Conservation Assessment Program
To be eligible for the Conservation Assessment Program a museum must:
- Either be a unit of state, local, or tribal government or be a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code.
- Be located in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
- Have a professional staff, be organized on a permanent basis for educational or aesthetic purposes, own or use tangible objects, care for those objects, and exhibits those objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
- Be open and exhibiting to the public at least 90 days per year.
- Be able to have its collections and facilities assessed in a two-day site visit.
What types of museums are eligible?
All types of museums are encouraged to apply. If your institution has living collections, a botanist, horticulturist, or zoologist will serve as one of your assessors. Museums accredited through the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums are not eligible for a living collections assessment. If your museum has nonliving collections or a historic structure you may also work with a second assessor.
What does it mean to use a professional staff?
An institution uses a professional staff if it employs at least one full-time staff member, paid or unpaid, who is responsible for the museum’s administration and operations. Full time is considered 35 hours or more a week. Responsibilities can include museum governance, administration, programming, and collections management.
If a museum does not have one full-time staff member, it may still be eligible if it can demonstrate in the application that it has one or more staff members that are responsible for administration and operations equal to full time.
What does it mean to exhibit the museum’s objects to the general public?
If a museum is not scheduled to be open to the public 90 days per year, it is still eligible for CAP if it can demonstrate that it was open at least 90 days in the preceding year through a combination of scheduled days open and days open by appointment.
If a museum has collections too numerous to be assessed within two days or has previously received a federally funded assessment, Heritage Preservation, in consultation with the CAP Advisory Committee, reserves the right to determine whether a museum is appropriate for CAP.
Museums with collections and/or facilities that are too large to be surveyed within two days or wish to have a detailed condition survey of a portion of their collections should apply for a general conservation survey grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for America grant program.
Still have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page!
Applications for the 2015 program year are now closed. Applications for the 2016 program year will be available in October. If you would like to view a sample application to prepare your materials ahead of time, please click here. To be notified when the application is available, please email us at cap(a)heritagepreservation.org.