New course to coach creatives on starting a business

Today's lunchtime read about creativity posted by the S.C. Arts Alliance on Facebook was nothing if not well-timed: we've got a teaser for creatives today. The Arts Commission and Midlands Technical College will be partnering soon to present a 10-week FastTrac course on channeling your creativity into a business that you run! YOU can be the boss of you. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone in the arts or creative industries (arts, history, heritage, tourism, etc.). More information coming soon. PS: It will only cost $75. And you could win $500. PPS: It’s online, and provides CEU credits.

Interested? Reach out to the SCAC’s Joy Young for more:

New funding partner for potential arts businesses

  • Central Carolina Community Foundation to help develop Midlands arts-based businesses
  • Joins statewide initiative begun by S.C. Arts Commission and CommunityWorks of Greenville
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Midlands artisans hoping to turn a passion into a business in the New Year now have help from Central Carolina Community Foundation as it joins an S.C. Arts Commission initiative. Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) joins ArtsGrowSC, a new program that combines the strengths of the S.C. Arts Commission and Greenville-based CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution, to offer qualifying artists resources – including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching, and workshops – that will help develop and grow arts-based business ventures. ArtsGrowSC is being implemented to allow arts-based businesses to further contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by South Carolina’s core creative industries. Involvement by CCCF will increase the number of artisans who can open Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), specifically in its 11-county service area. CommunityWorks serves as a statewide IDA funding partner for the matched savings program. Artists who use an IDA to save would see a 2:1 match, so a savings of $1,000 would be matched by $1,000 from one of the participating funders, based on artist location, and another $1,000 from the Arts Commission. Additional avenues of support from ArtsGrowSC include personal development and business coaching workshops that lead to the next-step Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant program. AVI provides one-time grants to encourage the creation of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project could receive up to $3,500, and on-going business ventures can get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit a letter of intent to seek an AVI grant is Jan. 18. AVI grantees may then qualify for the Business Builder Loan program, wherein CommunityWorks could lend qualifying artists up to $15,000 to expand their ventures. For more information, visit, email Joy Young at, or call 803.734.8203.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit or call (803) 734-8696.

Free grants writing workshop in Allendale April 20

South Carolina Humanities, in partnership with USC Salkehatchie, the South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Arts Commission, is hosting a free grants writing workshop and invites staff and volunteers of S.C. cultural organizations and nonprofit agencies to attend. Admission to the workshop is free, but pre-registration is REQUIRED. This workshop is especially targeted to the six-county Promise Zone region (Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper). The workshop will be held April 20, from 10 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at the Conference Room in the Education Building of USC Salkehatchie’s West Campus in Allendale (address: USC Building #849, 266 Spruce Street, Allendale, SC). Staff, officers, and board members of SC Humanities, South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Arts Commission will lead participants in a general grants writing overview, will highlight funding opportunities for cultural projects and other cultural resources, and can offer feedback on project ideas and application drafts, time permitting. This workshop offers a unique learning opportunity for cultural organizations of all sizes and provides the opportunity for partnership building between local organizations with similar missions. REGISTRATION for the Grants Writing Workshop for Community Cultural Projects is REQUIRED. Please REGISTER HERE. Schedule: 10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Welcome and Introductions 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Overview of General Grants Writing Techniques 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Overview of Resources and Grants for Community Cultural Projects South Carolina Arts Commission – Susan DuPlessis, Program Director South Carolina State Library – Dawn Mullin; Reference Librarian SC Humanities – T.J. Wallace, Assistant Director 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Questions, Networking, and Partnership Building 12:45 p.m. – Adjourn For more information, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477 or Special thanks to USC Salkehatchie for hosting the workshop!

South Arts’ Launchpad offers resources for new presenting professionals

Becoming a presenter for the first time can be daunting. Where can I find the best artists for my community? How do I apply my marketing and management skills to a new position? How do I negotiate contracts to be fair to my organization and the artist? Who can I call for advice? PAE-2015-Juried-Showcase-313 Philadanco performing at 2015 PAE Juried Showcases – Photograph by Bruce France South Arts' program, Launchpad, is designed to provide a year-long support system to professionals who are new to the performing arts presenting field in South Arts' nine-state region. Launchpad offers professional development, mentorship, and a travel subsidy for participation at the 2017 Performing Arts Exchange in Atlanta, Ga. In addition, there is an opportunity to receive funding to join your statewide presenters’ network and to support artist fees for presenting one of our 2017 juried showcase artists. Up to 10 presenters will be selected in the second cohort. The goals of this pilot:

  • Provide professional development for new presenting professionals
  • Share resources for identifying high-quality artists
  • Support learning through a peer network group and individual mentoring
Selected applicants will receive:
  • Travel subsidy for attending the 2017 Performing Arts Exchange (PAE), September 25-28, 2017 in Atlanta, Ga. (up to $1,000)
  • Presenting grant to book a 2017 PAE juried showcase artist for the 2018-2019 season (up to $2,500)
  • Support for statewide presenters’ network annual dues/fees (up to $200)
  • Connection to a mentor
Only executive directors, associate directors, or programming directors (i.e., individuals responsible for curating/programming season) that have been in their presenting role for less than two years prior to the Performing Arts Exchange start date are eligible to apply. Previous PAE attendees are not eligible. Complete eligibility requirements and guidelines are available online. Applicants are encouraged to contact Nikki Estes, Program Director, at 404-874-7244 ext. 16 to discuss eligibility prior to submitting an application. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) June 1, 2017.

South Arts hosting grants webinar for performing and literary organizations

South Arts invites nonprofit performing arts and literary arts organizations to take part in a free webinar December 7 at 11 a.m. EST to review updated 2017-2018 guidelines for Regional and Literary grant applications. Grant deadlines are in March and May. The webinar will cover these topics:

  • South Arts’ priorities: understand how the scoring works
  • Readiness plans: find out what’s needed and how your REQUIRED plan will be evaluated
  • Accessibility: hear more about South Arts’ expectations
Find out more about South Arts grants and how to join the webinar. Via: South Arts  

Free webinar for artists: find out more about Artists Ventures Initiative Grants

Webinar scheduled for December 2 Barbara Streeter Barbara Streeter of Conway, a previous AVI grant recipient Are you a professional-caliber artist or an artist collaborative with an arts-based business idea? Or, have you launched an arts-based business that needs a bit more lift? The S.C. Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI), a broad-reaching project at the South Carolina Arts Commission, may be just right for you. AVI grantees may be awarded up to $3,500 for a one-time project/single purchase in support of an arts-based business. An ongoing arts-based business venture may be awarded up to $5,000. Join us for a free webinar to learn more about the grant and the first step in the process, the all-important Letter of Intent, which is due January 11, 2017. (The deadline for AVI Letters of Intent is January 11, 2017. You do not have to participate in the webinar in order to submit a Letter of Intent.) Topics to be covered:

  • Learn about the S.C. Artists Ventures Initiative
  • Walk through the process of completing the online Letter of Intent
  • Hear from recent AVI grant recipient(s)
  • Ask questions
When: December 2, 2016
Time: 7:15 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Online — you will receive log-in information two days before the webinar. You will need access to the Internet and a telephone to see and hear the presentation.
RSVP: This webinar is free, but you must register online in order to attend and to receive webinar log-in information. The registration password is AVI.
  Questions? Email Joy Young,

Free webinar for rural community leaders: Thinking Beyond the Town Line

Rural community leaders are invited to participate in a free webinar to learn how small towns are working together to support each other. Offered by the Orton Family Foundation and the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design, Thinking Beyond the Town Line: Strengthening Rural Development through Cooperation will examine how pooling resources and cooperating across town boundaries can result in new efficiencies and improve quality of life. Susan DuPlessis, program director with the South Carolina Arts Commission, will share highlights from the agency's pilot project, The Art of Community: Rural SC. The webinar takes place November 17 from 3 - 4 p.m. EST. The webinar is free, but online registration is required. Webinar presenters:

  • Brett Schwartz, program manager, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation. NADO offers a myriad of programs aimed at cross-border cooperation including training, research, and peer networking services in the areas of economic and disaster resilience, transportation, and sustainable community development.
  • Sarah Lucas, AICP, regional planning department manager, Networks Northwest. Lucas works closely with local governments, nonprofits, and other community stakeholders in northwest Michigan on a variety of community issues, including housing and economic development. She also coordinates and facilitates public outreach strategies and conducts in-depth community research and analysis.
  • Lori Meadows, executive director, Kentucky Arts Council. Meadows has headed up the Kentucky Arts Council since 2005. Her work has included convening a 54-county Appalachian region to initiate economic growth and development through arts-related tools, resources and ideas.
  • Susan DuPlessis, program director, South Carolina Arts Commission. DuPlessis has a wide range of experience in creative, place-based work including co-directing several significant agency partnerships including the four-state Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, South Carolina's Rural Promise Zone and the Riley Institute at Furman University. Susan will share highlights from a pilot project, The Art of Community: Rural SC, which is part of the South Carolina Promise Zone initiative.
About the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD) provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. CIRD works with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, and offers annual competitive funding to as many as six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community design workshop. With support from a wide range of design, planning and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to the community's pressing design challenges. The community receives additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources. About the Orton Family Foundation With an entrepreneurial spirit and funding derived from the profits of The Vermont Country Store, Lyman Orton and Noel Fritzinger established the Orton Family Foundation in 1995 as a resource for small cities and towns grappling with change and searching for solutions. An active resident of Weston, Vermont and a proud seventh generation Vermonter, Lyman saw that many communities around the state were unprepared for growth and lacking the information and tools needed to steer the change toward a vibrant, sustainable future. The Foundation began by developing a GIS-based 3D visualization and decision-support tool, CommunityViz®, which has helped hundreds of communities across the US imagine new possibilities for growth and change. The Foundation now emphasizes the Community Heart & Soul™ process,  a planning methodology that uses broad citizen engagement to build economically resilient and socially vibrant communities based on towns’ unique local character.

Free workshop: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

South Carolina artists are invited to register for a free two-day workshop, Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist, taking place Nov. 4 - 5 at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia. Based on 10 years of work with artists locally and nationally, artist leaders from Artists U, led by Andrew Simonet, will offer tools for reconnecting with deep values, building community, and managing time and money. Workshop topics:

  • Why artists are poor and why they shouldn’t be
  • Tools artists have used to make things easier
  • How to build a life that is balanced, productive, and sustainable
Registration and attendance:
  • The workshop is free, but the class size is limited, so you must register here.
  • You MUST attend both sessions.
  • Beverages provided, as well as lunch on Saturday.
Location: Tapp's Art Center 1644 Main St Columbia,  South Carolina  29201 Dates and times: Friday, Nov. 4, 7 - 8:30 pm Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Free workshop in Conway – Connecting Resources for a Connected Community

scacschaclogosThe South Carolina Arts Commission is teaming up with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission to offer a free workshop in Conway: Connecting Resources for a Connected Community, Friday, October 7, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Conway Library, 801 Main Street. The workshop is open to anyone, but the content will be specific to the Conway area.

Join us to learn about resources offered by these state agencies and the kinds of services available to help make your community more livable using the arts, culture, equal opportunity and access. The workshop will also offer a forum to discuss how these resources, which include community relations workshops, anti-discrimination services, grant funding and cultural planning, are open to all community members.

The workshop is free, but you must register online to reserve your seat.


Every child is a dancer – skills and habits for teaching dancers along the autism spectrum

parsonsdanceIn collaboration with the South Carolina Autism Society and Columbia College, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College is offering a one-day workshop designed to better help dance educators serve their dancers with autism spectrum disorder. The workshop takes place Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at Harbison Theatre. Registration fee is $25 and includes lunch. The workshop will cover:

  • Sensory sensitivity in the dance studio
  • Fine and gross motor challenges
  • Behavioral expectations in the dance studio
  • Relaxed performance procedures
All participants receive a ticket to the Parsons Dance relaxed performance on November 19. Find out more and register. This seminar for teachers is part of a larger collaboration aimed at increasing and deepening the opportunities for dancers and dance fans with autism and their families to enjoy professional dance instruction and performance. These additional opportunities are available:
  • October 1 and 22 - Beginning dance workshop for dancers with autism spectrum disorder
  • November 16 - Masterclass for dancers with autism spectrum disorder taught by Parsons Dance
  • November 19 - Relaxed performance by Parsons Dance