August 18, 2021

PA Museums will present “Museums in the Moment”, our annual statewide museum conference in Pittsburgh scheduled for 2022. Museums are at a critical moment in time as our communities search for new ways to serve audiences with mindfulness and intention. Museums are crucial to this moment as our nation heals and moves ahead. Pittsburgh’s welcoming culture and rich heritage will be the backdrop and touchstone for our gathering.

PA Museums’ annual meeting will be held in Pittsburgh, and our attendees will enjoy the city’s cultural ecosystem. Our conference attendees will connect and learn as we join together for special events showcasing our member museums, educational sessions, and keynote speakers. We will also celebrate the winners of our annual Special Achievement Awards and have many opportunities to meet colleagues. We look forward to seeing you there!

PA Museums invites you to submit a session proposal that speaks to our theme: Museums in the Moment.


Each year, PA Museums recognizes the special achievements of museums and historical organizations in Pennsylvania. This is your invitation to nominate a project or process that is exemplary, or an individual for lifetime achievement.


  • Serve as public recognition of staff and volunteers doing exemplary work;
  • Encourage institutions to establish and maintain standards of excellence;
  • Provide a vehicle to promote institutional achievement and individual professional success;
  • Reinforce case statements attesting to the quality of your programs in grant applications, fundraising materials, or sponsorship proposals; and
  • Publicly honor awardees with peers and invited guests at a special awards ceremony during PA Museums’ statewide conference.

Doesn’t your organization deserve to be there when awards are presented in 2022?

The deadline to submit nominations is October 22, 2021 at 11:59 pm.

Museums and related organizations across the United States have six opportunities in the coming months to apply for grants from the nation’s primary source of federal funding for museum services. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is now accepting applications for six grant programs:
·    Museums Empowered
Applications for all six programs are due on November 15, 2021.

Prospective grant applicants are invited to view webinars on how to choose the appropriate funding opportunity and to learn more about each grant program. Visit the IMLS website for a listing of on-demand webinars.


The Post Gazette explored how the Senator John Heinz History Center has collected artifacts from the pandemic.

Congratulations to the winners of awards from IMLS announced on August 9, Penn State University, Penn State's Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Carnegie Science Center.

The Finger Lakes Times featured Philadelphia's Museum of Black Joy.

Lehigh Valley museums partnered to bring their Passport to History program to the public.

The State Museum in Harrisburg will present an exhibition commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Andy Masich, President and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center, talked with KDKA about pickle history.

A Costume Society of America (CSA) Small Museum Collection Care Grant of $1,500 is intended to assist the costume and textiles collection of a small museum (including historical societies, historic houses or sites, and other similar institutions) that has a very limited budget and staff. Funding may be used to support the care, conservation, and/or exhibition of costume and textiles that have historic, regional, or other significance and are intended for preservation.


The African American Civil Rights Grant Program (AACR) supports projects to document, interpret, and preserve the sites related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens. The grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and administered by the NPS. This competitive grant program provides grants to states, tribes, local governments (including Certified Local Governments), and nonprofits. Non-federal matching share is not required, but preference will be given to applications that show community commitment through non-federal match and partnership collaboration. Grants will fund a broad range of planning, development, and research projects for historic sites including: survey, inventory, documentation, interpretation, education, architectural services, historic structure reports, preservation plans, and "bricks and mortar" repair.
Additional funding of $16.5 million in FY2021 funding for this grant program has been appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2021.

Applications for this next round of funding are likely to open in the fall of 2021.

The Pennsylvania State Archives is pleased to announce that the Annual Archives and Records Management Seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

All sessions will be virtual. Tentative topics include:
  • Looking in the Mirror: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility at Historical Records Repositories
  • Records and Information Management in the Modern Environment

Watch for registration information in the coming weeks. 

The Pennsylvania State Archives is pleased to offer another event in its Community History Dialog series: Digitizing A Community’s History, which will be held online, August 26th from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Join us in this online discussion to inspire and help communities think about how they can collect and preserve their own history. The event is free but requires registration.

Digitizing A Community’s History

The records and artifacts that tell a community’s history are often times preserved in many different places such as individual homes, businesses, religious organizations, and with civic groups. By digitizing these materials, a community can bring their history and memories together in one place and make them easier to share. Join us to learn how Dr. Barbara Zaborowski and the Cambria Memory Project have been working to digitize and preserve community history in Cambria County, PA, and how your community might preserve its own history.


The Museum of the American Revolution is looking for a Chief Development Officer. If your organization is looking to fill any open positions, please send us your announcements.


Watch an interview with Ben Neely, Board President of PA Museums and Executive Director of the Berks History Center with Jason Illari's People of PA Museums.

What will exhibits about Covid 19 look like?