The Small Museum Association offers funding for over ten scholarships each year through the generosity of past conference organizers and attendees as well as several partner museum organizations. All scholarships cover the cost of conference registration as well as hotel and meals.
Anyone affiliated with a museum, library, historical society, or related graduate study program (e.g. Museum Studies, Public History, Library and Information Studies, Historic Preservation) is eligible for the SMA Scholarships. This includes full-time or part-time employees, board members, students, interns, and volunteers. Museum organization scholarships may have additional restrictions. Applicants will automatically be considered for the scholarships for which they qualify. Past conference attendees are encouraged to apply, but previous scholarship winners are not eligible. First time attendees and/or applicants that identify as belonging to a group historically underserved by the field are strongly encouraged to apply. Scholarships are open to residents of the United States and residents of countries that do not require a sponsored visa to visit the United States.
By sending in a completed application, applicants are indicating that they will be able to attend the conference if awarded a scholarship. If you are awarded a scholarship and turn it down or do not attend the conference you may not be eligible for a scholarship in the future. Scholarship recipients are asked to assist in running the conference, and information on specific expectations will be communicated after the selection process is complete.
Scholarship recipients are expected to comply with all conference health protocols, including providing proof that they are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the start of the conference or a negative COIVD test 72 hours or less before the start of the conference and wearing face coverings that cover the nose and mouth and fit tightly to the face at all times, except when eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status.
By December 15:
Anyone affiliated with a museum, library, historical society, or related graduate study program (e.g. Museum Studies, Public History, Library and Information Studies, Historic Preservation) is eligible for the Lisa Mason-Chaney and Lesley van der Lee Scholarships. This includes full-time or part-time employees, board members, students, interns, and volunteers. Past conference attendees are encouraged to apply but previous scholarship winners are not eligible.
Lisa Mason-Chaney, a former president of the Small Museum Association, embodied the spirit of SMA by demonstrating exactly how much could be done by the smallest of us. As a museum professional, her knowledge of and dedication to professional standards and best practices was unparalleled. She showed by example that to be small meant to be dynamic, vital, engaging, and relevant to the community. The scholarship awarded in her honor supports funding for a Conference attendee who also reflects the same traits.
The Small Museum Association’s Lesley van der Lee Scholarships offer funding for up to ten SMA Conference attendees. Lesley van der Lee is an important part of the history of the SMA, as she was often responsible for planning the SMA Conference during its formative years. Lesley designed legislation that provided for the Maryland Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program and taught up-and-coming museum professionals in the Museum Studies program at the George Washington University. The scholarship named in her honor covers the cost of conference registration, hotel room, meals and a one-year membership in the SMA.
The Small Museum Association is partnering with several other museum organizations to offer additional scholarships to this year’s conference. These will be announced as the sponsorships come in.
The Small Museum Association recognizes two museum professionals each year by selecting them for two awards, which are presented at the annual conference:
Nominating a colleague for either of these awards is an excellent opportunity to publicly acknowledge their hard work at one museum or in the small museum field. To nominate someone, complete the nomination form by December 15.
Contact the Scholarship & Awards Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.