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Apply Now to Become a Preserve America Community

The following is a press release from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announcing a second opportunity for libraries to apply for Picturing America teaching tool. The application deadline periods are September 1 and December 1.

Community leaders are encouraged to apply for the Preserve America community designation, which recognizes a community’s efforts to care for and share its cultural and natural heritage. The designation also makes the community eligible for special federal funding. Preserve America is a White House initiative conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and other federal agencies. The last two 2008 application periods are September 1 and December 1. Applications forms are available.

Through participation in Preserve America, communities share knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthen local identities and local pride, increase neighborhood participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support economic vitality.

Once a community receives the Preserve America designation, it is eligible to apply for Preserve America grants, which may be used for research and documentation, education and interpretation, planning, marketing, or training. These grants, which must be matched by the community, cannot be used for construction or repair projects. Last year, the government awarded nearly $5 million in federal funding for Preserve America grants. In 2008, $7.5 million has been made available for the grants, which range from $20,000 to $150,000.

To win the designation, applicants must submit an application with written support from community leaders and evidence of cultural or historic preservation activities. Applicants must be:

* Tribal communities (federally recognized) with an elected governing official or subdivisions of such tribes. * Municipalities or counties with an elected governing official, or unincorporated communities within their jurisdiction;
* Distinct neighborhoods within large cities or city-counties with a population of 200,000 or greater; or
*Partnering agencies include the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Transportation; the General Services Administration; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. Further information is available at

To read the complete press release, please visit the IMLS website.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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