New American Cultural Centers and Cultural Programming in the People’s Republic of China

Funding Agency:
Department of State

The U.S.-China relationship is one of the United States’ most important bilateral relationships.  A great deal of work remains to be done in fostering mutual understanding between the peoples of the two nations.  The PRC’s creation in the United States of multiple university-based “Confucius Institutes” has increased the level and quality of the study of Chinese language and culture in the U.S.  Though China as a national policy requires the study of the English language broadly among its students, there is no equivalent mechanism for increasing understanding and appreciation for the strength and diversity of American culture and society.  While hundreds of affiliation agreements between U.S. and Chinese universities have promoted academic cooperation, the sharing of technical expertise, and U.S. study of China, there is still a significant level of misunderstanding of U.S. society and culture.

The U.S. Government believes that building mutual understanding is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.  U.S. embassies and consulates seek to tell America’s story through explaining U.S. policies, values, culture, and history. In 2010, the U.S. Mission to China established a grant program to provide the initial funding for a network of dedicated American Cultural Centers (ACCs) through existing partnerships between eligible U.S. institutions and their Chinese counterparts.  Current American Cultural Centers are located in Beijing, Changchun, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xian, and Zhengzhou.  This network of ACCs promotes greater understanding of the United States among Chinese students and the public by providing access to a broad variety of Americans and materials about America. Programming at the ACCs enhances and broadens the cultural and academic outreach of the U.S. Mission in China.      

ACCs provide a space for community and allow interactions that enable Chinese audiences to better understand the United States, its culture, society, government, language, law, economic system, and values.  The ACCs created through this initiative are open to organization/institution faculty, staff, and students of all levels. The centers seek to address the broad spectrum of responsible U.S. opinions in a climate of academic freedom and open-ended inquiry. 

Deadline: July 31, 2016

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Areas of possible programming may include (but are not limited to):

  • Invited public, private, and academic speakers to engage audiences on U.S. culture, society, government, language, law, economic system, and values, etc.; 
  • Cultural programming representing a broad range of U.S. visual and performing arts; and
  • Information resources on U.S. culture, society, government, language, law, economic system, and values, etc. in print and/or electronic form.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is limited to U.S. post-secondary accredited institutions of higher learning (Public, Private, and State) and not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code.  Direct funding for non-U.S. institutions is not available under this announcement.  U.S. Embassy Beijing and the Department of State encourage organizations that have not previously received international program funding from the U.S. Government to apply under this announcement. New applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: people-to-people exchanges, cultural or academic programming, international cooperation, or institution-to-institution partnerships in a foreign setting.



Amount Description

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).  PAS invites U.S. post-secondary accredited institutions of higher learning (Public, Private, and State) and not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code to submit proposals for the establishment of a new American Cultural Center (ACC) through an existing partnership with a Chinese institution and/or comprehensive U.S. cultural-related programming at space provided by a Chinese partner institution as needed.  PAS will award multiple grants up to US$100,000 per grant.

PAS seeks to fund creative and sustainable projects in China that build upon existing partnerships between U.S. institutions/organizations and Chinese counterparts to expand the network of American Cultural Centers throughout China.  Proposals for projects with strong, well-established, and collaborative partnerships will be viewed favorably.  ACCs should include permanent, dedicated space and personnel at a location in China where programs will be administered with administrative staff and program implementers from both the U.S. and Chinese institutions.

Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 31, 2016