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South Arts awards arts orgs $1.67 million in Resilience Funding

Three awarded in South Carolina


Investing in the long-term success and strength of arts and cultural infrastructure is core to the South Arts Resilience Fund.

With grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000, 34 small- and mid-sized arts organizations across the region are receiving a total of $1.674 million to build their resilience through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund, managed by South Arts, is part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“These organizations represent a cross-section of the creativity vital to our region,” said Susie Surkamer, CEO and president of South Arts. “Their work impacts artists and audiences across their respective states, the region, and the nation. These awards will allow them to reimagine their work in the face of the pandemic, and emerge stronger than before.”

Some highlights of the funded organizations and projects include:

  • Junebug Productions of New Orleans will receive $30,000 to build new revenue streams through the creation of a Junebug Digital Platform as a digital extension of story-sharing as well as an expansion of their fundraising capacity.
  • Appalshop of Whitesburg, Kentucky will receive $100,000 to expand their capacity to provide online content and engage in racial equity planning to analyze their work and policies. Additional funds will convert their facility to renewable energy sources.
  • Collage Dance Collective of Memphis, Tennessee will receive $55,000 to support televised broadcasts of their season as well as a reimagination of their membership program to be more inclusive and robust while increasing revenue.

In June, nearly 500 arts organizations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee were nominated for consideration by themselves and leaders in the field. Of those nominees, 95 were invited to complete a full application and proposal. The applications were then reviewed by panels of experts, who adjudicated each organization based on criteria including impact, vision, geographic scope, and service to the underserved.

Three organizations in South Carolina were selected for awards:

  • Colour of Music Festival (Mount Pleasant) $35,900
  • Hub City Writers Project (Spartanburg) $30,000
  • Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston) $50,000

In contrast to funds dealing with the immediate needs of organizations during the pandemic, the South Arts Resilience Fund asked organizations to look further toward the future. “These are unprecedented times and we are glad to provide arts organizations the flexibility and resources to explore their work,” continued Surkamer. “The strategies for resilience look different for each organization, but the ultimate goal is almost always the same: create deeper, more meaningful connections with audiences while working towards long-term sustainability.”

The South Arts Resilience Fund is part of South Arts’ comprehensive approach to supporting the arts throughout the pandemic. In April, South Arts distributed 450 grants of $1,000 directly to jazz artists nationwide. Throughout the summer, South Arts also awarded $725,000 in CARES Act funding to arts organizations supporting employment of their workers with an emphasis on rural, culturally specific, and statewide service organizations. Additionally, South Arts has adjusted their other programs to reflect new priorities over the course of the pandemic.

A full list of South Arts Resilience Fund recipients as well as information about all other South Arts programs is available by visiting www.southarts.org.


About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.


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