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Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission grants eclipsed $5.5 million in FY20

Emergency relief assisted 346 artists and arts organizations

Grants distributed in 44 counties


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In recently completed FY2020, South Carolina Arts Commission grants totaling $5.59 million went out into state communities to assist 835 artists and providers of arts and arts education.

While this represents a rise of more than $1.1 million and 377 grants over FY2019, it is important to note that extenuating circumstances render comparisons difficult. Fourth-quarter Arts Emergency Relief grants in 2020 pushed its overall numbers up. Additional funding from the state general assembly nudged the non-relief grant totals higher than FY2019 by just less than $685,000 with 489 grants awards versus 458. A new impact map available on the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) website provides visual representation of the statewide impact of agency grants (and their related programs).

Arts Emergency Relief was a factor

Arts Emergency Relief grants, announced in April, added $506,736 to FY2020 totals. Those provided support funding to arts organizations and artists who could prove losses from shutdowns caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of CARES Act funding was granted to the National Endowment for the Arts for distribution in part to state arts agencies like the SCAC. The subgranted funding was designated solely to provide relief to arts organizations. The SCAC made 177 grants totaling $381,636 to South Carolina arts organizations as a result, helping those groups to offset losses and help keep them operating. Additional relief funding was provided by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. A separate entity that supports the SCAC, the foundation raised money through a spring fundraising drive that contributed around $50,000 of the $125,100 the SCAC spread among 168 individual artists. Both arts organizations and individual artists continue to suffer losses because of the pandemic’s prolonged effects and find themselves in need of additional relief. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated losses in South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors of $1.2 billion.

It was still a big year

The SCAC’s normal grant categories experienced a big year. Grants that provided funding support to the SCAC’s three service areas of arts education, artist development, and community arts development increased to nearly $5.1 million in FY2020. Grants were made in 44 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. One big factor was the January introduction of School Art Materials grants. This new grant provided one-time money for arts teachers to purchase supplies and other needed materials to assist them in providing quality arts education. There were 63 grants awarded totaling $396,000. The largest single grant category remained General Operating Support, which enable arts organizations across the state to provide arts experiences to residents and visitors alike. $1.9 million was distributed among 129 such organizations. Another $112,000 was awarded in operating support to smaller arts organizations. While the majority of the SCAC’s funding comes from state appropriations, it is grateful for additional generous funding support from the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF. Funding from those sources 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 $70,000 in FY2020.
  • A grant from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of CCF helped the SCAC fund arts projects for artists (14) and arts organization (18) in 12 counties totaling around $30,000.
As of the start of FY2021 on July 1, 2020, the state is operating under a continuing resolution that holds its budget at FY2020 levels until January, when lawmakers expect to have a clearer picture of the effect of the pandemic on the state’s finances. The SCAC is working to ensure that state lawmakers are aware of losses suffered by arts providers and practitioners while we wait for the budget to be resolved.
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. 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 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Jason Rapp

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of May 11

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. Because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) grant!"

We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • n/a

Rolling Deadlines

These S.C. Arts Commission rolling deadline grant programs are temporarily suspended to focus our efforts on supporting grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Accessibility Grant applications are no longer being accepted for FY2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020). For projects occurring in FY21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) the application will be available in mid-April.

Important Notes


Jason Rapp

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of May the Fourth

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. Because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) grant!"

We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


Information on COVID-19 emergency relief, SCAC Arts Emergency Relief grants, is now live and linked below. Also, we don't know who needs to see this, but Mother's Day is this coming Sunday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

Next 30(ish)

  • n/a

Rolling Deadlines

These S.C. Arts Commission rolling deadline grant programs are temporarily suspended to focus our efforts on supporting grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Accessibility Grant applications are no longer being accepted for FY2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020). For projects occurring in FY21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) the application will be available in mid-April.

Important Notes


Submitted material

Fund for artist relief announced

South Carolina Arts Foundation campaign supports #SCartists


The South Carolina Arts Foundation announces the South Carolina Artist Relief Fund (SCARF) campaign to raise funds for South Carolina artists working in all disciplines who are experiencing a loss of income because of COVID-19. Artists in need of aid can visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/foundation to find out how to apply. In addition to corporate partners providing support for the fund, including Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Colonial Life, the Darla Moore Foundation and the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, the Arts Foundation is also accepting donations online from members of the public through GoFundMe Charity. At this time, there is no other statewide campaign to raise funds specifically for artists in South Carolina. The Arts Foundation board President Flavia Harton of Greenville says, “It is imperative that the Foundation takes an active role in providing support to South Carolina artists in this critical time of need due to canceled events. As a board, we are seeding the fund with $25,000.” The Foundation's seed money will help ensure some immediate delivery of funds to artists as it continues to raise money. “We are grateful for the support of our corporate partners who are joining our efforts to support artists.” On Wednesday, April 22, the Arts Foundation launched a GoFundMe Charity fundraiser as part of the relief fund campaign. Citizens of South Carolina have an opportunity to join the Arts Foundation’s efforts to support artists who are experiencing hardships due to canceled concerts, dance performances, readings, plays, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and other events. According to a survey conducted by Americans for the Arts, 95 percent of South Carolina artists reported loss of income and 56 percent experience unexpected expenditures as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This survey is ongoing and artists are encouraged to take the survey. “We hope that donations from the public, combined with corporate and foundation seed funds will exceed campaign goals. The efforts of the foundation are essential,” said SCARF campaign Chairman F. Scott McMillan of Greenville. “Artists need these funds and sitting on the sidelines is unacceptable.” Not only are artists and their work a part of the vibrant fabric of our state, but also a major part of South Carolina’s economy. "Supporting artists at this time is a way to show appreciation for the joy they give us every day through their incredible talents. It’s hard to imagine what society would be like without art and our artists," says McMillan. Donations through the GoFundMe Charity platform are tax-deductible. The Foundation invites the public to help spread the word about the fund in addition to making donations at any amount. To learn more about the fund and to make a donation, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/foundation.

About the South Carolina Arts Foundation

Established in 1972, the S.C. Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the Foundation has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state.

Jason Rapp

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of April 27

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. Because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) grant!"

We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


Information on COVID-19 emergency relief, SCAC Arts Emergency Relief grants, is now live and linked below.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

These S.C. Arts Commission rolling deadline grant programs are temporarily suspended to focus our efforts on supporting grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Accessibility Grant applications are no longer being accepted for FY2020 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020). For projects occurring in FY21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) the application will be available in mid-April.

Important Notes