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American Alliance of Museums to participate in NEH Held in Trust: A National Convening on Conservation and Preservation

Category: Press Release
Black and white logo of AIC / FAIC :

For Immediate Release

ARLINGTON, VA – The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) has been awarded a three-year cooperative agreement totaling $500,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to evaluate current national infrastructure in conservation and make recommendations to strengthen preservation of cultural heritage for present and future generations. The Held in Trust project will assess the current state of, and challenges facing, the preservation of the cultural heritage of our nation as it approaches its 250th anniversary in 2026.

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, will serve as a participant and member of the Advisory Council for the project. “Conservation is critical to the museum field’s roles as stewards and interpreters of history and culture,” said Julie Hart, AAM’s Senior Director of Museum Standards & Excellence who will serve as AAM’s representative for Held in Trust. “AAM is pleased to be a part of this important project to strengthen the foundations of conservation and preservation efforts and work with our allies at FAIC.”

Held in Trust is part of a major NEH initiative, A More Perfect Union: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary. “Our nation’s cultural heritage collections—the records and writings that document both the momentous acts and private thoughts of the past; the artifacts, artwork, and ephemera left to us from previous eras—are foundational to our understanding of our shared American history,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “The FAIC Held in Trust project will create a roadmap to equip conservation professionals with the skills and resources they need to safeguard these national treasures so that they remain available for future generations to study, appreciate, and admire. NEH is pleased to support FAIC in this urgently important undertaking.”

Guided by a steering committee and an advisory council and in collaboration with NEH staff, the project will comprise three years of research, discussion, and dissemination activities. “We are thrilled to partner with NEH to highlight the crucial role conservation plays in preserving America’s primary source materials that are integral for humanities scholarship and dissemination,” said FAIC Executive Director Eryl Wentworth, “as well to have the opportunity to address societal and environmental challenges currently facing our nation that directly impact the conservation profession and collections care.”

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

About the Foundation for Advancement in Conversation

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation’s (FAIC) mission is to save cultural heritage for future generations, protecting it from decay and destruction. We advance research and education, lead treatment and collection care initiatives, and deploy conservation expertise to where it is most urgently needed. Our work empowers conservation professionals, strengthens cultural institutions, and engages stakeholders, including public audiences, as we work together to protect cultural heritage for humanity. For more information, visit


Press Contact:

Natanya Khashan

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