Grant Description

Grants of up to $3,500 to Arkansas nonprofit organizations for studies, preservation activities, and collections related to black history in the state. Funding is intended for African American history preservation and programming projects that are open to the public. Examples of previously supported projects include exhibits, historical research, publications, workshops, oral history interviews, documentary films, and cemetery preservation and documentation.

Eligible projects:

  • Projects that preserve, commemorate, disseminate or enhance the heritage of African Americans in Arkansas
  • Projects that generate or acquire archival material on African Americans in Arkansas
  • Projects that have an on-going or long-lasting impact on African American history (e.g., exhibit, archival collection, preservation effort, recurring event, historical marker)
  • Projects that document and protect community heritage
  • Collaborative projects that promote the history and heritage of African Americans in Arkansas

The following criteria will be considered in reviewing grant applications:

  • First-time grant applicants may be given priority for funding
  • Track record as a previous grant recipient in grant reporting, meeting project deadlines, success of project vs. project goals, etc.
  • The likelihood that project can be completed within the proposed timeline
  • The likelihood that project can be completed with available funds
  • Reasonableness of project budget.

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)
– For-profit activities and events
– State agencies or support groups of state agencies
– Costs of funded projects expended outside of the established grant contract period
– Operational expenses like salaries, rent, utilities, storage
– Purchase of property or real estate
– Brick and mortar projects – construction, renovation, etc.
– Contributions or donations to individuals
– Equipment purchases that will not be used on an ongoing basis for the same or a closely related purchase.

Interested Individuals

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