SC Arts Commission increases access to grants and loans for artist entrepreneurs

Artists Ventures Initiatives letters of intent due January 11

Artists seeking to launch or expand a business venture may apply for grants or loans designed for varying levels of business readiness. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees are eligible to apply for a new Business Builder Loan program through ArtsGrowSC.

Christine Eadie’s nearly ready gypsy wagon

Christine Eadie of Ladson is the first artist to receive a business loan through ArtsGrowSC, a partnership between the S.C. Arts Commission and Community Works, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Greenville. Eadie will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. Eadie received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016.

“I was ecstatic to be awarded a grant by the Arts Commission via the Artists Ventures Initiative program to purchase a travel trailer and lights to turn the trailer into a mobile studio,” said Eadie.  “The funds allowed me to turn my passion into a business and I was able to travel to arts events and started reached broader audiences for my tintype work.  I was invited to other states and made more connections which led to more business. My business has grown and I have attended events in Ga., N.C., Fla., Pa, Tenn., Ky., and Ark.

“The (ArtsGrowSC) loan I recently received allowed me to build a custom gypsy wagon trailer which is a dream come true!  Most of the events I am invited to attend are historic reenactments and living history events. It made sense that a more historically accurate trailer would fit in better.  Several leading photographers in my field have reached out to me expressing their admiration of this project. I plan on adding more options to my services in the coming year and I am optimistic this new venture will bring me more business.  I am excited for the future and very grateful to be part of this program!”

Artists Ventures Initiative grants encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Individuals and collaboratives may use AVI funding to help launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3,500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5,000.

The AVI grant program is a two-part process, with letters of intent due Jan. 11, 2018. Selected applicants will be invited to develop a full grant proposal.

Find out more about AVI grants.

For more information about these opportunities, contact Joy Young.

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