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Notice of Funding Opportunity: U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Call for Concept Notes to Preserve Cultural Sites, Objects and Collections, or Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression in Zambia

Funding Opportunity Title:  FY 2023 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation

Deadline for Applications: December 28, 2022

Total Amount Available: $10,000 – $50,000


The U.S. Embassy in Lusaka is pleased to announce an open competition for organizations to submit ROUND 1 project proposals for funding through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) to carry out an individual project to preserve cultural heritage in Zambia. The deadline for submitting ROUND 1 proposals to the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka is Wednesday, December 28, 2022.  Submissions received after this date and time will NOT be considered.

AFCP was established to help countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures. The aim is to preserve cultural sites or objects that have historical or cultural significance to the people of Zambia.

Through the AFCP, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  • CULTURAL SITES: This might include (but is not limited to) historical buildings and sites, sacred places, monuments, and archaeological sites. Proposals in this category may involve, for example, restoration of an historic building, an archaeological survey as a component of a preservation plan, preservation management planning for a site, or documentation of sites in a region for preservation purposes.
  • CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS: From a museum, cultural site, or similar institution. This includes archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, photographic and film collections, and general museum conservation activities. Proposals in this category may involve, for example, conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  • FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION: This includes traditional music, rituals, knowledge, languages, dance, drama, and crafts. Proposal in this category may involve documenting and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms as part of a tradition expression and making the information and recordings available, or support for training in preservation or traditional arts or crafts that are threatened by extinction.

Ineligible Activities and Unallowable Costs:

AFCP does not support the following activities or costs, and the Center will deem applications requesting AFCP support for any of these activities or costs ineligible:

  1. Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application.
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.) unless the natural heritage has a cultural heritage connection or dimension.
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains.
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.).
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.).
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use.
  7. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes.
  8. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project.
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums.
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example).
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes.
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances.
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist.
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another.
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason.
  16. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation, documentation, or public diplomacy effort.
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies.
  18. Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund).
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns.
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees.
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer.
  22. international travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts.
  23. Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $50,000.
  24. Independent U.S. projects overseas.


  • Length of Performance Period: 12 to 60 months
  • Number of Awards Anticipated: 1-3 awards
  • Award Amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000
  • Anticipated Project Start Date: Varies by project
  • Funding Instrument Types: Grant, Cooperative Agreement (as appropriate)
  • Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed in 60 months or less.


The following entities are eligible to apply:

  • Government ministries of culture or similar institutions
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Museums
  • Educational institutions

The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards.

Potential implementers must be registered and active in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive U.S. federal assistance.

If a project idea is advanced to Round 2 and the anticipated implementer is not registered in SAM, implementer should initiate the registration process immediately so that it is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award.


The U.S. Embassy in Lusaka will select proposals through a two-part process. Applicants must first submit a concept note, which is a concise, 3-page concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application.

The purpose of the Concept Note process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka to evaluate prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications. Upon review of eligible SOIs, the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka, in consultation with the Cultural Heritage Center of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will invite selected applicants to expand their ideas into full proposal applications.

How to submit a Concept Note:

**Please complete the Concept Note Form.

**Please provide a budget for your application.

Concept Notes Forms and budgets must be submitted by email to:  LusakaPASGrants@state.gov by December 28, 2022.

For further information regarding the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation or for information on previously funded projects, please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/heritage/afcp.html

Please note:  Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to Round 2 of the application process to submit full proposals.