The American Studies Association is pleased to invite individual and institutional members of the association to apply to the ASA Community Partnership Program for grants to support collaborative interdisciplinary community projects utilizing American Studies pedagogy, curriculum, research, and other resources. The grants will support projects developed in collaboration with community-based organizations, school districts, public libraries, local historical societies, community museums, and other non-profit entities. Local communities have a wide range of educational and cultural needs that have not been met through traditional academic or community-based programs because of language, cultural and other barriers. The grants are intended to bridge this gap by more fully engaging American Studies practitioners in genuine collaborations with community organizations and the constituents they serve to provide new cultural and educational opportunities.
DEADLINE: MARCH 1, 2017
The grants will be available for projects where there is substantial participant-defined engagement, collaboration, and reciprocity between ASA members and the communities they represent, encounter, or visit. Funded projects must demonstrate a collaborative working relationship with local community-based groups or organizations. The Association will give preference to projects that indicate a likelihood of continuation of activities to enhance American Studies involvement in local program activities beyond the grant period. Awards will range from $500.00 to $3,000.00.
What are the objectives of the grants?
The American Studies Association’s Community Partnership Project intends to make awards to collaborative projects involving community-based organizations to enhance the use of American Studies research, teaching, and publications in local programs and activities. The grants are also intended to enhance American Studies involvement in the ongoing work of community-based organizations while simultaneously strengthening the relationship between the ASA and those organizations. Grants will only be awarded to projects where there is a substantial use of American Studies educational and cultural resources. The Association will give preference to projects that raise matching funds.
Recipients of partnership grants must state in publicity and dissemination materials that the project is funded in part by the American Studies Association.
The Association will give priority to projects that meet at least one of the following objectives:
Innovative Projects to develop or expand American Studies participation in community projects and activities that provide participants with new or expanded educational and cultural opportunities. We are interested in funding projects that address any of a wide range of educational and cultural needs (i.e. research, curricular, interpretative, publication, artistic, performance, exhibit issues, etc.) Projects must show coordination with other programs currently providing educational and cultural opportunities to local communities. Projects must also demonstrate adequate methods of quality control.
Community-Based Research Projects that develop American Studies resources and materials for educational and cultural programs and activities.Projects must explain who their audience will be and what specific mechanisms for educating participants will be utilized (including an indication of how access to these groups will be achieved—i.e. if serving a detained population). Projects must clearly demonstrate how American Studies practitioners will be involved.
Civic Participation Projects that provide training, referral, recruitment, and mentoring for ASA members involved in community-based partnerships to develop local cultural and educational opportunities, resources and materials. These projects should show how their efforts enhance ongoing cultural and educational programs and/or increase the involvement of the American Studies practitioners in relating to local organizations and their constituents.
Social Change Projects that increase American Studies involvement in establishing, protecting, or expanding the educational and cultural opportunities and rights of local communities. Projects must show specifically how they will accomplish this, including coordination with ongoing efforts addressing these issues in the community. If specific American Studies faculty or programs are targeted for volunteer involvement in social change efforts, evidence of their interest and support should be included.
What are examples of types of projects that will be funded?
Only proposals that demonstrate a substantial use of American Studies resources in the community and a collaborative working relationship with existing community groups and organizations will be funded. Preference will be given to proposals that indicate a plan for long-term continuation of the project.
Below is a list of types of projects that might be funded. This list is not exhaustive. The Association is interested in creative approaches to increase American Studies involvement and welcomes proposals outlining projects both similar to and different from those listed. In addition, the Association is aware that effective projects will need to be tailored to local needs.
Who May Apply?
This request for proposals is intended for all individual and institutional members of the American Studies Association. In addition, ASA regional chapters, committees, boards, and task forces may apply, provided they demonstrate substantial ASA member involvement. Previous recipients of grants may apply but preference will be given to those undertaking new initiatives. The grants are not intended to serve as an ongoing source of funding but rather as seed money to start projects that will then be sustained by other local resources. Proposals must demonstrate a strong working relationship with local organizations providing American studies resources and materials to their constituents. This request for proposals is not intended for use by national or international organizations.
What funding is available?
The ASA intends to award a limited number of grants ranging from $500.00 to $3,000.00. Priority will be given to proposals that indicate (a) a plan for long term continuation of the project, (b) available matching grants, and (c) active attempts to solicit additional funds for the project. Given the limits of the awards, the ASA Community Partnership Grants may not be used to purchase durable equipment or to subsidize anyone’s salary.
What is the period of the grant?
The grants are for twelve months – July 1, 2017- through June 30, 2018. However, in evaluating proposals, the ASA will give priority to those suggesting continuing activities beyond the grant period to enhance the community’s involvement in delivery of American Studies resources and materials. Project evaluation and financial reports are due thirty (30) days after the completion of the ASA-funded portion of the project.
How and When to Apply?
One (1) copy of the application form plus a six-paged, double-spaced narrative proposal must be submitted to the ASA Community Partnership Project, by March 1, 2017.
The narrative should include: statement of need (including description of geographical and population demographics of target community), project objectives, project description, relation of project’s work to ongoing efforts by other organizations to provide American Studies resources and materials to local communities, capacity of sponsoring organization(s), plans for project continuation beyond the grant period, plans to publicize project’s work within the local community, budget (including matching support), and appendices (including letters of support and cooperation from local organizations serving the affected community).
All application materials should be assembled by the submitter(s) and submitted to the ASA electronically in the form of a single PDF via Dropbox or Google Drive to (firstname.lastname@example.org). A complete package of the application materials, including letters of support, must be postmarked by March 1, 2017 and mailed to: ASA Community Partnership Project, 1120 19th Street, NW Suite #301, Washington, D.C. 20036. Grant announcements will be made by June 1, 2017.
Who Reviews the Proposals and what are the Selection Criteria?
The Executive Committee of the ASA Council will make all final funding decisions based on the following criteria:
All application materials should be assembled by the submitter(s) and submitted to the ASA electronically in the form of a single PDF via Dropbox or Google Drive to (email@example.com). A complete package of the application materials, including letters of support, must also be postmarked by March 1, 2017 and mailed to: ASA Community Partnership Project, 1120 19th Street, NW Suite #301, Washington, D.C. 20036.
 Although projects that have previously been awarded grants from the ASA Community Partnership Project may apply, preference will be given to individual and institutional members undertaking new initiatives. The grants are intended for use as “seed” money rather than as an ongoing source of funding.