Legislative Leaders Encourage Pennsylvania Museums to Apply for Operating Grants

HARRISBURG – Legislative leaders from the state Senate and House today reminded museums across Pennsylvania to apply for General Operating Support grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-66), Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-28), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-34) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-165) said they fought to include just over $1 million in funding for this grant program in the 2012-13 state budget.

“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have many outstanding museums and historic sites across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Scarnati. “These grants will offer a number of our museums the resources they need to continue providing excellent educational opportunities as well as raising the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.”

“Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment,” said Representative Smith. “They are institutions that collect and safeguard valuable artifacts, which they hold in trust for society.”

“Pennsylvania’s museums are a true asset to our Commonwealth and it makes good sense for the state to support them,” said Senator Pileggi. “Our state has a rich history, and museums help connect us to that past and make it relevant to today’s world.”

“A museum preserves archives and displays important historical collections,” said Representative Turzai.  “We ask museums to apply for General Operating Support for grants to maintain these valuable treasures of our Commonwealth, and to ensure future generations can learn from them.”

The goals of the General Operating Support Program are to provide general operating support to museums that serve a statewide or regional audience but are not supported by other state agency funding programs.

To apply, a museum must have all of the following:

  • Substantial collections related to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  • An operating schedule and audience that demonstrates public appreciation of the museum’s offerings;
  • A primary mission as a general or historical museum or as a historical society that operates one or more museums or historic sites;
  • Been incorporated and in existence for at least two years;
  • At least one full-time paid staff member; and
  • An annual operating budget of at least $500,000.

Organizations operating multiple sites or museums may only apply for one grant. The maximum grant amount for FY 2012-13 will be $50,000. Grant applications must be received no later than midnight on Friday, October 19.

More information about the General Operating Support grant program is available on PHMC’s website at http://www.phmc.state.pa.us, under the “Agency Highlights” tab on the homepage.


Erik Arneson
(717) 787-4712