Jason Rapp

SCAC Grants Team to start ‘Grants Coaching’ series

Topics and training series starts July 2


Do you have questions about the South Carolina Arts Commission grants process? Could you use some pointers for managing a grant you already have?

Well, get a coach! Today, the SCAC announces...
Twice a month, our Grants Team will offer professional coaching in Topics and Training video conference sessions. The schedule will look like this

Topics | First Thursdays

  • Grants-related topics with Q&A time at the end
  • First Thursday of the month at 11 a.m., via Zoom

Training | Third Thursdays

  • The Grants Team will be available to answer your questions about the grants process.
  • Hop on to ask your question or stay on to hear other questions. Hop off at any time.
  • Third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m., via Zoom
These sessions are a free service and first-come, first-served based on time of registration. Space is limited, so please do not miss meetings for which you’ve reserved a spot! Find information on the scheduled topics and how to register on SouthCarolinaArts.com.

Jason Rapp

Marketing arts orgs through, beyond COVID

Best practices webinars start next week


Along the lines of its concurrent webinar series on organizational fiscal sustainability, the South Carolina Arts Alliance has another lined up to benefit groups it serves.

In partnership with Greenville marketing and web firm Engenius, yesterday they announced another free webinar series for arts organizations focused on marketing best practices as arts organizations move through and beyond the pandemic. The webinars are useful for arts organizations of all sizes, but the SCAA says on its website that small to medium organizations might find the most benefit. Details and registration links are below for each webinar. Like the financial webinar series, the marketing series is free thanks to funding from S.C. Arts Alliance partners the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and S.C. Arts Commission.

Session topics and dates

  1. Marketing When Closed: How to Keep Attendees Engaged
    • Thursday, May 14
    • 2 p.m.
  2. Communicating Once You’re Open: How to Speak to Different Audience Groups
    • Thursday, May 21
    • 2 p.m.
Details on these topics and registration are available by clicking here.

David Platts

Announcing SCAC Arts Emergency Relief grants

Applications open, April 29

Application deadline: Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET


This is a critical update with vital information on assisting South Carolina arts and culture organizations and individual artists during, and as we emerge from, this time of crisis. First, I am happy to announce that as a result of tireless work by our team, South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Emergency Relief grants for organizations and individual artists will launch next week. The guidelines are available for review on our website now. Simply click here to access them. The application to apply for the Arts Emergency Relief grant will be open from Wednesday, April 29 through Friday, May 15. There will be a single user-friendly application which will ask which of the three eligible categories applies to you:
  • Arts organizations who ARE current (FY20) operating support grantees (General Operating Support, Operating Support for Small Organizations, and Statewide Operating Support)
  • Arts organizations who are NOT current (FY20) operating support grantees
  • Individual artists
Funding for organizations will be determined by their budget size. Individual artists are eligible to receive up to $1,000. I would like to express thanks to the South Carolina Arts Foundation and the donors to its South Carolina Artist Relief Fund campaign, which is helping to support the grants to artists. The recently-passed CARES Act provides funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and supports aid to arts and culture organizations nationwide. This relief may support salaries and administrative costs to the nonprofit arts sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes salary/fringe, rent/mortgage, and other operating expenses, but you may not duplicate emergency funds (for example, if you have received other emergency funds to cover rent, you may not also use this grant to cover rent). Again, I invite you to review the guidelines for our new Arts Emergency Relief grants here.
Second, the result of work with our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is a free webinar series for South Carolina arts and culture organizations focused on financial best practices for moving beyond COVID-19. Thanks to our funding partners, leading nonprofit financial consulting firm FMA Consultants will lead these webinars beginning next week. Each 90-minute webinar will be hosted twice, with space limited to allow for manageable groups and Q&A. Session topics and dates:
  1. Understanding Financial Heath & Planning Ahead in a Time of Uncertainty Wednesday, April 29 (2:30 p.m.) OR Tuesday, May 5 (2 p.m.)
  2. Scenario Building & Contingency Planning Tuesday, May 12 (1 p.m.) OR Friday, May 15 (1 p.m.)
Learn more and register for these wonderful opportunities on the South Carolina Arts Alliance website by clicking here.
Today’s update marks significant progress toward helping practitioners of arts and culture find themselves as strong as possible when we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. We at the S.C. Arts Commission have been strongly encouraged by your determination and innovation in finding ways to share through technology.  As always, we stand ready to assist you as we can.  

Jason Rapp

Video training for arts orgs announced

Getting ready to move beyond COVID-19


The South Carolina Arts Alliance and funding partners the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and S.C. Arts Commission are announcing a free webinar series for arts organizations focused on financial best practices for moving beyond the coronavirus. As our state begins to slowly turn back “on” local economies, arts organizations are left wondering how they can prioritize fiscal sustainability through the continuing economic crisis, all the way through to being prepared for events that may have similar impacts in the future. The SCAA engaged FMA Consultants, a leading nonprofit financial consulting firm, to conduct a two-part webinar series for arts groups across the state.
  • There is no charge to the organization thanks to the funding partners.
  • Each 90-minute webinar will be hosted twice.
  • Space will be limited to 50-60 participants per webinar to allow for manageable groups and Q&A.
Details and registration links are below for each webinar.

Session topics and dates

  1. Understanding Financial Heath & Planning Ahead in a Time of Uncertainty
    • Wednesday, April 29 | 2:30 p.m.
    • or Tuesday, May 5 | 2 p.m.
  2. Scenario Building & Contingency Planning
    • Tuesday, May 12 | 1 p.m.
    • or Friday, May 15 | 1 p.m.
Learn more and register for these opportunities on the South Carolina Arts Alliance website by clicking here.

Jason Rapp

Let’s raise up South Carolina’s ‘Emerging Leaders of Color’

Promoting representative leadership + equity in the arts

Application deadline: Friday, April 17, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET
Two regional arts organizations, the South Carolina Arts Commission's partner and collaborator South Arts and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation), are selecting up to 13 participants for the southern pilot of WESTAF's Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) program. South ArtsWESTAF's ELC program has shown success in "attracting, training, networking and promoting a new generation of diverse arts leaders since 2010," according to South Arts, who hope to bring that energy to the Deep South states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Selected individuals will participate in a 3-day, 2-night executive-level professional development and team-building workshop at no cost to themselves. The program is designed to: 
  • Build a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the southeastern U.S. who are committed to the advancement of the arts. 
  • Engage diverse emerging leaders in coursework and activities designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field. 
  • Provide opportunities for promising arts professionals to establish networks that support their careers and the cultural interests of the communities they represent and serve. 
  • Deepen participants’ understanding of the arts in the United States and how public support sustains the vibrancy of the sector.   
The intensive development and team-building sessions will take place* July 8-10, 2020 in Atlanta.

So who makes a good candidate?

Self-identified leaders of color residing in one of the seven states listed above with fewer than 10 years of experience working in the arts who are also (most likely, but with exceptions) younger than 35. Good candidates can be employed as a cultural worker, arts/cultural programs administrator or be a significantly arts-interested community member such as a volunteer or a public official (the program is not designed to serve individual artists). They also must not have had an opportunity to participate in high-quality professional development sessions.  The application, found at this link, must be submitted through Formstack. The deadline is Friday, April 17. Applicants will be asked for your contact information, and a written/audio/video (your choice) response to this prompt: #InequalityIsJeff Chang on race, culture, and inequality. Applicants are also required to upload a letter of endorsement from a colleague as a PDF.  For more information about the Emerging Leaders of Color Program, contact Mollie Quinlan-Hayes with South Arts, mquinlanhayes@southarts.org, 404.874.7244 x 31, or Chrissy Deal with WESTAF, chrissy.deal@westaf.org, 303.629.1166. * Until further notice, of course.
The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to further its own efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion by spreading the word about the ELC program in South Carolina to enrich the applicant pool and, we hope, get at least one South Carolinian among the southern cohort.

Jason Rapp

Artists U grantwriting workshop moves online

Still happening. Still free.

Register ASAP; it's this Friday.


You heard about it on The Hub last month. A lot's happened since. Though many things are postponing or canceling, our partner organization is still presenting this invaluable resource for artists. Online. Register today. Made possible by a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Based on 20 years of grant writing and art making, Artists U South Carolina's Andrew Simonet is set to introduce artists to principles for writing simple, clear grants. You'll read some short proposals and act as a panel, scoring and discussing them. No bull, no fancy PowerPoints, just real-world tools for artists who write (or want to write) grants. From Andrew:

I didn't sign up to be a grantwriter. I wanted to be a choreographer. I discovered that, to make my work, I needed to find support. So I embarked on a painful learning process of trial and error, making every possible grant writing mistake. Eventually, I secured grants from funders like Creative Capital, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Rockefeller Foundation, and residencies from Yaddo, The Studios of Key West, and Ucross.

I want to share with you everything I've learned. Based on 20 years of grant writing and art making, I will introduce artists to principles for writing simple, clear grants.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020 6-9 p.m. ONLINE You'll receive a link to the meeting once you register. Do that here.

Jason Rapp

New ink for Communal Pen

Writing workshop returns March 21

Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and S.C. Humanities, is coming back on Saturday, March 21 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place. SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity? Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. This three-hour writing workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Newberry Arts Center (1200 Main St., Newberry). It draws inspiration from the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America as a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.771.2477. Walk-in registration is welcome as long as space permits. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! We invite participants to view the exhibit before the workshop, and to pay special attention to those images and ideas that are most relatable you. On the day of the workshop, please bring a photo and/or object that has special meaning for you. This item will be used during a writing exercise.
The Communal Pen writing workshop is offered in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Crossroads is presented through the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program as part of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, "Art of Community: Rural SC," a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from the S.C. Humanities Council.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, Communal Pen facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, she is a gifted vocalist known for her special blend of timeless jazz classics with a pinch of poetry. Ramm resides in Columbia, where she conducts jazz poetry workshops in schools, libraries, and various learning centers. She serves her community as Richland Library's literary resident and as a teaching artist with ARTS ACCESS South Carolina and Youth Corps. She is a featured musician on SCETV’s education web portal, knowitall.org. Her publication Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson celebrates the ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case. Learn more at www.EboniRamm.com. Communal Pen coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the South Carolina Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the "Art of Community: Rural SC" initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. . She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.
Canvass of the People 2020 promo graphic Click image to participate in short survey!

Artists U offers artist learning opportunities this March

Hey there, #SCartists. Our friends and frequent collaborators at Artists U have two great FREE learning opportunities in Columbia next month. Both will take place in the centrally-located Congaree Vista in the centrally-located city. Here's info on each. - Ed.


Grant Writing For Artists (FREE workshop)

Friday, March 20, 6-9 p.m. If Art Gallery | 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia (29201)

Based on 25 years of grant writing and art making, Artists U's Andrew Simonet will introduce artists to principles for writing simple, clear grants. You'll read some short proposals and act as a panel, scoring and discussing them. No bull, no fancy powerpoints, just real-world tools for artists who write (or want to write) grants. Get more info and register for "Grant Writing for Artists" here.

Presenting Your Art

ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED AND BY APPLICATION Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If Art Gallery | 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia (29201)

In this workshop, we will take a hands-on look at each artist’s toolkit: work samples, artist statement, elevator pitch, and presentations. We will build a positive and rigorous conversation around the challenge of representing our art. In Artists U, we have sat on many panels and juries, and we will tell you: Most artists fail to convey the power of their work in their applications. Too many artists submit muddled images and convoluted writing and fail to connect the two. A huge barrier to getting new opportunities is how we represent our work in words and images.  We owe it to our work to represent it well in images and language.
  • Each artist will prepare a four-minute presentation about their work.
  • Artists in this workshop must also attend Grant Writing for Artists workshop on Friday, March 20 (see above).
Get more info and register for "Presenting Your Art" here.

Small-group financial management training for small arts orgs

Retooled, rebooted, and ready to help

Application deadline: Friday, December 13, 2019
(Ed. note: A version of this post originally ran in June, but scheduling conflicts with many of the groups ultimately caused the training to be canceled. The presenting partners, undaunted, are rebooting the process and trying to start round 2 again.) Yes, we help provide arts education opportunities. Yes, we help artists make sustainable arts careers. And yes, we also serve as a resource to strengthen community arts groups: your local theatre, dance company, orchestra, and the like. To that end, the S.C. Arts Commission is partnering with the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Alliance (which advocates for all the things mentioned above, and more, in the halls of power in Columbia and Washington) to present the second iteration of "A Stronger Bottom Line," a small-group cohort of small arts organizations getting unparalleled, tailored financial management training specific to the arts. The idea is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization's financial operations. But don't take our word for it. Here's what some participants from the first cohort had to say:

“What a productive and informative program.  I learned a great deal and am extremely confident that I can now provide a more thorough and necessary financial oversight and guidance for my organization. This program is immensely insightful. I wish everyone could have this opportunity.” - Footlight Players

“The SC Arts Alliance benefited greatly from this training. Our staff and board feel more confident in our ability to tell our financial story in a way that is transparent, meaningful, and useful. We highly recommend this training.” - S.C. Arts Alliance

This training is conducted by FMA Consultants. Here's who is eligible:
  • Only nonprofit grantees of the Donnelley Foundation and/or the S.C. Arts Commission.
  • Budget size < $1 million
  • Attendance by the executive director, plus lead finance staff or appropriate board member is required for each session. Commitment must be made with application.

Find out more and apply by going here.

 

Tuning Up: Some Fri-yay notes

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


It's Friday. Let's ease into things today.