File #: 24-1477    Name: Consideration of a Grant Application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Type: Grant Application Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 10/4/2023 In control: City Council Legislative Meeting
On agenda: 11/14/2023 Final action:
Title: Consideration of a Grant Application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

City of Alexandria, Virginia







DATE:                     NOVEMBER 7, 2023


TO:                                          THE HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL


THROUGH:                     JAMES F. PARAJON, CITY MANAGER   /s/




DOCKET TITLE:                     


Consideration of a Grant Application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.




ISSUEThe Office of Historic Alexandria is applying for a Museum Grant for African American History and Culture from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which amounts to $100,000.


RECOMMENDATION:  That City Council:


(1) Approve submission of the grant application; and


(2) Authorize the City Manager to execute all necessary documents to submit, accept, and 

      implement the grant, if awarded.


BACKGROUNDThe Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) rooted in community action, beginning as a segregated library in 1940, dedicated as a resource center by volunteers in 1983, and formally brought into the City’s museum system in 1987. The museum continues to maintain strong ties with Alexandria’s African American community while also broadening its access to the wider national and international community.


The Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) program is designed to build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums. The program supports projects that nurture museum professionals, build institutional capacity, and increase access to museum and archival collections at African American museums.


DISCUSSIONIf awarded this grant, the money would be used to fund two term limited collections Curator positions for one year. These are existing positions that are grant funded. The museum has limited capacity for collections storage and physical exhibitions, which significantly inhibits the ability of museum staff to provide access to important collections, especially the archival collections. Recent digitizing initiatives have led to online exhibitions and the launch of Historic Alexandria Collections Online. Building on these successes, the museum seeks to continue to catalog, photograph, and scan more objects, documents, and photographs for inclusion in the collections database, and expand online exhibitions and programming to meet this strong demand.


FISCAL IMPACT:  This grant, if awarded, will provide up to $100,000 to support two term limited Curator (GS18/6) positions for one year. There is no required match from the City.



Emily A. Baker, Deputy City Manager

Audrey Davis, Director of African American History, OHA