CSA Angels Project

The CSA Angels Project, which first took place in 2006, supports a deserving collection located in or near the host city of that year’s CSA National Symposium. The site is selected by the Angels Project leadership, who work with those at the collection to develop a workable plan for a one-day intensive project that meets the collection’s most pressing needs. A substantial number of supplies and equipment are given to the chosen institution. Most of the necessary conservation supplies are typically donated by businesses in the museum industry and some monetary funding for the project is provided by the CSA Endowment and by donation. Staff and volunteers of the collection are provided with basic training in museum standards of care for costume and accessories collections, and CSA members volunteer to provide expertise and additional human resources. Supporters of the institution generally help by providing food, overnight accommodation and travel to and from the symposium hotel for the CSA team. One Angels Project grant is awarded each year.


The CSA Angels Project is a one-day event, held each year near the site of the CSA National Symposium, which provides conservation, storage and curatorial assistance to a costume collection at a small institution. The project also afford CSA members who volunteer the opportunity to acquire and practice collection care and management skills, and to work in a team with other CSA members to help preserve a deserving costume collection.

How to Volunteer

Each CSA Angels Project provides members of the Costume Society of America with a valuable opportunity to acquire and practice collection care and management skills while helping a deserving collection. Volunteering to help is also a great way to meet other CSA members and work with them as part of a team. We hope you’ll join us for our next Angels Project.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Angels Project, contact CSA Angels Project Volunteer Coordinator Patti Borrello.

The Next Angels Site

The recipient of the 2017 Angels Project Grant is the Lincoln County Historical Association in Wiscasset, Maine. Planning for the Angels Project will begin in earnest after the first of the year.

The Costume Society of America’s 2018 Symposium will be in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a search is on to locate a site for the CSA’s Angels Project.

Past Recipients

The Ukrainian Museum-Archives
Cleveland, OH

2015 :
The Heritage Museum
Seguin, TX

Historical Society of Baltimore County
Cockeysville, Maryland

Hoover Dam / Boulder City Museum
Boulder City, NV

The Marietta Museum of History
Marietta, GA

Colonial Dames of America at the William Hickling Prescott House
Boston, MA

Rebecca Maud Owens Costume Collection
Kansas City, MO

Phoenix Museum of History
Phoenix, AZ

Jackson Barracks Military Museum
New Orleans, LA

Ramona Pioneer Historical Society at the Guy B. Woodward Museum
Ramona, CA

Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House
Stonington Connecticut Historical Society
Stonington, CT

Institutions applying for a grant must meet the following requirements:

  • fall into the small museum category, which includes historical societies, historic houses or sites, or other similar institutions
  • have a collection of tangible costume objects
  • have a very limited budget and staff to support the costume collection
  • propose a project relating to maintaining the costume and textile collection
  • be a non-profit organization as recognized under IRS Section 501
  • be regularly open to the public for a minimum of forty days a year
  • have an annual budget of $250,000 or less and five or fewer full-time paid staff members
  • to accept a grant, an institution must be or become an Institutional Member of the Costume Society of America (CSA) or have an active staff member who is an Individual CSA Member.
  • have a work space large enough to accommodate the Angels on the workday
  • be located within a forty five minute drive of the CSA symposium hotel.
A CSA Angels Project Grant is intended to make a dramatic beneficial impact on the receiving institution’s costume collection. Applications will be evaluated on:

  • high impact of the project on the collection’s well-being and mission
  • significance of the collection
  • feasibility of the project in terms of resources, location, timeline and personnel to carry it out.
The grant committee will review the applications and select a short list of candidates. Institutions may be asked to clarify or refine their applications if necessary, working with the grant committee to ensure their applications if necessary, working with the grant committee to ensure their proposed project is feasible, conservationally sound and meets the collection’s most pressing needs. An onsite visit is conducted when possible. A final evaluation will then be done and the grant committee will select the grant recipient.
  • Complete the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit one application electronically. If not submitting electronically, send three (3) copies of the application material (with a single copy of the institution’s most recent IRS Form 990/999-EZ and all schedules) together with any relevant documentation and supporting material.


  • Martha Winslow Grimm

    4347 E. North Lane
    Phoenix, Arizona 85028-4141

Application Procedure

Apply Now!

Completed applications must be sent electronically or postmarked by June 1, 2017. Qualified applicants will be notified by July 1, 2017. There will be an on-site visit before the recipient is chosen; site visits will be scheduled after July 1, 2017.