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SCAC budget increases survive as governor signs budget bill

Largest single increase in agency's history

Low angle view of young female athlete crossing finish line against clear blue sky

Late Wednesday, Governor Henry McMaster signed the state budget approved last week by House and Senate votes.

The Hub has chronicled the budget's journey through the House, Senate, House again, a conference committee, House a third time, Senate again, and finally the governor's desk. (Pro tip: hydrate.) Of the 32 vetoes, all were earmarks designated to pass through state agencies and not the agencies themselves. Great! So now what? As we've reported, $5.5 million in new money will come to the South Carolina Arts Commission primarily for grantmaking efforts across the state for a total of around $8 million in state appropriations. Those, coupled with federal appropriations by way of the National Endowment for the Arts and ARP ESSER funding, comprise the SCAC's FY23 operating budget of $22.2 million. One last time, the new money includes:
  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
While one process ends, another begins. A new fiscal year begins July 1, and the SCAC's grantmaking operations will resume soon thereafter to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. As grant categories open, count on The Hub and SCAC social media channels (@scartscomm) to keep you up-to-date! Fin.

Past updates

Jason Rapp

State budget heads to governor’s desk

House, Senate adopt conference committee plan

Closed up shot of green traffic light as ready to go concept

In special session votes taken yesterday, the state's House and Senate gave overwhelming approval to the conference committee plan that will add $5.5 million to the South Carolina Arts Commission budget.

Here's how the Senate voted, and here's how the House voted. Great! So now what? Of the two hurdles facing the budget mentioned in our last update, one remains: the budget is now in the hands of the executive branch for Gov. Henry McMaster's signature or (line-item) vetoes. Here's how the SCAC's portion of the budget would shake out:
  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
As noted previously, the SCAC budget request did include a $5.5 million increase. However, there was a difference as far as recurring/non-recurring funding.
    • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
    • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
The Hub will keep you updated. As always, check out more from the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

Past updates

Jason Rapp

Conference committee agrees to big increase in arts funding

House plan adopted for FY23, faces vote this week

Low angle view of determined male athlete jumping over a hurdles.

In attempting to reconcile differences between the two bodies in the state's FY23 budget, a six-member conference committee of House and Senate members approved the House's plan late last week.

The House plan was more generous and longer lasting, doubling the Senate's plan of $1 million in recurring funding. Now, the conference committee's budget plan faces has two more hurdles to clear. This year's legislative session was to came to a close exactly one month ago, but a Senate sine die resolution specifies the General Assembly will reconvene at noon, June 15 to take up unresolved items like the budget. If passed, and it is expected to, the budget will then move to the executive branch for Gov. Henry McMaster's signature or (line-item) vetoes. The Hub will keep you updated. Here's how the SCAC's portion of the budget will shake out:
  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
As noted previously, the SCAC budget request did include a $5.5 million increase. However, there was a difference as far as recurring/non-recurring funding.
    • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
    • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
Look for the next update later this week and, as always, check out more from the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

Past updates

Jason Rapp

Up to $10,000 one-time grants available for filmmakers of color with disabilities

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, July 31, 2022, 11:59 p.m. ET


Two people holding film equipment are looking at the camera.
Image: Andres “Jay” Molina & Alexis Neophytides, AXS Film Fund 2021 Grantees

The AXS Film Fund has officially opened for this year's grants awarding up to $10,000 for various projects. The grants are one-time awards for creators of color in documentary filmmaking or nonfiction new media, who identify as having a disability. Read on for more.

The AXS Film Fund is a new program created to support independent documentary filmmakers and nonfiction new media creators of color with disabilities in their endeavors to tell stories, make films, and create content. The Fund will award up to five creators with one-time grants of up to $10,000 each to assist them in pushing their projects forward no matter in what stage of production they are. They will fund:
  • Feature length documentary films
  • Nonfiction new media projects
Filmmakers of color have endeavored to move beyond racial barriers in a historically white industry. Meanwhile, people of color with disabilities are rarely seen in media and film and even more rarely in control of creating and developing projects and content. The AXS Film Fund seeks to enhance the visibility of people of color with disabilities and defeat the negative stereotypes or portrayals of disability. Their goal is to raise and support people of color with disabilities on their journeys to becoming filmmakers and creators. To date, the Fund along with eight partners have supported five projects which have involved more than 2,000 people. For more about this fund and to see all eligibility and application requirements, check their website or apply now. The AXS Film Fund opened to applicants on June 1, 2022 and applications will be received until the closing date Sunday, July 31, 2022, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Margot Lane Strasburger

NEA, S.C. Arts Commission renew ties with major partnership grant

NEA funding critical to SCAC's service


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced more than $91 million in a second phase of recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions.

Grants are in three NEA funding categories: Grants for Arts Projects, Our Town, and State and Regional Partnerships. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the recipient of a partnership grant of $953,600, which will be added to appropriations from the state general assembly to serve South Carolina citizens. "Federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is critical to the South Carolina Arts Commission's work. It allows us to fund arts projects that better serve constituents in South Carolina. We appreciate investments in our state's arts industry by the NEA and our state lawmakers," SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”
State and Regional Partnerships Each year, 40 percent of the agency’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. A total of $60.58 million is recommended for these partners in FY 2022, with $49 million of that total designated for SAAs. Each SAA and RAO matches its NEA funding on at least a 1:1 basis. The Partnership Agreements for the state arts agencies extend the NEA’s reach to even more communities. Using state funds in combination with NEA Partnership funding, state arts agencies support approximately 23,000 projects and organizations in over 5,500 communities.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
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 four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. 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 SouthCarolinaArts.com 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. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

Conference committee to take up state budget

Legislative session ends without FY23 budget

Decorative image of a hand stopping dominoes from falling

South Carolina's FY23 budget will be taken up by a six-member conference committee after the House and Senate failed to reconcile differing versions of a spending plan yesterday.

Six representatives and six senators will convene to hammer out differences, which The Hub has outlined previously. This year's legislative session was to came to a close at 5 p.m. yesterday, but a Senate sine die resolution specifies the General Assembly will reconvene at noon, June 15 to take up unresolved items like the budget. So, who's on the committee? Glad you asked! From the House:
  • New Speaker Rep. Murrell Smith (R-Sumter)
  • New Ways & Means Chairman Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York)
  • Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland)
From the Senate:
  • President Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee/Spartanburg counties)
  • Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee/Pickens counties)
  • Sen. Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington County)

Here's how each chamber sized up the SCAC's portion of the budget:

House plan

  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs

Senate plan

  • $1 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $1 (yes, one dollar) in one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
It is a quirk of the system that the one-dollar figure added by the Senate is a placeholder signifying the body's willingness to add more via conference committee. As noted previously, the SCAC budget request includes a $5.5 million increase.
    • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
    • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
The difference in the House and Senate versions is that between House approval and that of the Senate Finance Committee, lawmakers signaled broad support of an income tax reduction for S.C. citizens that would lower the amount of money available for recurring funding. The House had a chance to work with the Senate's pot of money in a budget bill dubbed "H2" during the past two weeks, but an agreement couldn't be reached. Look for the next update in June and, as always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.

Past updates

Jason Rapp

State budget (arts funding!) heads back to House

Full Senate gives final approval to its own plan

South Carolina's FY23 budget is heading back to the House to make revisions (or not) to its version after the Senate made a version with a different pot of money.

The Hub told you last week that the full Senate would vote on its $12.4 billion version of the budget this week, and yesterday it granted final approval to its plan for SCAC funding by a 45-1 margin before passing the entire package 42-4. Here's how each chamber sized up the SCAC's portion of the budget:

House plan

  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
  • which became

Senate plan

  • $1 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
As noted previously, the SCAC budget request includes a $5.5 million increase.
    • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
    • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
The difference in the House and Senate version is that between House approval and that of the Senate Finance Committee, lawmakers signaled broad support of an income tax reduction for S.C. citizens. That would lower the amount of money available for recurring funding. The House has a chance to work with the Senate's pot of money in a budget bill dubbed "H2." The current legislative session expires on May 12. That's six legislative working days for the House to decide on its course. If they adopt the Senate version, it goes to the governor to sign or veto. If they pass a different version, a conference committee comprised of an equal number of members from each chamber will (probably) work past May 12 to reconcile the differences in how much money will ultimately land with each state agency. As always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.

Past updates

Jason Rapp

S.C. Senate votes for increased arts funding

But... the amount is at odds with the House plan

There is more good news to report for arts and creativity funding in South Carolina.

The upshot is that the Senate Finance Committee approved increases in funding via the SCAC's portion of the state's FY23 budget. However, their $1 million increase in recurring funding is lower than the S.C. House's $2 million. While they approved the previously allotted $500,000 for rural pilot programs in the realm of creative placemaking, the committee declined to approve $3 million in one-time funding included by the House. (Keep reading for an explanation of why!)
Nearly a month ago, the House of Representatives passed the FY23 state budget as approved by its Ways & Means Committee. (The SCAC's budget passed overwhelmingly, 100-11, in agency-by-agency voting.) As noted previously, the SCAC budget request includes a $5.5 million increase. Here's a breakdown of the progress:

SCAC request

  • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
  • which became

House plan

  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
  • which became

Senate plan

  • $1 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs
The difference in the House and Senate version is that between House approval and that of the Senate Finance Committee, lawmakers signaled broad support of an income tax reduction for S.C. citizens. That would lower the amount of money available for recurring funding. The next step in the budget process is for the Senate version to be debated on the floor by the full body next week. Depending on what happens then, a conference committee of lawmakers from both chambers will negotiate the differences and create one budget for approval by both bodies before being sent to Gov. McMaster. As always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.
CORRECTION 29 April 2022, 11:53 ET: The previous version of this story erroneously reported that the SCAC budget request included $5.5 in recurring funding. The total request was $5.5 million; only $5 million was requested in recurring funding. The Hub apologizes for the error.

Jason Rapp

S.C. House passes increased arts funding

FY23 budget moves to the Senate

Closed up shot of green traffic light as ready to go concept

Good news continues coming for arts and creativity in South Carolina.

This morning, the House of Representatives passed the FY23 state budget as approved last month by its Ways & Means Committee. Votes are taken agency-by-agency, and The Hub is happy to report that the SCAC budget passed overwhelmingly, 100-11. That agency budget includes a $5.5 million increase requested by the SCAC. As noted previously, rather than designating $5 million in recurring funding and $500,000 from one-time money, the budget writers opted for:
  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs.
The budget next goes to the Senate to be taken up by the various subcommittees of the Finance Committee. The Senate's version of the bill, H.5150, will work its way through by the end of April. As always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.

Jason Rapp

NEA poised for FY2022 funding increase

The U.S. Capitol dome is reflected in a shimmering pool of water. A quick check-in courtesy of SCAC partner agency NASAA:

After months of complicated negations, the House of Representatives passed legislation last night fully funding all government agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2022. The Senate is expected to take up the measure shortly, with the aim of having the law signed before current funding expires at midnight on Friday.

In the bill, the National Endowment for the Arts is set to receive a total appropriation of $180 million. While this figure is lower than the amounts proposed by the President, the House and the Senate last year, it still represents an increase in funding of $12.5 million over the agency's current level.

The Hub will update you on the Senate's decision.

Jason Rapp