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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.

New grant to support Arts Commission’s Lowcountry programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 26 March 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is announcing a new grant awarded by Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) to support implementation of programs in coastal South Carolina counties. The Expansion Arts Fund of CCF is awarding $25,675. The fund’s goals are to improve the climate for expansion arts, and to encourage initiative and change in expansion arts organizations and artists. Expansion Arts are defined as the works of new and emerging arts groups and artists – especially those from minority, rural or disadvantaged communities – that expand the definition of traditional art. Grants from the fund are intended to support the work of professional artists and arts companies, so projects that focus on arts as a social service or educational program are not eligible for funding. For individuals, eligible projects may include professional development or the production of new work. The grant will enable SCAC to expand programs already in place from March 2018 through June 2019 in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, and Jasper counties. “We’re grateful to have additional support from Coastal Community Foundation that allows us to further our work of providing everyone in South Carolina access to the arts and arts-related programs,” SCAC Executive Director Ken May said. Three key SCAC programs will be assisted by this CCF grant funding:

  • Art of Community: Rural SC: Launched in 2016 with funding assistance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, this program advances the SCAC’s commitment to rural development through arts, culture and creative placemaking. Projects are underway in six counties in southern South Carolina, of which Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper fall under the umbrella of the CCF grant.
  • ArtsGrowSC: A partnership of the SCAC and CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution based in Greenville, this pilot program is designed to increase opportunities for artisans to develop and grow arts-based business ventures. ArtsGrowSC combines the strengths of both organizations to offer resources for qualifying artists, including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching and workshops.
  • SCAC Quarterly Grants: Grants are made available each fiscal quarter to individual artists to promote professional development or career advancement and to arts organizations to assist a wide variety of quality arts projects and programs and/or for professional development opportunities assisting artistic and managerial staff.
Information about these programs is available from SCAC Program Director Joy Young: 803.734.8203 or jyoung@arts.sc.gov.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and l eadership initiatives in three 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.

Grants help Lincoln Middle-High School students learn through the arts

On May 21, Lincoln Middle-High School joined Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School at the McClellanville Arts Center to present a student art exhibition and concert for the community. The Lincoln Middle High School steel drum band (pictured above) opened the show, and the LMHS culinary art students catered the event. student maskThe exhibition includes animation storyboards and 65 cultural clay masks handcrafted, glazed and embellished by students from LMHS and Cape Romain Environmental Charter School. The funding for the ceramic masks was made possible by the Coastal Community Foundation through their Open Grant program. Art, environmental science and physics students worked with potter Georgette Sanders, arts educator Annie Purvis, science teachers Edwin De Ocampo and Dane Smith and McClellanville Arts Council Director Bernadette Humphrey to research the historical and social functions of masks and work through the physical characteristics of clay. The resulting works of art embody personal meanings for the students, and each mask is accompanied by an artist statement. The animation storyboards consist of more than 100 pages of student-created stories and illustrated characters for gaming proposals. The advanced storyboard work was made possible through a South Carolina Arts Commission Arts in Education Teacher Standards Implementation grant and grants from the Charleston Marathon Youth Endowment for the Arts. This support allowed Lincoln students to integrate 2-D/ graphic design into art classes and provided an iMac, printer, scanner and Photoshop software to create the animation storyboards. This work helped demonstrate to students how to be competitive artistically and academically in 21st-century art and design careers. The works will be on display in the McClellanville Arts Center gallery through the first week of June 2014. Via: Lincoln Middle-High School

Make a gift to the arts on May 6 and multiply your generosity

On May 6, you can make a donation to one or more nonprofit arts groups in the Lowcountry or the Midlands, and your gift will be matched or multiplied. Arts nonprofits in the Midlands and the Lowcountry are taking part in Give Local America, a 24-hour online giving day and national campaign to support local philanthropy to nonprofits. In the Midlands, the effort is called Midlands Gives - Magnify the Midlands and is organized by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. The Lowcountry campaign is Lift the Lowcountry, organized by the Coastal Community Foundation. Each community foundation has secured sponsors who will match donations from the public. As part of Lift the Lowcountry, the Charleston Regional Arts Alliance is partnering with the Coastal Community Foundation to facilitate Lowcountry Arts Day, a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the 30 nonprofit performing, visual, literary and arts education organizations that make up the Alliance's tri-county network (Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties). The impetus for Lowcountry Arts Day was an anonymous donor who pledged $110,000 in matching funds just for arts organizations, according to Maggie Hendricks, executive director of the Alliance. “It’s really exciting to see something like this happen in our community,” says Hendricks. “This is a key opportunity for the community to learn more about the work of our member organizations and be a part of supporting them, as it takes time, talent, and money to provide high quality artistic opportunities. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to invest locally in cultural organizations while being part of a national effort supporting the arts and other nonprofit organizations." Midlands Gives will raise money and awareness for 150 Midlands nonprofits serving a wide range of community needs, including arts and culture. A gift to any of the participating nonprofits will be increased through a bonus pool and prize incentives totaling $90,000.  Every hour, Golden Ticket prizes will add $500 to a randomly selected donor's gift for a total of 24 prizes. During six Power Hours, the nonprofit with the most donors during that hour will receive a $1,000 prize. Take a few minutes before the campaigns launch to check out the list of participating organizations by visiting lowcountrygivingday.org and/or midlandsgives.org. Then, on Tuesday, May 6, between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., simply select the organization(s) and make your donation(s) with a credit card or debit card. You can check the leaderboards throughout the day to view real-time giving results.