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Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program

Grants to Arkansas Nonprofits for the
Preservation of African American History

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arkansas State Archives - Black History Commission of Arkansas (BHCA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/02/18 4:00 PM Delivery or Postmarked by Date


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Grants of up to $3,500 to Arkansas nonprofit organizations for the study, preservation, and collection of black history within the state. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the March 3 grant workshop. Examples of previously supported projects include exhibits, historical research, publications, workshops, oral history interviews, documentary films, and cemetery preservation and documentation.

The goals of the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program support the mission of the Black History Commission of Arkansas and include:
-Collecting materials bearing on the history of black Arkansans from the earliest times;
-Encouraging historical work and research in the background of black Arkansans to help the young citizens of the state and all others appreciate their heritage;
-Assisting with the performance of work in relation to the history of black Arkansans;
-Making available programs and projects on the history and heritage of African Americans.

The following criteria will be considered in reviewing grant applications:
1. The degree to which the project preserves, commemorates, disseminates, or enhances the heritage of African Americans in Arkansas.
2. The quality and amount of archival materials to be acquired or generated by the project and submitted to the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives.
3. The degree to which the project will create ongoing components (i.e., archival holdings, exhibits, displays, recurring events, etc.).
4. New applicants and those who have not received funding during the previous year may be given priority.
5. The relationship of the organization’s main mission to the grant program’s needs.
6. The degree to which the project reflects the heritage of a community.
7. The organization’s or individual’s relationship to the local community.
8. The degree to which the project shows collaboration and cooperation among organizations or individuals in Arkansas.
9. The likelihood that the project can be completed within the projected timeframe of the grant.
10. The likelihood that the project can be completed with available funds.

Members of the Black History Commission of Arkansas will abstain from voting on projects to which they have a personal connection.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176661

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award for any project funded by the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program in a single year is $3,500.

Term of Contract:

The Program will commit to no more than one (1) year of funding for any given project at a time, and grant recipients are expected to complete projects within one (1) year of the date of the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are awarded to nonprofit or not-for profit organizations.

Organizations do not necessarily have to hold 501(c)3 status to meet eligibility requirements.

The following activities are not eligible for funding from the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program:
-Projects that exceed $3,500 in grant funds
-Regular courses offered for credit, or associated costs (e.g., textbooks, tuition)
-For-profit projects or events
-State agencies or support groups of state agencies
-Projects, events, and purchases occurring outside the established grant cycle
-Operational expenses (i.e., salaries, rent, utilities, storage)
-Equipment (e.g., computers, cameras, digital recorders, furniture) – unless applicant can demonstrate that such equipment will be utilized in an ongoing or permanent basis for the same or closely-related purpose/s of the grant
-Purchase of property or real estate
-Construction, preservation, or renovation of structures
-Contributions or donations to individuals (i.e., pass through funds)

Pre-proposal Conference:

Individuals who are considering applying for a grant from the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial grant program are strongly encouraged to review the Sykes Program presentation (attached below), and to attend one of the quarterly grant workshops sponsored by the Black History Commission of Arkansas and the Arkansas State Archives.

All workshops are held at the Arkansas State Archives, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, and registration is required in advance. To register for an upcoming workshop, please contact Tatyana Oyinloye (see contact details below).

Workshop Dates:
-March 3, 2018
-June 7, 2018
-September 8, 2018
-December 1, 2018

Pre-Application Information:

While this grant program does not require either a cash or an in-kind match from the applicant, applicants are encouraged to show additional sources of fiscal support for the project on the Budget Summary Form, which must be submitted with the application.

In-kind matches may be estimated as the dollar value of services, goods, or space contributed by the applicant or a third party. Cash matches may be from the applicant’s own funds, or from a third party.

The deadlines for the grant application cycles are:
-January 2nd
-April 2nd
-July 2nd
-October 2nd

The application must be postmarked by the deadline or delivered to the Arkansas History Commission office by 4:00 PM on the day of the deadline. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications must be postmarked or delivered by 4:00 PM on the following workday.

Applicants are advised not to schedule potential grant-funded activities earlier than 90 days from the grant request submission deadline in order to allow sufficient time for publicizing your program (if a favorable decision is reached), or for you to find alternate sources of funding if the request is not approved.

Applicants will be notified within two (2) weeks of funding decisions by the Black History Commission of Arkansas.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Tatyana Oyinloye, African American History Program Coordinator

Arkansas State Archives
One Capitol Mall, 2B-215
Little Rock, AR 72201


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Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas