SCAC doubles grantmaking record with $11.9 million investment

FY22 grants for arts and arts learning impacted 43 counties

Teenage females play flutes in the hallway of a school while two beaming pre-teen girls look on.

Summer STEAM Institute at Northside Elementary School in Colleton County presented by Arts Grow SC partner Engaging Creative Minds. Provided photo.


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing that it more than doubled its previous grant-making record by investing $11.9 million in arts organizations, arts learning, and artists in South Carolina in FY22.

South Carolina Arts CommissionGrants from the SCAC and programs run directly by the agency or with diverse partners reached 43 counties. They assisted 550 artists and providers of arts experiences and arts learning. The SCAC’s annual grants made up $9.15 million through 447 grants. Arts Emergency Relief, made possible by CARES Act funding, made up $2.8 million through 103 grants.

A new impact map available on the SCAC website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of the grants and their related programs.

“The Arts Commission is committed to ensuring the people of South Carolina, wherever they might be, have access to the arts in some way. I applaud the efforts of our staff, who distribute these grants and manage programs. Our commissioners and the staff will continue working toward giving access to the arts to everyone in our state,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said.

“We are thrilled about the impact these 550 grants made in South Carolina during the most recent fiscal year. This would not have been possible without the vision of Superintendent Molly Spearman and the South Carolina Department of Education partnering with us to start Arts Grow SC to benefit our state’s next generation,” SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts said. “We thank them, along with the General Assembly and Gov. McMaster, for investing in our vision that believes the arts move South Carolina forward in a variety of ways.”

Record year extends to annual grants

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a record year at $9.15 million, topping the previous record of $5.1 million in FY20. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts learning, artist development, and community arts. Grants were made in 42 of 46 counties, and one out-of-state grant covered programmatic obligations to South Arts, a regional arts organization and frequent partner in the SCAC’s work.

Click here to see how grants were distributed in your community in FY22.

One big factor in the increases was Arts Grow SC and grants associated with the new program, which was announced in 2021. The partnership between the SCAC and SCDE provides $20 million over three years to address pandemic-related learning loss in South Carolina schools with arts-rich learning. Arts learning grants rose to $5.7 million in FY22 from just $1.7 million in FY21. Funding for Arts Grow SC comes from ARP ESSER funding appropriated to SCDE. Arts Grow SC funded new arts learning projects during the school year and during the summer and allowed for increased awards in other arts learning categories.

The SCAC’s largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enabled arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $2.34 million was distributed among 125 such organizations. Another $142,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. Increases in state appropriations allowed for those increases.

While the majority of the SCAC’s annual funding comes from state, then federal, appropriations, additional generous FY22 funding support came from the Coastal Community Foundation and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. That funding is applied to two SCAC grant categories: Subgranting and Arts Project Support.

  • Partnering arts agencies in South Carolina receive grants they may subgrant to artists and arts organizations in the communities they serve. CCF support helped seven awards in the category total $76,577 in FY2022.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (18) and arts organization (17) in 12 counties totaling around $63,285.

As of the start of FY2023 on July 1, 2022, the SCAC was awarded further funding increases in the state budget, which means another year of record funding through June 30, 2023.

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 artist development, arts industry, arts learning, creative placemaking, and folklife and traditional arts. 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 or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.

South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. or 803.734.8899