This year’s deadline for applications is Friday, Nov. 1.
“With these grants, the National Park Service is honored to help preserve the stories and historic sites of fellow Americans who endured a shameful chapter that our nation must never forget,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “With the help of Congress, this important program continues to help preserve vital testimony – in words, images, scholarship and places – to the need to guard our constitutional rights against injustice, prejudice and fear.”
This is the sixth year in the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, which Congress established in 2006. In the previous five years, Congress assigned more than $12 million in grants to 107 projects in or involving 18 states and the District of Columbia. The president’s budget plan for fiscal year 2014 calls for $3 million more for the program.
Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to eligible groups and entities – non-profit organizations, educational institutions and state, local and tribal governments – for work to preserve confinement sites and their histories.
The program aims to preserve and explain the places where Japanese American men, women and children – most of them U.S. citizens – were incarcerated after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Congress has authorized that up to $38 million in grants can be awarded over the life of the program, with funds appropriated annually. Grant money can be used to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair and acquire historic confinement sites. The goal is for present and future generations to learn of and gain inspiration from the sites and the people who were held in them.
For fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013), the National Park Service distributed 24 grants totaling nearly $2.7 million, Grant-winning projects over the past five years have been undertaken in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Washington DC, and Wyoming. Although many projects are tied to single, specific locations, some also range across multiple sites and are conducted from other places and states.
The program requires applicants to raise project funds from other sources to “match” the grant money, which is awarded in a competitive review. Successful grantees must match $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions to every $2 they receive in federal money. Matching funds can be raised and spent during the grant period and do not have to be “in the bank” when a group applies for a grant. Applicants also can receive up to two grants a year.
More than 50 historical locations are eligible for grant-funded work. They include the 10 War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps that were set up in 1942 in seven states: Granada (Amache), CO; Gila River and Poston, AZ; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Manzanar and Tule Lake, CA; Minidoka, ID, and Topaz, UT. Also eligible are more than 40 other locations in 16 states, including civilian and military-run assembly, relocation and isolation centers.
Of the 10 WRA sites, three are now units of the National Park Service (Manzanar National Historic Site, Minidoka Internment National Monument, and Tule Lake National Monument) and five are National Historic Landmarks (the Rohwer cemetery, and the Granada [Amache], Poston, Topaz and Heart Mountain camps).
Grants can be for a variety of uses, including design and construction of interpretive centers, trails, wayside exhibits and other facilities; oral histories and site-history research; school curriculums on internment history; and purchase of non-federal land at five of the sites (Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Honouliuli, HI; Topaz, UT, and Heart Mountain, WY).
More information, including 2014 application materials and lists of the program’s most recent awards for 2013, is available on the grant program website: