AAM Upcoming Grants, Awards & Competitions

American Alliance of Museums: Grants


Museums Connect

Strengthens connections and cultural understanding between people in the United States and abroad through innovative projects facilitated by museums and executed by their communities. Museums ConnectSM is made possible by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the American Alliance of Museums.

Other Grants

A listing of upcoming grant opportunities from a variety of federal agencies.

American Alliance of Museums: Awards

Excellence in Label Writing

Deadline: December 8, 2017

Recognizes outstanding and innovative label writing in museums, zoos, aquariums, universities and libraries. 

John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership

Deadline: December 10, 2017

Recognizes an individual, other than someone working directly with museum education programs, for efforts on behalf of public education and community service.

Excellence in Exhibition

Deadline: December 31, 2017

Recognizes outstanding achievement in the exhibition format from all types of museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and any other types of noncommercial institutions offering exhibitions to the public.  

Nancy Hanks Memorial Award for Professional Excellence

Deadline: January 19, 2018

This award honors a museum professional with less than ten years experience in the museum field. It recognizes a specific achievement that has benefited either the honoree’s home institution or the museum field in general.

Chair’s Leadership Award

The AAM Chair’s Leadership Award is reserved for rare occasions of outstanding leadership and extraordinary accomplishments in the museum field. It was first presented in 2015. Recipients are not nominated, but instead are chosen by the AAM Board Chair.

Distinguished Service to Museums Award

Deadline: January 19, 2018

Recognizes an individual's excellence and contributions to the museum profession for at least 20 years.

Awards for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

Deadline: January 19, 2018

The Alliance Awards for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion honor and celebrate individuals, organizations, and/or programs advancing the museum field in these areas, either internally through workplace programs and policies or externally with museum audiences and communities.

Excellence in Practice

Deadline: January 31, 2018. 

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exemplary service to the public through the practice of education in a museum.

Excellence in Programming

Deadline: January 31, 2018. 

This award recognizes exemplary creativity in museum educational programming.

Excellence in Resources

Deadline: January 31, 2018. 


The award for published resources recognizes outstanding resources in print or print/multimedia formats.

Innovation in Museum Education

Deadline: January 31, 2018. 

The award will go to either an individual or team in conjunction with a program, resource, or media piece, and could include a museum program done in the community outside the museum walls.

MUSE Awards

Deadline: March 2, 2018

Recognizes outstanding achievement in Galleries, Libraries, Archives or Museums (GLAM) media. Presented to institutions or independent producers who use digital media to enhance the GLAM experience and engage audiences, the MUSE awards celebrate scholarship, community, innovation, creativity, education and inclusiveness.

Sustainability Excellence Award

Next deadline to be announced; contact PIC-Green for more details

The purpose of this recognition program is to educate, facilitate, and encourage green practice and to acknowledge and celebrate leaders in environmental sustainability. 

Dudley-Wilkinson Award of Distinction

Issued to a museum professional who has demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of excellence in the registration profession


Publications Competition (Pub Comp)

Deadline: June 15, 2018. 

The only national, juried competition of its kind, winners are chosen for their overall design excellence, creativity and ability to express an institution’s personality, mission or special features.