i.e., what they hope to gain from the project beyond the preserved heritage and how they plan to get there; 2,000 characters maximum).
d) Five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

ROUND 2 (Deadline April 8, 2022):

Applicants selected in Round 1 will be asked to submit their full applications by no later than April 8, 2022.The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and eligibility requirements. Furthermore, to be considered complete, they must include:

a) Project dates (maximum of 60 months [five years]).
b) Statement of importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage.
c) Revised/detailed scope of work with (1) clear preservation goals and activities for achieving those goals, and (2) the host country or community’s intended broader goals and activities for achieving those goals (Note: When describing and ordering the activities for (1) and (2) above, highlight any major milestones and target dates for achieving them. Each set of activities should clearly lead to their corresponding goals with no gaps. The overall presentation should make a compelling case that the implementer has a clear and comprehensive sense of how to achieve the preservation and other goals).
d) Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site or collection.
e) Implementer’s public awareness plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, social media, and other means.
f) Maintenance plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; or, in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project.
g) Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants.
h) Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2022, 2023, 2024, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs).
i) Budget narrative explaining how the costs were estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and any large budget line items.
j) Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL).
k) Relevant supporting documentation, such as historic structure reports, restoration plans and studies, conservation needs assessments and recommendations, architectural and engineering records, etc., compiled in preparation for the proposed project.
l) As requested by the Center or as appropriate, additional high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the heritage and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, extensive water damage, etc.).

Required Registration: Applicants must be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) prior to receiving U.S, federal assistance. The SAM registration process, which requires either a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) or a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, can take weeks or months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.

Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at:
https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. SAM will assign a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) automatically to any entity registering or renewing its record in the system. Registration in SAM is free: https://sam.gov/. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs:
AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and the Center will deem applications requesting AFCP support for any of these activities or costs ineligible:

a) Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural
objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application.
b) Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological
formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.) unless the natural heritage has a cultural heritage connection or dimension.
c) Preservation of hominid or human remains
d) Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.)
e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.)
f) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use
g) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes
h) Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project
i) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums
j) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example)
k) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes
l) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances
m) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist
n) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another
o) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country
for any reason
p) Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation, documentation, or public diplomacy effort
q) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies
r) Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund)
s) Costs of fund-raising campaigns
t) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees
u) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer
v) International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral
to the success of the proposed project or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts
w) Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000
x) Independent U.S. projects overseas