Spotlight Award: Lee Price

Lee Price, a fundraising professional who specializes in grant writing for cultural institutions, is the 2021 recipient of the Spotlight Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the profession and archival collections—work that does not typically receive public recognition.

Through the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), Price consults with museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites on fundraising strategies to preserve their special collections. His expertise and tireless advocacy have made an extraordinary impact on archival institutions, including many smaller institutions with limited support. Over the past twenty years, Price has helped leverage an estimated $100 million in grant funding, including twenty-four successful applications to the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program. He frequently works with archives and libraries pro bono—assessing needs, identifying sources of funding, and writing and reviewing grant proposals.

In addition, Price regularly teaches and publishes on strategic planning for collections and fundraising for preservation and collections care. For five years, he wrote a bimonthly column, "Bringing in the Money," for Public Libraries, the journal of the Public Libraries Association, and he has published more than 500 blog entries on Save America’s Treasures destinations, preserving family histories, and the courtship of his parents as recorded in their preserved love letters. His work with the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ "Connecting to Collections" initiatives, as well as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Library Alliance’s “Building Capacity” project, has helped preserve the cultural heritage of underrepresented groups.

One supporter wrote: “With great thanks to Price’s knowledge and unrelenting volunteerism, archival holdings across the nation have secured external support allowing these irreplaceable holdings to be assessed, relocated, and digitized for future study and enrichment.” Another commented that “his investment in every institution and individual that he works with is sincere. His joy in learning and sharing knowledge is contagious. The cultural heritage field is lucky that Price has given his time and talents to support our work.”