Small Museum Association

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SMA Conference Scholarships and Awards

SMA Scholarship Applications

The application process is OPEN. Scholarship awardees will be announced and recognized at the Small Museum Association Conference 2020. Scholarship applications are due on December 1, 2019. The SMA Conference Committee will determine the winners of the scholarships and notify them by December 15, 2019. 

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.

Eligibility:

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 U.S. Residents and Residents of countries that do not require a sponsored visa to visit the U.S.

Expectations:

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 the conference staff during the conference; information on specific expectations will be communicated after the selection process is complete.

How to Apply:

Submit thorough answers to the following questions using the form below. Please also include a letter of recommendation from a supervisor/advisor and a current resumé. Supplementary materials may be submitted by e-mail or mailed to the address on the application form. They must be received by December 1, 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The SMA Conference Committee will determine the winners of the scholarships and notify them late December 2019. Please submit all materials to scholarships@smallmuseum.org

SMA Scholarship Types

Lisa Mason-Chaney Scholarship

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.  

Lesley van der Lee Scholarships

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.

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.



Additional Organizations Scholarships & Sponsors

The Small Museum Association is partnering with several other museum organizations to offer additional scholarships to this year’s conference:
  • Historic House Consortium of Washington, D.C. (HHMC) – One scholarship is available to cover both registration and lodging for a staff member (paid or unpaid) at an HHMC member site; no additional action needed to be considered for this scholarship.
  • Maryland Museums Association (MMA) – Two scholarships are available to cover both registration and lodging. Open to staff members at MMA member sites and graduate students attending a program in Maryland or Washington, DC; no additional action needed to be considered for these scholarships.     
  • Prince George’s County History Consortium - One scholarship is available to cover both registration and lodging. To qualify, applicant must be a volunteer or staff member in a Prince George’s County museum, or a County resident enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate course of Museum Studies; no additional action needed to be considered for this scholarship.
  • Museum Council of Philadelphia - One scholarship is available to cover both registration and lodging. Preference is given to emerging, mid-career, and veteran museum professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area; no additional action needed to be considered for this scholarship.

  • Greater Baltimore History Alliance (GBHA) - One scholarship is available to cover both registration and lodging.  No additional action needed to be considered for this scholarship.

  • John F. Kennedy University Museum Studies Continuing Education Online Certificate Program - A donation has been made in name of this educational institution in general support of the SMA Scholarship Program.

  • Maryland Milestones Heritage Area - A new scholarship is being offered by the Maryland Milestones Heritage Area. Preference will be given to under-recognized histories, particularly women and people of color, who are working to identify and connect historic sites to social change.



Awards

The Small Museum Association (SMA) recognizes two museum professionals each year at its conference by selecting them for awards. The two awards available are:
  • The Hunter-Burley Award, which recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the advancement of public access and professional growth for an individual institution
  • The Small Museum Association Award, which celebrates an individual’s outstanding contributions to the advancement of funding for, professional growth within, and/or the accessibility of information to the small museum community on a regional or state level.

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. The nomination form is now available using the link below.  Deadline for the submission of nomination forms is December 15, 2019. Please submit all materials to scholarships@smallmuseum.org

The Awardees will be honored at the Small Museum Association Conference 2020.

2020_Small Museum_Association_Award_Nomination .docx

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