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Jason Rapp

State-level arts funding update + fellowship opportunity

News from the S.C. Arts Alliance


The South Carolina House just adjourned yesterday from a special session to debate their second version of the state budget.  

The budget, as adopted, includes an additional $500,000 more than the Senate version included in recurring dollars for arts grants across the state. Heading into a conference committee, the arts could see either a $3.5 million increase, or a $4 million increase in the state’s budget (one-time + recurring funding).

Background

After the House passed their budget in March, the state’s Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) released new revenue projections for the state, adding $1.7 billion to the state’s budget, with $385 million of that in recurring revenue. The Senate was able to use these funds to craft their budget. The House then took another swing at their version to account for the increase in available revenue.

Senate Version

The full Senate adopted their version of the budget at the end of April. That budget included the following arts funding:
  • $2 million (one-time funding) for COVID Relief grants.
  • Increase of $1.5 million (recurring funding) for general operating support grants.

House Version 2

The House just yesterday adopted their second version of the budget (H2 as it is commonly referred) which includes:
  • $2 million (one-time funding) for COVID Relief grants. Matches Senate version.
  • Increase of $2 million (recurring funding) for general operating support grants. $500,000 more than the Senate version.

What’s Next

The budget now heads to conference committee (3 senators and 3 House representatives) to work out the differences. The Senate and House will return June 21 to take up the committee's report and then send the final budget to Gov. McMaster for his signature and/or vetoes. The legislature will return June 29 and 30 to vote on any vetoes. The conference committee cannot rewrite the budget, but rather can only adopt either the House or Senate versions of various line items.

Bottom Line

The Conference Committee will have to choose between $3.5 million total arts funds (Senate version), or $4 million total arts funds (H2 version). Either way, the arts will see an increase in grant funding, and will see $2 million in COVID Relief grants—unless any of it is vetoed by the governor which triggers another process.

One more thing...

The S.C. Arts Alliance has been the primary advocate for the arts and arts education in South Carolina since 1979. Over the 40 years, the number of paid staff has continued to be zero or one. Additionally, the SCAA has always worked closely with its university partners on helping inform college students about the role of advocacy in the arts industry and providing opportunities and resources to those collegiate courses. Beginning in FY2022, the SCAA will expand this further and offer two (2) year-long graduate fellowships. Placement priority will be for one fellowship for students enrolled in Winthrop University’s Arts Management Graduate Program, and one fellowship for students in College of Charleston’s Arts Management Certificate Program. At this time, these are the only South Carolina universities that offer a graduate program in arts management. For more information about the fellowship and how to apply, click here.

Jason Rapp

SCAC approved for NEA Partnership Award

FY21 award means $891,400 toward agency initiatives


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced approval of an $891,400 FY21 partnership grant to the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).

The SCAC will use its funding to address priorities identified at the state level, supporting the agency’s work in community arts development, folklife and traditional arts, and arts education. “As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to fund the work of our partners,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These agreements, such as the one to the South Carolina Arts Commission, leverage federal funds for regional, state, and local impact, reinforcing the network of support that is vital for a healthy arts ecosystem.” “The South Carolina Arts Commission honors and appreciates its lengthy and vital partnership with the NEA. This generous award, when added to the investment in the arts from our state General Assembly, helps further our work in creativity and culture on behalf of all South Carolinians,” SCAC Executive David Platts said. Each year, 40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies like the SCAC, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. Of the $56.7 million recommended for these partners in FY 2021, $45.7 million is designated for state arts agencies. Each matches its Arts Endowment funding on at least a 1:1 basis. Other South Carolina arts organizations were included in this major grant announcement. A breakdown of recipients by state and territory is available here.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. 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 three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. 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 social media.

Platts outlines SCAC’s FY21 budget request

South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts welcomed arts advocates from across the state and members of the General Assembly to the South Carolina Arts Summit breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 13. He used the opportunity to outline the agency's state appropriations request for fiscal year 2021 (which begins July 1, 2020). Here's a bullet-point summary:

  • Total ask of recurring funding is $5.4 million.
  • The governor’s budget, released in December, called for no increase.
  • Seeking to get to $0.85 per capita from $0.69.
  • Seeking one-time funding of $3.8 million for arts facilities upgrades that would be awarded via competitive grant application and review.
The budget process is underway with subcommittees of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will send the bill to the full committee for approval before the full House takes up deliberations in March. The Senate will have its turn starting with subcommittees of the Senate Finance Committee before moving to the full committee and then the Senate floor for their own deliberations. There is more to that story, but The Hub is stopping here before getting into full geek-out mode and just check back in periodically because we're here to update you.
The South Carolina Arts Summit is presented by the South Carolina Arts Alliance and welcomes arts advocates to Columbia for two days of learning, networking, and advocacy to legislators.

Tuning Up: Unique new exhibition + financial management training

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


A thin blue line ... on canvas? Columbia Police Department employees are showing off their artistic talents in a new exhibition at the Columbia City Hall Art Gallery (from Cola Daily). Work from 15 employees is on display Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1737 Main St. in Columbia through Sept. 26. Free. ICYMI: A Stronger Bottom Line. The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available for just $200. (Not a typo; we checked. - Ed.) All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now!
Arts funding clarification. You might have noticed that on Friday The Hub and SCAC social media outlets ran posts thanking Gov. McMaster and the S.C. General Assembly for the former not issuing vetoes to the latter's increased funding for SCAC grants and arts education initiatives. It was a welcome and energizing, if not pleasantly surprising, break from the norm. You might also have noticed the governor did issue a veto to $500,000 "for" the SCAC that was actually for the S.C. Children's Theatre in Greenville. So how do we reconcile saying we're grateful to have been spared by the veto pen while that $500,000 was vetoed? Because the money in question, which originated in the House, was requested by a legislator on behalf of the theatre. Our agency was simply to be what's known as a "pass-through." House rules allow for legislators to request funds on behalf of private entities. If included in the budget and approved by the Senate and governor, the funds must be sent through a relevant state agency which did not request the funding before being disbursed to the recipient.

Governor affirms SCAC budget

Late this morning, Gov. McMaster signed off on the General Assembly's FY19 state budget with arts funding requested by the S.C. Arts Commission completely intact – which includes a $350,000 increase from the House and a $100,000 increase from the Senate. We're grateful for BIPARTISAN support for the arts from the legislative and executive branches. THANK YOU to the state leadership for affirming what we live and breathe every day: the arts benefit everyone, and everyone should have access to them. It's a great day for the arts in South Carolina!

Tuning Up: A two-act play about arts funding and bookkeeping

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


ACT ONE: Arts Funding Update

NEWSREADER (downstage, alone, follow spot only - no stage/house lighting) (serious)

We're getting late word of an arts funding update. (Beat. Touches earpiece as if listening to producer). YES! Yesterday, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a state budget on recommendation from the conference committee. The House voted 84-28 in favor, and the Senate 30-9. The adopted budget includes an additional $350,000 the House included in March and $100,000 the Senate added for arts education. The budget has gone to Governor McMaster to sign, veto, or use his line-item veto power to strike portions he doesn't like.

AUDIENCE, off-stage (gasps)

But his vetoes!

NEWSREADER (reassuring)

Arts leaders are cautiously optimistic that the funding will remain as passed. A decision by the governor is expected next week. He has five business days, excluding Sunday and the July Fourth holiday to respond. (Follow spot fades. Newsreader exits. A spontaneous candlelight vigil begins in audience.)

(Intermission)

ACT TWO: ICYMI: A Stronger Bottom Line.

GP MCLEER (in toga, enthusiastically - a soliloquy)

OYEZ! OYEZ! The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available (lean in, with emphasis) for just $200. All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now!

Tuning Up: Arts funding update + Google grants opportunity for Midlands

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Increases possible for federal, state arts funding. No, really. Yesterday in Washington, a Senate committee concurred with the House that the NEA should be funded at $155 million for FY19. That's a $2 million increase from FY18. The Senate Appropriations Committee should vote on the measure Thursday. Across the street from us at the State House, a conference committee is to reconvene next week to reconcile differences between House and Senate budget versions. Both bodies already approved a $350,000 funding increase for the S.C. Arts Commission, but an additional $100,000 in Education Improvement Act funds recommended by the Senate will need conference committee approval to progress to Gov. McMaster's desk. Midlands arts nonprofits: want a $50,000 grant? Four nonprofits from Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties will receive $50,000 in grant funding and training from Google thanks to Google Impact Challenge Columbia. All nonprofits are invited to submit proposals for their creative and innovative ideas to grow economic opportunity in their communities. A local panel will select four winners, and then the public votes on which of those will receive an additional $50,000. The SCAC can't urge you strongly enough to make a run at getting one of these. Be one of the... top dogs! The deadline is July 11. See a story from WIS here. Best of luck!

Tuning Up: Writing workshops for girls + 1858 Prize + Twitter

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


Writing workshops for girls.  Big opportunity here for high school girls (grades 9-12) who are serious about honing their sci-fi and fantasy and/or poetry-writing skills: Columbia College is to offer two workshops June 18-22 on its campus, one on each topic. We don't cross-post much, but take a quick peek at Arts Daily for more information. The poetry workshop will be taught by Dr. Ray McManus, who pitched in as one of the judges for the Poetry Out Loud state finals this past March. Good enough for government work. It's not mentioned in the story, but just so you know, an additional $100,000 appropriated to the S.C. Arts Commission's budget by the Senate is among the differences to be reconciled by a General Assembly conference committee next month. While the budget was not sent to Gov. McMaster by the legislators' self-imposed deadline, this story claims a government shutdown is unlikely. The Hub and SCAC, along with other dedicated state employees, are grateful. Follow us. Do you follow us on Twitter? We'd hate to think you'd miss such social media goodness as this (right). Social media, for all its ills, is also one incredible tool. We're hoping to improve our Twitter presence, while (clearly) not taking ourselves too seriously. Last call for 1858! Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by our friends at the Gibbes Museum will be accepted through May 31! The 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Learn more here.

Tuning Up: $350,000 on its way out

Good morning! "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


"Tuning Up" is getting in on our advocacy push this week as we lead up to S.C. Arts Advocacy Week and the State House rally and luncheon with legislators, presented by the S.C. Arts Alliance. Today's advocacy story hits right in the wallet - in a good way. See this? Successful S.C. House and Senate veto override votes allowed Arts Commission staff to begin processing $350,000 in additional funds to operating support grantees - and you're looking at them. The arts work being done as a result of arts funding - public support of the arts - from the mountains to the coast is phenomenal. Keep telling your stories, and keep helping our state move forward together.  

Senate joins House to override SCAC funding veto

This afternoon, the S.C. Senate voted to override a veto of funding to the SCAC, the S.C. House having voted to override the week before last. This restores $350,000 in funding to artists and arts agencies across the state. Our agency has a lengthy record of bipartisan support from the General Assembly, and we are grateful they recognize that our daily work benefits every South Carolinian. This funding is your funding, granted across the state so all can enjoy access to the benefits of the arts in their lives and communities, regardless of their location or circumstances. UPDATE, 17 Jan. 2018 | 10:02 a.m.: Read more about the what the overrides mean from the South Carolina Arts Alliance.