The United States demonstrates its respect for the cultural heritage of India and Bhutan through the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). This grant program draws on U.S. resources to support the preservation of historic buildings and monuments, archeological sites, museum collections, ethnographic objects, paintings, manuscripts and indigenous languages and other forms of traditional cultural expression.
Through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, the American people have invested $2 million over the past 20 years in the documentation, conservation, and restoration of 21 key historic sites and intangible heritage in India.
Representative projects include:
The restoration of important historic monuments in the heart of the national capital such as the “Sunderwala Burj,” the “Batashewala Mughal Tomb Complex,” and the “Arab Serai Complex Gateway,” all of which are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi.
Recording and transcribing the endangered folk music of the Langa and Manganiyar communities of western Rajasthan
The preservation of palm leaf manuscripts and rare books at the United Theological College in Bangalore.
A full list of AFCP projects in India may be found here AFCP – India and Bhutan
AFCP projects typically involve widespread community engagement. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai supported Indian partners, who combine conservation with environmental and socioeconomic development, working with local artists and artisans, and other community stakeholders.
AFCP projects have an economic impact, strengthening, for example, traditional construction industries and employing hundreds of artisans for the creation of hand-crafted sandstone lattice screens.
Select AFCP projects in India are typically aligned with other U.S. government initiatives, supporting community health, environmental protection, and the empowerment of women and youth. Several projects have been implemented, for example, alongside a State Department supported English Access Microscholarship Program (Access). Access provides English language learning to bright, economically disadvantaged youth. Some Access participants have started their careers as English-speaking guides at AFCP sites and others have been selected for U.S. government exchange programs, including the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, the Benjamin Franklin Program, and the Community College Initiative (CCI) Program.
In these ways, AFCP allows the United States to share in the protection of India’s cultural heritage for the benefit of all humanity.
U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Grant Program in Bhutan
The State Department has supported four major AFCP projects in Bhutan with grants of over $1.3 million. These grants have led to the documentation and conservation of Bhutan’s historic 19th century Wangduechhoeling Palace in Bumthang and the inventory and documentation of cultural heritage sites in Bhutan.
The annual Call for AFCP proposals comes out every in October each year. For more information on AFCP projects worldwide please click here https://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/ambassadors-fund-cultural-preservation