Fellowships lead revitalized artist development efforts

Apps open for new-look fellowships, emerging artist program

for immediate release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is unveiling a modernized fellowship program as it announces the opening of career advancement opportunities for established and emerging South Carolina artists.

Applications are being accepted for two grants available to artists who call South Carolina home.

Individual Artist Fellowship Grants of $8,500 will be awarded next July for FY23. Artists who work in these four artistic disciplines are eligible to apply in this cycle:

  • Prose
  • Spoken Word/Slam Poetry
  • Performance (dance, music, or film or theatre acting)
  • Playwriting/Screenwriting

The deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The first change to the fellowship program is the increasing of the award to $8,500 from $5,000 as of FY22. The second is the addition of more modern, inclusive disciplines to its established rotation over the course of four years: spoken word and slam poetry; time-based art, which includes installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-based technology or performance); choreography and directing in film, theatre, and opera; and the design arts, which include architecture, fashion, graphic, industrial, or interior.

“The fellowship program is one of the arts commission’s signature programs. It directly impacts artist development, one of the agency’s three core functions,” Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts (right) said.

“Increasing the award makes the program more prestigious, but better serves the recipients. They receive financial resources so that they may focus on developing and creating art. Adding disciplines allows for more inclusion while demonstrating how many aspects of the creative economy are touched by the arts.”

Fellowships are made through a highly competitive process and recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists. The application process is no longer anonymous, and awards are no longer made solely on artistic merit. Consideration is given to achievements and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply for more than one discipline but must complete separate applications in full. Fellowships lend prestige to an artist’s reputation and can open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. A list of accomplished fellowship recipients is available here.

A diverse group of panelists from each discipline will judge applicants. To apply, artists must:

  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application,
  • be U.S. citizens and South Carolina resident with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying,
  • not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the award period,
  • plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2022 through June 2023).

Applications may only be submitted online by Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com.

The second open opportunity is the Emerging Artist Grant, which enters its second year of existence. For the purpose of the grant, emerging artists are defined as being at an early stage in their artistic career development with no basis in age.

A grant of up to $1,500 is only one component of the program for qualifying and accepted artists. In addition to financial support, the artists will benefit from mentorship and professional support facilitated by the SCAC and Scott-Fitts. The combined benefits are intended to deepen artistic practice and foster artistic excellence; encourage career growth, advancement, and sustainability; and provide professional development and opportunities for collaboration.

The SCAC unveiled an online exhibition of works by the inaugural emerging artist grantees on its website recently for the public to enjoy.

The deadline to apply for an Emerging Artist Grant is Monday, Oct. 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Further questions about applying for either grant can be answered by Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts (cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8203).

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences.

A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.