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California Museum Grant Program

California Natural Resource Agency

Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $250,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 15, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Museum/Library/Zoo

Funding uses: Capital Project

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

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Note: This grant program is closed as of 2018.

California Cultural and Historical Endowment 

California Cultural and Historical Endowment The California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) is a state entity tasked with preserving and protecting California’s cultural resources. CCHE was established in 2002 by Assembly Bill 716 (Firebaugh) within the California State Library.1 In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 482 (Atkins), which transferred CCHE to the California Natural Resources Agency (Agency), and authorized creation of a specified competitive grant program to support small capital projects in museums. A ten member Board governs the activities of CCHE.

CCHE’s funding came from voter-approved Proposition 40, the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002, which included $267.5 million in bond funds for Historical and Cultural Resource Preservation.

CCHE’s share ($122 million) was distributed competitively to government entities, non-profit organizations, and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes for the acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of historical and cultural resources.

These property acquisition and construction grants helped preserve the tangible aspects of California’s history: the artifacts, collections, archives, historic structures and properties that cultivate understanding of our collective past, and preserve the many treasures that are California's cultural legacy. 

CCHE Priorities

CCHE programs seek to preserve, interpret, and enhance understanding and appreciation of the significant elements that add to the State’s cultural, social, and economic evolution, such as:

  • significant events occurring in the 20th century
  • unique identifiable ethnic and other communities 
  • culturally significant changes
  • illustrations of California’s economic strength
  • factors contributing to the national defense
  • California’s living cultural heritage and folk life
  • geologic and oceanographic history, including paleontology 
  • Native American archeology, history and culture
  • natural history resources
  • California history, archeology and culture

Other priorities include preserving, documenting, interpreting or enhancing the understanding of California’s story and communities that are absent or underrepresented in existing historical parks, monuments, museums and other facilities.

In addition, through this program, CCHE seeks to achieve a balance geographically, among communities and organizations large and small size, among different types of museums, and among diverse ethnic groups.

Museum Grant Program

The purpose of the Program is to assist and enhance the services of California’s museums, and other groups and institutions, which undertake cultural projects deeply rooted in and reflective of previously underserved communities.

Legislative Objectives

AB 482 directed CCHE to establish a program to assist and enhance the services of California’s museums.  The legislation also prioritized the program’s objectives. Therefore, the museum acquisition or construction project should be in support of one of the following Legislative Objectives.

  • Superior Programs
  • Services to School Pupils
  • Services to the Public
  • Increased Accessibility to Programs 

Eligible Projects

The program is a competitive grant program to support small capital asset projects in museums. For purposes of this program "capital asset" means tangible physical property with an expected useful life of 15 years or more. A capital asset project may be either an:

  • Acquisition of real property, that is, tangible physical property, including easements; or
  • Development of real (tangible physical) property. "Development" includes but is not limited to, improvement, rehabilitation, restoration, enhancement, preservation and protection.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible Applicants:
    • Museums located in the State of California may apply for and receive grants if they are either  a:
      • Public agency (federal, state, city, county, district, association of governments, joint powers or Federally Recognized Indian Tribe)
      • or Nonprofit organization that has, among its principal charitable purposes, the preservation of historic or cultural resources for cultural, scientific, historic, educational, recreational, agricultural, or scenic opportunities
    • A public agency, nonprofit entity or Federally Recognized Tribe responsible for the operation of a museum may apply on behalf of the museum; Or
    • A museum located within a parent organization (i.e., a municipality, university, historical society or cultural center) may apply on its own if it independently fulfills all the eligibility requirements.
  • The applicant must be able to demonstrate adequate charter or enabling authority to carry out the type of project proposed.
  • Partnerships are encouraged
  • The applicant must be free of any legal challenges that could undermine progress on the project and must certify on the Application Form that there are no potentially delaying legal challenges to the project.
  • The applicant must be in compliance and good standing on all active CCHE grants.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per funding cycle.
  • Matching funds are required as evidence of community commitment to the project.
    • See more informations for Matching Requirement here.


  • Applicants may not apply for funding jointly with other organizations.