The National Park Service’s (NPS) African American Civil Rights Grant Program (AACR) supports projects to document, interpret, and preserve the sites related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens. The 2008 NPS report, Civil Rights in America, A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites (PDF) serves as the reference document in determining the appropriateness of proposed projects and properties. AACR Grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), administsered by the NPS, and fund a broad range of planning, preservation, and research projects for historic sites including: survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and bricks and mortar repair. Grants are awarded through a competitive process and do not require non-Federal match.
Grants awarded prior to September 30, 2020 must have a connection to African American Civil Rights in the 20th century. For grants awarded after October 1, 2020, the connection to African American Civil Rights is no longer limited to the 20th century.
How to Apply & What is Funded
African American Civil Rights (AACR) Preservation Grants
Preservation: Pre-preservation and Preservation Projects
- Preservation projects must range from $75,000 to $500,000 in federal share, of which 10% may go toward pre-preservation costs such as architectural or engineering services. Grant applications that solely involve pre-preservation work must range from $15,000 to $50,000.
- Preservation projects fund physical preservation of a historic site to include historic districts, buildings, sites, structures, and objects. Projects must comply with Section 106, NEPA, and execute a preservation covenant/easement.
- Eligible costs include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Treatment Standards for Historic Properties.
- All applications must include a National Register Eligibility Assessment worksheet. Properties must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or designated a National Historic Landmark either individually or as part of a district whose significance is associated with African American Civil Rights. If the property is not listed for its association with African American Civil Rights, or not listed at all, the Eligibility Assessment form should provide information that demonstrates its association. Projects that are not listed on the National Register or are not listed in association with African American Civil Rights must include a nomination or amendment to an existing nomination as part of their project.
African American Civil Rights (AACR) History Grants
History: History Projects
- History grant projects must range from $15,000 to $50,000 in federal share.
- Eligible costs include survey, planning, and documentation of historic sites/events, as well as the creation of interpretive and educational materials around significant sites (including oral histories).
- Projects must be associated with the African American Civil Rights Movement.
- Successful applications will emphasize innovative strategies, and creative projects with measurable results, and include cross-generational engagement that promote and preserve the community’s civil rights resources. Projects should involve public-private partnerships and serve as models to communities nationwide. Your project must fit one of the categories listed below. If a project overlaps more than one category, select the dominant category.
- Survey and Planning
- Research and Documentation
- Interpretation and Education
Before You Can Apply
- Ensure that Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed and updated on your computer so that you can register on all required federal sites.
- Ensure that your SAM.gov (System for Award Management) registration is complete and/or up-to-date.
- Ensure that your registration with grants.gov is complete and current.
- Registration on these sites can take 2-3 weeks, so please allow time.
Who May Apply
The organizations listed below are eligible under the current round of funding.
- States and Territories
- Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian Organizations
- Local Governments
- Non-profit Organizations
Organizations not in one of these categories need to apply in partnership with an eligible recipient listed above.
What is Not Funded
- Construction of new buildings.
- Acquisition of collections or historic sites.
- Long-term maintenance or curatorial work beyond the grant period.
- Reconstructing historic properties (recreating all or a significant portion that no longer exists).
- Moving historic properties or work to moved historic properties that are no longer eligible for listing in the NRHP.
- Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds.
- Fund-raising costs.
- Work performed prior to announcement of award.
- Lobbying or advocacy activities.
- Costs for work already completed or funded through other federal programs.