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Just in: one last slot for a GSP artisan to grow a business

Deadline: NOON Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 ArtsGrowSC, a program of the Arts Commission, has just ONE opening remaining for an Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans. The IDA is a matched savings program where artists commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months, and up to one year. The Arts Commission and CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artist who saves $1,000 is eligible to receive a match of up to $3,000. What’s the catch? You should be serious about business planning and committed to a process for thinking about how you will grow your business. You must live in Greenville or Spartanburg counties and fall within 200% of poverty (see guidelines below). The online application through Submittable is an easy process. Create an account, answer the questions, upload your support materials, and then submit. To be considered for the ArtsGrowSC Individual Development Account, click here. Please contact Joy Young (jyoung@arts.sc.gov) for questions about ArtsGrowSC. If you need technical assistance with the online submission process, contact Cathy Lee by calling 803.734.8674. Income guidelines are as follows:

New funding partner for potential arts businesses

  • Central Carolina Community Foundation to help develop Midlands arts-based businesses
  • Joins statewide initiative begun by S.C. Arts Commission and CommunityWorks of Greenville
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Midlands artisans hoping to turn a passion into a business in the New Year now have help from Central Carolina Community Foundation as it joins an S.C. Arts Commission initiative. Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) joins ArtsGrowSC, a new program that combines the strengths of the S.C. Arts Commission and Greenville-based CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution, to offer qualifying artists resources – including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching, and workshops – that will help develop and grow arts-based business ventures. ArtsGrowSC is being implemented to allow arts-based businesses to further contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by South Carolina’s core creative industries. Involvement by CCCF will increase the number of artisans who can open Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), specifically in its 11-county service area. CommunityWorks serves as a statewide IDA funding partner for the matched savings program. Artists who use an IDA to save would see a 2:1 match, so a savings of $1,000 would be matched by $1,000 from one of the participating funders, based on artist location, and another $1,000 from the Arts Commission. Additional avenues of support from ArtsGrowSC include personal development and business coaching workshops that lead to the next-step Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant program. AVI provides one-time grants to encourage the creation of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project could receive up to $3,500, and on-going business ventures can get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit a letter of intent to seek an AVI grant is Jan. 18. AVI grantees may then qualify for the Business Builder Loan program, wherein CommunityWorks could lend qualifying artists up to $15,000 to expand their ventures. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, email Joy Young at jyoung@arts.sc.gov, or call 803.734.8203.
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 leadership 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.

ArtsGrowSC offers savings and loan programs for artists

The South Carolina Arts Commission and CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution based in Greenville, are collaborating on a program designed to increase opportunities for artisans to develop and grow arts-based business ventures that contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by the state’s core creative industries. The ArtsGrowSC program will combine 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. ArtsGrowSC is comprised of three components targeted to artists based upon their locale and business readiness: Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans – This matched savings program will initially focus on Spartanburg-area artisans. Those who qualify will commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months. CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artisan who saves $1,000 will receive a match of $3,000. Funds may be used to purchase long-term assets such as equipment or to open a small business. The Chapman Cultural Center is a partner in the IDA program.  IDA to Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) – Artisans who take part in the initial IDA program may then qualify for the IDA to AVI program. Artisans receive personalized coaching from the Arts Commission and may apply for an Arts Commission matching quarterly grant to receive business training from a recognized business development source. Additionally, the Arts Commission will help in preparing the Artists Ventures Initiative grant application. Artists Ventures Initiative Business Builder Loan Program – Artists are invited to expand their ventures with a business loan of up to $15,000 from CommunityWorks. The micro-loan could be leveraged with an IDA account. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees receive priority; however, any artist may apply. (Previous AVI grantees may apply for an Arts Commission AVI-Expansion matching grant of up to $1,500 to help with application and closing costs.) Find out more online or contact Joy Young, 803.734.8203.

ArtsGrowSC – Expanded Funding for Arts-Based Businesses

The South Carolina Arts Commission and CommunityWorks (CW), a community development finance institution based in Greenville, are collaborating on a pilot program designed to increase opportunities for artisans to develop and grow arts-based business ventures that contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by the state’s core creative industries. The ArtsGrowSC pilot will combine the strengths of both organizations to offer resources for qualifying artists, including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, grants, personalized coaching and workshops.

The project is the next logical step for the Arts Commission’s artist development work and its Artist Ventures Initiative Program, says Executive Director Ken May. “Our Artists Ventures Initiative grant provides funding to launch or revamp an arts-based venture, but the grant is a one-time opportunity. Many of those funded artists are now ready for the next level of growing their businesses, and that growth is key to the vitality of the state’s creative economy.  This new collaboration provides CommunityWorks with a pool of artisans vetted through our grants process and helps connect those artisans to much-needed capital through their matched savings programs and loans. The collaboration also adds a funding resource for artists beyond the Arts Commission’s limited grant dollars.” CommunityWorks recognizes that artisans often operate as small business ventures. According to CW’s President/CEO Deborah McKetty, “We hear a lot about jobs created when large corporations set up shop in South Carolina. However, microbusiness development could become an important second-tier economic development strategy for fostering wealth and creating jobs within low-wealth communities.” McKetty is eager to offer CommunityWork’s resources in other parts of the state. “A successful pilot project will enable us to expand our portfolio. Our goal is leveraging funds to grow the creative industries statewide while also recognizing the role artisans and arts-based businesses play in community economic development. We anticipate reaching deeper into the arts community through the Arts Commission’s networks. ” The pilot was launched May 1 in Spartanburg, where creative businesses are fueling economic growth throughout the county. In 2014, Chapman Cultural Center’s “Culture Counts” project identified a growing cluster of creative industries in Spartanburg County. “We believe that this new financing mechanism will help others to jump start or expand their creative businesses to scale,” said Chapman Cultural Center CEO and President Jennifer Evins. “Creative industries and creative workers are very important to providing innovation and creativity to manufacturing, technology and research. We also hope that this new path to economic prosperity for artists will attract creatives from other states to relocate to Spartanburg and South Carolina.” Joy Young, the Arts Commission’s program director for Leadership and Organizational Development, as well as the Artists Ventures Initiative, added, “ArtsGrowSC is a perfect union of resources – arts, financial, personal and professional – to support arts-based business ventures." ArtsGrowSC is comprised of three components targeted to artists based upon their locale and business readiness: Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans – This matched savings program will initially focus on Spartanburg-area artisans. Those who qualify will commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months. CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artisan who saves $1,000 will receive a match of $3,000. Funds may be used to purchase long-term assets such as equipment or to open a small business. IDA to Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) – Artisans who take part in the initial IDA program may then qualify for the IDA to AVI program. Artisans receive personalized coaching from the Arts Commission and may apply for an Arts Commission matching quarterly grant to receive business training from a recognized business development source. Additionally, the Arts Commission will help in preparing the Artists Ventures Initiative grant application. Artists Ventures Initiative Business Builder Loan Program – Artists are invited to expand their ventures with a business loan of up to $15,000 from CommunityWorks.  The micro-loan could be leveraged with an IDA account. Previous AVI grantees receive priority; however, any artist may apply. Previous AVI grantees may apply for an Arts Commission AVI-Expansion matching grant of up to $1,500 to assist with application and closing fees. For more information about ArtsGrowSC, contact Joy Young, (803) 734-8203.