SC Arts Commission awards $3.1 million in grants

SC Arts Commission awards $3.1 million in grants

The South Carolina Arts Commission has awarded $3,148,120 in grants to South Carolina communities, artists, arts organizations and schools for the 2017 fiscal year as of July 1.

See the list of grant recipients by program.

See the list of grant recipients by county. (PDF)

(Images: No, it’s not pasta. Fiber artist Kristy Bishop received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant to teach natural dyeing and weaving workshops to children and adults.)

“We are continuing our emphasis on arts education by expanding last year’s pilot program to serve low income children through summer arts camps,” said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. “We worked with local school districts, nonprofit partners and the State Department of Education to deliver a high quality arts program designed to combat summer learning loss.”

In addition, seven new Arts in Basic Curriculum sites have been awarded grants to strategically plan and implement arts education as part of the school day.

The push to expand arts education access is the result of recommendations from the 2014 Arts Education Task Force, created to respond to new research and a new climate for education and arts education reform in South Carolina, according to May. “The task force was charged with answering the question, ‘What must South Carolina do to ensure that all of its young people explore, create, learn and grow in and through the arts?’ The answer was, in a nutshell, ‘do more of the good projects you’re already doing and find new approaches and new partners to reach kids, especially in high poverty areas.’ We will continue to support projects in traditional settings such as schools, but we want to work with community partners and afterschool/summer program providers to reach children beyond the school day and school year.”

The agency’s support of the broader arts sector has increased as well, with 25 new operating support grantees. “As a result of our work in rural communities and with new alliances around the state, we have attracted additional grant applications for our operating support funds,” said May. “These awards help ensure that we support a wide variety of projects in more places, helping to boost the state’s creative economy,” said May.

A total of 288 grants were awarded in 37 counties and range from operating grants and project support for organizations to seed money and fellowships for individual artists, ensuring a diversity of relevant arts experiences around the state.

Grant categories, programs and amounts awarded:

Arts in Education $1,499,645
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 $783,310
    Awarded to 67 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 $388,536
    Twenty-five 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).
  • Arts in the Basic (ABC) Curriculum $302,480
    Two grants to support management of the ABC Project Partnership.
  • Youth at Risk Partnerships $22,000
    Two grants to provide arts experiences for youth at risk.
  • Teacher Standards Implementation $3,319 (1st quarter only)
    Five grants to help arts teachers acquire the supplies, materials, and expertise necessary for meeting the 2010 Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards.

Operating Support $1,418,873
Grants help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, other organizations and communities throughout the state.

  • General Operating Support $1,336,627
    One hundred seventeen grants for arts organizations.
  • Statewide Organizations $37,785
    Seven grants for arts organizations operating statewide.
  • Operating Support for Small Organizations $44,461
    Thirty grants for arts organizations with annual expense budgets of less than $75,000.

Folklife and Traditional Arts $95,502
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.

  • Partnerships $70,502
    One grant to support management of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Partnership.
  • Organization grants $20,000
    Five grants to support nonprofit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state.
  • Apprenticeships $5,000
    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.

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 $40,000

  • Partnership $20,000
    One grant to support management of Artists U, a career development program for artists.
  • Artists $20,000
    Four 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.

Quarterly Project Support $7,663 (1st quarter only)

  • Eight 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.

Additional Quarterly Project Support and Teacher Standards Implementation grants will be awarded later in the year. For a complete list of grant recipients by program or by county, visit For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit or call (803) 734-8696.

About the S.C. 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.