Home  Programs  American Heritage

Program Focus: American Heritage

desk from the Meyer Collection

Adolph H. and Ginger Meyer had a lifelong appreciation for woodworking. Mr. Meyer’s father, a German cabinetmaker before emigrating to America, instilled in him the need "to preserve for our future generations the classics that are of our own creation and are as distinctive as our way of life compared to that of the old world." Mr. and Mrs. Meyer were significant collectors of Americana, especially the fine, handcrafted furniture and decorative items developed by early Americans. The Meyers appreciated these items because to them Americana expressed a sense of artistic freedom and were constructed or created with integrity and individuality fueled by the pioneer spirit.

In honor of the Meyers’ commitment to Americana, we support organizations and institutions that preserve, protect, and promote expressions of America’s heritage, particularly American furniture and decorative arts; ensure present and future generations maintain a sense of continuity with the past; and promote the common values of freedom for the individual and creative pioneer spirit that fostered the innovation and industriousness that built the nation.

Our Vision 

The Americana Foundation envisions the conservation and preservation of Americana as a bridge to understanding place and identity; the preservation and celebration of America’s special cultural places; and the celebration of the craftsmanship and creativity of early American artisans. 

Program Interests

The Americana Foundation is interested in projects that

  • Preserve or restore high-quality classic and handcrafted furniture, decorative arts, and similar objects of early American material culture (“Americana”) and their placement on public display for the appreciation and understanding of present and future generations
  • Offer training, apprenticeships, and other career development opportunities to people interested in the curation, conservation, preservation or restoration of Americana or America’s historic buildings and cultural landscapes
  • Undertake select preservation or restoration projects in significant buildings that are listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and other important public spaces and cultural landscapes (with a focus in Michigan)
  • Produce publications, exhibits, visual media, interactive experiences, or educational programs that contribute to a better understanding of Americana and American heritage.

Geographic focus: Nationwide (except where otherwise indicated)

We do not fund:

The Foundation recognizes the vast needs in this area and the important work underway by so many. However, we are unable or unlikely to consider requests for support of activities such as 

  • lobbying
  • annual fund drives
  • general fundraising events
  • budget deficits

Grant Examples