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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. [caption id="attachment_33313" align="alignright" width="325"] Christine Eddy's nearly ready gypsy wagon[/caption] Christine Eddy 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. Eddy will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. Eddy 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 Eddy.  "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.

Grants and loans available for new and seasoned artist entrepreneurs

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 Eddy 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. Eddy will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. "It's been a dream of mine for several years to build a gypsy-wagon style portable studio," said Eddy. "An historically  "period correct" studio is ideal for my business, because I mainly work at historic venues and events making vintage looking photographs called "tintypes" (a handmade process invented in 1851). "Being a divorced mother putting my daughter through college on my own, I simply couldn't afford to use my limited funds to invest in building a wagon.  This loan from Community Works has been such a blessing!  It has given me the boost I needed towards making my business stand out even more and set me apart from the crowd.  What I do is already unique, so I'm excited to get out on the road and travel to more and venues and events and bring my business to more people. I am excited about branching out into other areas and renting out my wagon as a digital photo booth." Eddy received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016. 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.

CERF+ offers “Get Ready” grants for craft artists

In 2017, CERF+ will award “Get Ready” Grants of up to $500 to individual artists and up to $1,500 to groups of artists in two grant cycles. The “Get Ready” Grant Program encourages awareness of and provides funding for artists working in craft disciplines to conduct activities that will help safeguard their studios, protect their careers and implement other safety measures to help artists build and sustain strong and resilient careers. Application deadline is November 30. Find out more.

ArtsGrowSC – Expanded Funding for Arts-Based Businesses

The South Carolina Arts Commission and CommunityWorks (CW), a community development finance institution based in Greenville, are collaborating on a pilot program designed to increase opportunities for artisans to develop and grow arts-based business ventures that contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by the state’s core creative industries. The ArtsGrowSC pilot will combine the strengths of both organizations to offer resources for qualifying artists, including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, grants, personalized coaching and workshops.

The project is the next logical step for the Arts Commission’s artist development work and its Artist Ventures Initiative Program, says Executive Director Ken May. “Our Artists Ventures Initiative grant provides funding to launch or revamp an arts-based venture, but the grant is a one-time opportunity. Many of those funded artists are now ready for the next level of growing their businesses, and that growth is key to the vitality of the state’s creative economy.  This new collaboration provides CommunityWorks with a pool of artisans vetted through our grants process and helps connect those artisans to much-needed capital through their matched savings programs and loans. The collaboration also adds a funding resource for artists beyond the Arts Commission’s limited grant dollars.” CommunityWorks recognizes that artisans often operate as small business ventures. According to CW’s President/CEO Deborah McKetty, “We hear a lot about jobs created when large corporations set up shop in South Carolina. However, microbusiness development could become an important second-tier economic development strategy for fostering wealth and creating jobs within low-wealth communities.” McKetty is eager to offer CommunityWork’s resources in other parts of the state. “A successful pilot project will enable us to expand our portfolio. Our goal is leveraging funds to grow the creative industries statewide while also recognizing the role artisans and arts-based businesses play in community economic development. We anticipate reaching deeper into the arts community through the Arts Commission’s networks. ” The pilot was launched May 1 in Spartanburg, where creative businesses are fueling economic growth throughout the county. In 2014, Chapman Cultural Center’s “Culture Counts” project identified a growing cluster of creative industries in Spartanburg County. “We believe that this new financing mechanism will help others to jump start or expand their creative businesses to scale,” said Chapman Cultural Center CEO and President Jennifer Evins. “Creative industries and creative workers are very important to providing innovation and creativity to manufacturing, technology and research. We also hope that this new path to economic prosperity for artists will attract creatives from other states to relocate to Spartanburg and South Carolina.” Joy Young, the Arts Commission’s program director for Leadership and Organizational Development, as well as the Artists Ventures Initiative, added, “ArtsGrowSC is a perfect union of resources – arts, financial, personal and professional – to support arts-based business ventures." ArtsGrowSC is comprised of three components targeted to artists based upon their locale and business readiness: Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans – This matched savings program will initially focus on Spartanburg-area artisans. Those who qualify will commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months. CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artisan who saves $1,000 will receive a match of $3,000. Funds may be used to purchase long-term assets such as equipment or to open a small business. IDA to Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) – Artisans who take part in the initial IDA program may then qualify for the IDA to AVI program. Artisans receive personalized coaching from the Arts Commission and may apply for an Arts Commission matching quarterly grant to receive business training from a recognized business development source. Additionally, the Arts Commission will help in preparing the Artists Ventures Initiative grant application. Artists Ventures Initiative Business Builder Loan Program – Artists are invited to expand their ventures with a business loan of up to $15,000 from CommunityWorks.  The micro-loan could be leveraged with an IDA account. Previous AVI grantees receive priority; however, any artist may apply. Previous AVI grantees may apply for an Arts Commission AVI-Expansion matching grant of up to $1,500 to assist with application and closing fees. For more information about ArtsGrowSC, contact Joy Young, (803) 734-8203.  

Grants available for arts programs, professional development and arts classroom supplies

[caption id="attachment_29193" align="alignright" width="250"]Laurens County Community Theatre Laurens County Community Theatre received a quarterly grant for a production of Aladdin Jr.[/caption] February 15 is the next deadline. Quarterly Project Support grants can help fund arts projects and programs or professional development opportunities for artistic and managerial staff. This program also supports arts activities that promote an individual artist’s professional development or career advancement. Examples of funded projects include support for an international artist residency, an online arts calendar and attendance at an arts conference. Teacher Standards Implementation grants help arts teachers acquire the supplies, materials and expertise necessary for meeting the 2010 Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. TSI funds may be used to pay for consumable and non-consumable resources and teacher professional development. Examples of funded items include the purchase of string instruments, music books and equipment to teach digital animation. How to apply Quarterly Project Support and TSI grants offer four opportunities to apply each year with these deadlines: May 15, August 15, November 15 and February 15. Quarterly Project Support grants for artists or organizations:

  • First, review this introductory page to find out if you live in a county covered by one of the Arts Commission’s subgranting organizations. If you do, you should apply to that organization for quarterly projects.  (The Arts Commission grants funds to these subgranting organizations for this purpose.)
  • If not, read the quarterly project guidelines for artists or organizations for complete application instructions.
Teacher Standards Implementation grants:
  • Applicants must be public, private, charter, or parochial schools in South Carolina.
  • More than one teacher from a school may apply.
  • Teachers at ABC sites are not eligible.
  • Read the TSI guidelines for complete application instructions.
For both Quarterly and TSI grants, you may contact your county or discipline coordinator to discuss your project before applying or for help during the application process. Be sure to check out currently funded grant awards for more ideas about eligible projects.

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 [caption id="attachment_16931" align="alignright" width="250"]Barbara Streeter Barbara Streeter of Conway, a previous AVI grant recipient[/caption] 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, jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Grants available for arts projects, professional development, and classroom resources

November 15 is the next deadline. Quarterly Project Support grants can help fund arts projects and programs or professional development opportunities for artistic and managerial staff. This program also supports arts activities that promote an individual artist’s professional development or career advancement. Examples of funded projects include support for an international artist residency, an online arts calendar and attendance at an arts conference. Teacher Standards Implementation grants help arts teachers acquire the supplies, materials and expertise necessary for meeting the 2010 Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. TSI funds may be used to pay for consumable and non-consumable resources and teacher professional development. Examples of funded items include the purchase of string instruments, music books and equipment to teach digital animation. How to apply Quarterly Project Support and TSI grants offer four opportunities to apply each year with these deadlines: May 15, August 15, November 15 and February 15. Quarterly Project Support grants for artists or organizations:

  • First, review this introductory page to find out if you live in a county covered by one of the Arts Commission’s subgranting organizations. If you do, you should apply to that organization for quarterly projects.  (The Arts Commission grants funds to these subgranting organizations for this purpose.)
  • If not, read the quarterly project guidelines for artists or organizations for complete application instructions.
Teacher Standards Implementation grants:
  • Applicants must be public, private, charter, or parochial schools in South Carolina.
  • More than one teacher from a school may apply.
  • Teachers at ABC sites are not eligible.
  • Read the TSI guidelines for complete application instructions.
For both Quarterly and TSI grants, you may contact your county or discipline coordinator to discuss your project before applying or for help during the application process. Be sure to check out currently funded grant awards for more ideas about eligible projects. Image: Brunson Elementary School in Hampton School District One received a TSI grant in 2015 to purchase paint and brushes.

Harbison Theatre offering classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum

parsonsdanceHarbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College received a South Carolina Arts Commission Accessibility grant to increase sensory-friendly access to dance. The Theatre is partnering with Parsons Dance, The S.C. Autism Society, and Columbia College to offer three dance classes for dancers along the Autism Spectrum. Experienced dance educator Terrance Henderson is leading two of the fun, pressure-free workshops suitable for dancers of any experience - including no experience at all - and the final workshop will be facilitated by dancers from Parsons Dance (pictured right). The next two classes are Oct. 22 and Nov. 16. Participants in one or more of these workshops will be awarded a certificate of participation on stage at the end of the Parsons Dance Relaxed Performance on Nov. 19. Each workshop is only $5 and is open to dancers 7 years and older. Workshops take place in the Godbold Center on the campus of Columbia College. Find out more on Harbison Theatre's website. https://youtu.be/qamoKLha998   Via: Harbison Theatre

Get your community on the same page! NEA Big Read grants available

New titles added; apply by January 26, 2017. logocarouselslidecolorNEA Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations to develop community-wide reading programs between September 2017 and June 2018. NEA Big Read is a national program that broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. A Big Read is a month-long series of programs centered around one NEA Big Read book. Programs should include a kickoff, a keynote, book discussions, and other artistic events to foster engagement with the selected title and encourage reading. Thirteen new titles have been added to this year's Big Read list. Organizations selected to participate in the program receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. Funding ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. Visit the online application guidelines for more information. Questions? Call Arts Midwest at 612.238.8010 or email neabigread@artsmidwest.org.