In response to the current crises facing the museums sector the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund (administered by the Museums Association) is diverting £350,000 to a new small grant: ‘Sustaining Engagement with Collections’. This will offer grants of up to £30,000 for projects of up to a year and will enable the support of 12-15 organisations in exploring different ways of engaging with collections while physical access is not available or is severely limited.
The deadline for applications to this fund is 26th May 2020.
This is one-off funding with a rapid turnaround. It has been developed to complement other funding streams, in particular those from Art Fund and the NLHF Digital Skills for Heritage. The Fund encourages potential applicants to think about experimental or innovative interventions with collections online, and/or collections work that will put the museum in a stronger position when it is able to reopen. This might include building audiences and income generation through work with collections.
There is a one stage application process. Applicants should first read the ‘Sustaining Engagement with Collections Guidance for Applicants’, then discuss their idea with one of the Museums Association team before applying.
A link to the fund can be found here: https://www.museumsassociation.org/collections/changes-to-esmee-fairbairn-collections-fund