Mini Grants

A partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Museum Association of New York.



The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has provided $102,000 to be distributed by the Museum Association of New York before June 30, 2016.  During this period we will offer “Mini-Grants” and “Travel Grants.”  This new, pilot program replaces the Grants for Museum Advancement: Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

Mini-Grants of up to $5,000 are available to work on a modest ($20,000 or less) planning or implementation project.  While a match is not required, applicants are encouraged to show other contributions to their project through staff time or other funds.  Applicants must be able to articulate why this project is a current priority for their museum, and how it moves the organization forward.  The grants cannot be used as a match for a NYSCA application, nor duplicate any NYSCA request.  Grant funds may also not be used to support the salary of current staff or for any capital projects.

Projects may involve, but are not limited to: board, audience, membership, or program development; strategic or long-range planning; staff training, marketing, exhibitions, collections, or museum education.  Traditional consultancies as well as mentoring relationships are welcome.

Deadlines are November 6, 2015 and February 5, 2016.  Applications must be emailed as an attached PDF to  The subject line should read: “Mini-Grant: (your organization name).” If you do not receive a confirmation email stating that your application has been received within 2 days, please call or email the office.

Grants will be evaluated by a peer review panel, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds have been fully allocated. It is always advisable to apply early in the year.

The review panel will evaluate your application with the following criteria in mind:

·       Is the proposal clear and understandable? 

·       Does the request represent a clear institutional priority?

·       Is the plan of work clear?  Have the responsibilities of any consultants and the organization been clearly defined?

·       Is the consultant appropriately qualified for the described work?

·       Can the work be accomplished within the proposed time frame?

·       Are the costs reasonable?


MANY offers a resource to locate appropriate consultants – please visit our consultant database. We strongly suggest that you interview several consultants to find the best fit for your organization.

Grant awards are made approximately 60 days after the application deadline.

Mini-Grant projects must start after the date of the award letter. Your organization has one year to complete the project. The final report must be submitted within sixty days of the grant completion. Any change in consultants or the scope of the project must be approved by MANY.

Before you begin writing your Mini-grant application, please check our tips for a successful grant. We also recommend that you contact the MANY staff at (518) 273-3400 with any questions or to discuss your grant application before submission.

Click here for a Mini-grant application.


If you have received a Mini Grant, please click here for the Mini-Grant Final Report Form.


2015 Mini-Grant Awards

Congratulations to the following organizations awarded a Mini-Grant:

American Folk Art Museum - Conservation Survey of Collections
Chili Historical Society - Strategic Planning
Hanford Mills Museum - Disaster Recovery
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester - Photography/Reproduction for Exhibition
Museum at Eldridge Street - Tour Guide Translation (7 Languages)
The Museum of the City of New York - 
Columbia County Historical Society - Archaelogical Exhibition
Niagara County Historical Society/The History Center of Niagara - Strategic Planning
Old Village of Union Historical Society - Museum Layout Design
The Brooklyn Children's Museum - Exhibition Design
Harness Racing Museum Hall of Fame - Cataloguing/Digitization


Thank you to all of our past and present grant reviewers. We greatly appreciate your service to the field!

Scott Callan, The History Center in Tompkins County, Ithaca
Laura Foster, Frederic Remington Art Museum, Odgensburg
Kajsa Harley, Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith
Brian Howard, Oneida County Historical Society, Utica
Kathryn Leacock, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo
Kerry Lippincott, Chemung County Historical Society, Elmira
Nancy Richner, Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead
Amy Sanderson, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation, Buffalo
Amy Terzulli, Long Island Children's Museum, Garden City
Edward Varno, Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua
Meg Ventrudo, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Staten Island
Jeanmarie Walsh, Long Island Children's Museum, Garden City