The Carl Patterson Museum Emergency Response Fund is a program of the Colorado
Wyoming Association of Museums. The Fund exists to support Colorado and Wyoming
museums as they prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies and disasters that endanger

The Fund is heavily donation-based and relies on the support of CWAM members. Available
funds may be variable at any given time.

Affected museums may request financial assistance by submitting an application (found here) to the
CWAM Emergency Preparedness Chair (

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed by committee and
funds will be allocated based on need and availability.

All approved assistance will be provided as reimbursements based on a final report and



What defines an emergency?

  • An emergency is an isolated event endangering the collections (defined as artifacts, archives,
    works of art, historic buildings, botanical and zoological collections) held in trust by a museum.
    Examples include natural disasters (fire, flood, etc.) or mechanical failure resulting in a water
    incident, fire, etc.

Who may apply?

  • Colorado or Wyoming Museums – Non-profit institutions that are either independent 501(c)3
    nonprofit organizations or are owned and operated by such organizations or by local
    government agencies and have a current staff of at least one (can be volunteer). These can
    include herbaria, zoos, botanic gardens, and children’s museums with collections.

Who/what can be covered by the grant?

  • Collections-focused response
    o Prepping collections for safety from an impending emergency
    o Response costs for mitigating the emergency
    o Recovery of collections after an emergency
  • People costs (hotel, per diem, conservation fees), transportation, materials as directly
    associated with a specific emergency preparedness, mitigation, or recovery.

What is not covered?

  •  General operating costs due to financial hardship
     Capital improvements
     Staff salaries
     Programming and education
     Technology hardware and software (other than wi-fi hot spot for emergency period only)

Is this a reimbursement or up-front payment?

  • The fund is available for reimbursement of expenses.

What is the maximum amount an institution can request per emergency?

  • An institution can request up to $2000. However, the amount available and granted will depend
    on the incident, response required, and available funds.

What sort of reporting is required?

  • A brief final report describing the incident and use of the funds is required, along with receipts
    for expenses.

Does the recipient need to be a CWAM member?

  • Applicants do not have to be current CWAM members, though membership is encouraged.
    Museums holding memberships in good standing will receive preference for funding.

Does CWAM offer consulting or on-the-ground assistance?

  • No, though the Emergency Preparedness Chair can put out a call for help to the membership.
    Any volunteers are required to work directly with the institution and all liability is accepted by the
    requesting institution and the volunteer.