New SCAC grants make $4 million impact in state’s communities

6 September 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing $3,982,012 in grants for South Carolina communities, artists, arts organizations, and schools for the 2019 fiscal year as of Sept. 1, 2018.

“Funds appropriated by the legislature help local arts providers offer more than six million arts experiences to citizens and visitors every year,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said.

Serwah Armah-Koranteng

“These grants affect wide-ranging organizations and diverse audiences statewide, from Town Theatre in Columbia, starting its centennial season next week, to Wits End Poetry, holding a poetry slam event in Greenville later in the month. They enable our four fellowship recipients from Charleston, Columbia, Little River, and Spartanburg to develop their talents, and provide support for artisans like Serwah Armah-Koranteng to strengthen Africstyle mobile boutique, her arts-based business. And perhaps most importantly, they help the next generation hone creativity and problem-solving skills with funding for arts-based education programs in schools.”

Six new Arts in Basic Curriculum Project sites are being awarded grants to strategically plan and implement arts education as part of the school day, bringing the total to 84 and giving almost 171,000 South Carolina students access to the educational benefits of the arts. Other grants range from operating grants and project support for organizations to seed money and fellowships for individual artists, ensuring an assortment of relevant arts experiences across South Carolina.

Additional grants will be awarded throughout the year with potential for impact in all counties: three rounds of Quarterly Project Support grants to benefit projects by artists and arts organizations, and additional Teacher Standards Initiative grants will be awarded to help teachers acquire supplies, materials, and expertise to meet the 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency.

“Ongoing work to create opportunities in rural counties as well as more populated areas is attracting additional grant applications for our operating support funds,” May said. Operating support grants make up 49 percent of the FY19 total, and arts education grants make up 46 percent.

In FY18, which finished June 30, the S.C. Arts Commission awarded $4,060,290 and expects to exceed that total by the close of FY19 on June 30, 2019, May said.

Amounts Awarded to Programs in Primary Grant Categories

Arts in Education: $1,822,446
Grants help fund curriculum planning and implementation, artist residencies, performances, professional development for teachers and summer and afterschool arts programs.

  • Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) Advancement: $881,023 
    Awarded to 84 schools and school districts that are participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which works to ensure every child in South Carolina has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the Arts Commission, the S.C. Department of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
  • Arts Education Projects: $336,193
    Thirty-four grants funding projects and programs that support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in children (social service, health, community, education or other organizations).
  • Education Pilot Projects: $292,000
  • Teacher Standards Implementation: $750 (1st quarter only)
    One grant (to date) to help arts teachers acquire the supplies, materials, and expertise necessary for meeting the 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency.
  • Arts in the Basic (ABC) Curriculum: $312,480
    Two grants to support management of the ABC Project Partnership.

Operating Support: $1,942,580
Grants help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, other organizations and communities throughout the state.

  • General Operating Support: $1,753,406
    One hundred twenty-five grants for arts organizations.
  • Operating Support for Small Organizations: $83,016
    Thirty-four grants for arts organizations with annual expense budgets of less than $75,000.
  • Statewide Organizations: $106,158
    Seven grants for arts organizations operating statewide.

Folklife and Traditional Arts: $101,033
Grants support programs that promote a greater understanding and visibility of South Carolina’s many cultures through documentation and presentation of traditional art forms, their practitioners and their communities.

  • Organization grants: $22,500
    Five grants to support nonprofit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state.
  • Apprenticeships: $7,500
    Four grants that support a partnership between a master artist, who will share artistic and cultural knowledge, and a qualified apprentice, who will then continue to pursue the art form.
  • Partnerships: $71,033
    One grant to support management of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Partnership.

Subgranting: $66,437
Seven awards to local arts councils that distribute quarterly grants to organizations and artists in their regions. This program is funded in part by an award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.

Artists Ventures Initiative: $15,000
Three grants to individual artists for projects designed to help them develop the knowledge and skills to build satisfying, sustainable careers.

Individual Artist Fellowships: $20,000
Four grants to individual artists to recognize and reward their artistic achievements. These were announced in July 2018 after approval by the SCAC Board of Directors.

Quarterly Project Support: $5,200 (1st quarter only)
Six grants to support a variety of quality arts projects and programs and/or for professional development opportunities to assist artistic and managerial staff. This category also supports specific arts activities that promote an individual artist’s professional development or career advancement. This program is funded in part by an award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.

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.