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Jason Rapp

The show can go on, governor says

S.C. arts venues, festivals cleared to reopen Aug. 3

[caption id="attachment_27031" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Artisphere Artisphere in Greenville, 2016. File Hub photo.[/caption]

Arts centers and festivals may resume holding public events, albeit within guidelines that call for reduced capacity and social distancing, Gov. Henry McMaster announced yesterday afternoon.

The announcement covers performing arts centers and festivals, but also amphitheaters, concert venues, and theaters of all types, among others. Special requirements pertaining to the arts include mandatory mask usage; capacity of 50% or 250, whichever is less; and the cessation of alcohol sales by 11 p.m., already required of bars and restaurants. [caption id="attachment_36942" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Well, not like this, but you get the idea.[/caption]

Additional reopening materials for arts and culture

Our partners at the South Carolina Arts Alliance developed a reopening guideline in June that might help arts leaders walk through reopening. These guidelines are referenced in the Festival/Event guidelines above but are not necessarily part of the "required" guidelines issued by the Governor. Click here to read more. The SCAC is tracking reopening resources on its COVID-19 response page. As with most things in 2020, the situation here is evolving. The intent of the SCAC, and therefore The Hub, is to provide constituents factual information so they can decide their best path through the pandemic for themselves.

Jason Rapp

CARES Act funding announced for 7 S.C. NEA grantees

Awards total $350,000


Washington — The National Endowment for the Arts announces the nonprofit arts organizations recommended for direct funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These 855 organizations—located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—will receive a total of $44.5 million in nonmatching funds to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations while nine local arts agencies will receive $250,000 each to further award to arts organizations in their area. The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. To review the applications, the agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using the published review criteria.

“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling, and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”


These awardees represent the diverse nature of arts organizations around the country. Overall funding is divided nearly evenly between small, medium, and large arts organizations. Also, 18% went to organizations either in rural (non-metro) areas or in metro areas with populations below 250,000.

Seven NEA grantees in South Carolina received $50,000 grants each. They are:
  • Aiken Music Festival (Joye in Aiken) - Aiken
  • Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County - Camden
  • Spoleto Festival USA - Charleston
  • Columbia Film Society - Columbia
  • Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawleys Island
  • Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) - Pickens
  • Hub City Writers Project - Spartanburg
  • View the full list of nationwide recipients by clicking here.

In April, the agency announced the distribution of the required 40 percent of the CARES Act’s $75 million appropriation to the state and regional arts agencies for their granting programs. Each agency has its own process and timeline for awarding those funds, however, the Arts Endowment anticipates that together those entities will make between 4,200 and 5,600 awards.

From the beginning, the Arts Endowment has pursued both speed in making awards, and maintaining the agency’s reputation for organizational excellence. Just 12 days after President Trump signed the CARES Act legislation, the Arts Endowment posted guidelines for direct funding applicants. In less than three weeks, the agency had announced awards to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. This press release marks less than 14 weeks since the legislation was made into law.

Arts and culture are a key component of the U.S. economy that contribute $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employ over 5 million wage‐and‐salary workers who collectively earned $405 billion. This funding will help support those jobs and those nonprofit organizations during this time of great need so that arts and culture will persevere as a significant contributor to the American economy.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

Jason Rapp

Public art promotes mask usage in Spartanburg

Public call for art also issued


In response to increased COVID-19 cases and as part of the Bringing Back the ‘Burg initiative, Chapman Cultural Center is partnering with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on a county-wide public art campaign that promotes the use of face masks by encouraging residents and businesses to place temporary face masks on public art.

The public is encouraged to participate by placing temporary face masks on pre-identified pieces of public art. Eligible pieces of art can be found here. Businesses may also participate by placing temporary masks on privately-owned visible works of art. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” Masks are available for purchase at many local pharmacy retailers, grocery stores, box stores and boutiques.

Public call for art

In addition to placing masks on existing public art, the campaign includes a call for proposals for a new public art project that promotes the importance of wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Local artists should submit inquiries and proposals by June 26. The selected proposal will receive an award of $1,000 in addition to funding the cost of materials for the project. Artists interested in submitting a proposal, or who would like more information, should contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley at mEarley@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9685.
Chapman Cultural Center realizes that the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change as evidence from previous public art campaigns addressing serious issues in the community such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. As an extension of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light sought to improve police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie through the arts.   Chapman Cultural Center and the Spartanburg Chamber are committed to prioritizing public health and reducing the spread of COVID-19 while carrying out their respective organizational missions. "Bringing Back the 'Burg" is Spartanburg's COVID-19 recovery effort. Other initiatives include a Business Recovery Task Force, Open for Business Guidebook, Combating COVID-19 Commitment and marketing campaigns.

Submitted material

S.C. Humanities awards relief funds

$482,000 in emergency relief heads to cultural orgs


South Carolina Humanities has awarded $482,000 in emergency relief funds to 99 cultural organizations in South Carolina.

The awards reach 34 counties and all seven congressional districts. Funding for Bridge Emergency Relief Grants was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. South Carolina Humanities Bridge Emergency Relief Grants were designed to offer unrestricted operating and/or humanities program support to cultural organizations throughout the state that are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. These grants provide immediate funds to help stabilize humanities organizations and allow them to maintain essential functions and retain core personnel, ensuring their future success. Dr. Tom Mack, board chair of South Carolina Humanities, said, “The current pandemic has severely impacted our state’s economy; and among those most adversely affected by closure and event cancellation are museums, libraries, and other cultural centers offering humanities-based programming. SC Humanities is pleased and honored to be able to offer emergency funding to a host of cultural organizations that enrich the lives of our state’s citizens each and every day. We wish we could do more. For additional information on our ongoing grant opportunities, please visit our website at schumanities.org.” “South Carolina has an annual $24 billion dollar tourism industry that includes hundreds of arts and cultural organizations that bolster that important economic sector. Closed since mid-March, these organizations and their personnel have suffered dramatically. We are very fortunate to be able to offer relief during these difficult times,” South Carolina Humanities Executive Director Dr. Randy Akers said.
Arts organizations receiving SC Humanities Bridge Emergency Relief Grants: 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, North Augusta Arts Council of Chester County, Chester Arts Council of Greenwood County, Greenwood Arts Council of York County, Rock Hill Ballet Spartanburg, Spartanburg Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg Coastal Carolina University – Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Conway Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia Dillon County Theatre Association, Dillon Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston Greenville Light Opera Works/Glow Lyric Theatre, Greenville Greenville Theatre, Greenville Greenwood Community Theatre, Greenwood The Historic Winyah Auditorium, Georgetown Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg The Jasper Project, Columbia Lancaster County Council of the Arts, Lancaster McClellanville Arts Council, McClellanville Newberry Community Players, Newberry Newberry Opera House Foundation, Newberry Nickelodeon Theatre, Columbia Pat Conroy Literary Center, Beaufort Penn Center, St. Helena Island Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra, Rock Hill South Carolina Writers Association, Columbia Spartanburg Philharmonic, Spartanburg Speaking Down Barriers, Spartanburg Trustus, Inc., Columbia USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center for the Fine Arts, Aiken USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, Beaufort
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 350,000 citizens annually.  

Jason Rapp

Arts classrooms included in AccelerateED draft guidelines

Public input sought until June 19


South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman convened the first meeting of AccelerateED, the Department of Education’s task force on school operations in April in the wake of COVID-19.

The task force was charged with developing guidelines on reopening schools across the state next school year. Today (June 15), the task force released its draft report and opened it up for public comment through June 19. The arts, including arts classrooms specifically, were included in these recommendations. SCAC partners the South Carolina Arts Alliance and the ABC Project, along with the S.C. Music Educators Association, were invited to provide input on how districts should continue providing access to a well-rounded education, especially in the arts, in the wake of COVID-19 next school year. AccelerateED is taking public comment on these recommendations until Friday, June 19. Click here to see how to send in your endorsement or your own recommendations.

Jason Rapp

COVID-19 through African American eyes

South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) is documenting the impact of the coronavirus through the African American perspective.

The organization has opened a portal called "Black Carolinians Speak: Portraits of a Pandemic" and invites African American South Carolinians to chronicle the personal impact of the pandemic through stories, photography, video, art work, poetry, and other forms of expression. This an opportunity to provide future generations with knowledge as to how people persevered through a time that altered a sense of normalcy. Although contributions from all African Americans from South Carolina are welcome, the SCAAHC is particularly seeking perspectives of the pandemic from professionals in healthcare, law enforcement, tourism, faith-based organizations, tourism industries, and education (students, teachers and administrators). The Heritage Commission is also interested in how students were affected during the pandemic. Go to greenbookofsc.com/speak.
Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

Submitted material

Metropolitan Arts Council distributes relief funding in Greenville Co.

In conjunction with the Graham Foundation and the Canal Charitable Foundation, the Metropolitan Arts Council of Greenville is distributing $275,500 to 28 local arts organizations.

Metropolitan Arts Council“All of us at MAC are very pleased to be in a position to raise and provide this level of funding for these organizations that are such important assets to Greenville,” said Alan Ethridge, MAC executive director. The fund was started with a $102,000 withdrawal from the MAC Endowment for the Arts which was established in 2009 for the organization’s grants program.  “This is the first time we have withdrawn any funds from the endowment, but it was very important to do so given the projected losses of so many arts organizations,” said MAC board chairman Michael Cooper of TD Bank. “Once we realized the severity of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAC board and staff went immediately to work to begin a relief fund.” “The Graham Foundation and the Canal Charitable Foundation contributed to the fund very generously,” Ethridge continued.  “Greenville is so fortunate to have such philanthropic partners who realize the importance of the arts in the vitality of our amazing city.  Throughout their histories, both entities have ensured that the arts have had a very visible presence in the community by providing very substantial funding to cultural initiatives.  It is a privilege to be working with both of them during these challenging times.” “Arts organizations have had to cancel/postpone performances, events, exhibits and fundraisers. That loss of income can be devastating. These relief funds will have a tremendous impact on our cultural community,” Artisphere Executive Director Kerry Murphy said. Holly Caprell, Greenville County Youth Orchestra executive director said, “I am so thankful for MAC’s dedication to helping small organizations like ours.  Looking ahead to our next season, there are so many unknowns.  This grant will help us bridge funding gaps and give us the freedom to plan projects that will encourage our students to grow musically.” Ethridge also said that additional relief funding may be necessary as we are not yet familiar with the distancing norms for the latter part of the year and 2021. “MAC will certainly assess the future needs of our organizational constituents and perhaps be able to provide additional relief funding. I certainly want to thank the MAC board of directors and staff, the executive committee and the endowment committee for making sure the fund came to fruition.” The 28 arts organizations receiving funding are Artisphere, Carolina Dance Collaborative, Carolina Music Museum, Centre Stage, Chicora Voices, Emrys, Foothills Philharmonic, GLOW Lyric Theatre, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Greenville Chautauqua Society, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Concert Band, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville County Youth Orchestra, Greenville Jazz Collective, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Greenville Theatre, Greer Cultural Arts Council, International Ballet, Makers Collective (Indie Craft Parade), Mauldin Cultural Center, Peace Center, SC Bach, South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Vaughn Newman Dance, The Warehouse Theatre, Wits End Poetry and Younts Center for Performing Arts.

Jason Rapp

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of May 11

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. Because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) grant!"

We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • n/a

Rolling Deadlines

These S.C. Arts Commission rolling deadline grant programs are temporarily suspended to focus our efforts on supporting grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Accessibility Grant applications are no longer being accepted for FY2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020). For projects occurring in FY21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) the application will be available in mid-April.

Important Notes


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.

Jason Rapp

One Columbia to provide Columbia artist relief

$100,000 fund goes live today


Columbia area artists may apply starting today for a new potential source of relief. The Artists’ Emergency Fund was created to provide 40 emergency grants of $2,500 each to support professional artists in the Columbia area. By providing these funds, the partners hope to provide assistance for artists facing hardships caused by the loss of events, performances, and sales. The program serves the mission of the three partner organizations by supporting an ecosystem for professional artists to live, work and remain in and around Columbia. The funds provided by this program can be used to assist artists with any relevant professional needs including artist supplies and materials, rent or mortgage, health insurance, or another professional purpose. This fund was developed out of a partnership among the Knight Foundation, Central Carolina Community Foundation and One Columbia for Arts and Culture. The Knight Foundation has committed $100,000 to assist artists in the Columbia area in order to temper the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting emergency shutdowns. Go here to learn more and apply.