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S.C. Arts Commission Arts in Education Grants

Arts Education Projects (AEP) Grant Guidelines


Arts Education Project (AEP) Grants fund projects and programs that use the arts to meet the educational, developmental and social needs of K-12 students. AEP grants support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in children (social service, health, community, education or other organizations).


Activities should

  1. Expand student access to arts education opportunities;
  2. Complement, augment, or advance standards-based arts instruction or arts integration activities delivered to students during the course of the school day curriculum;
  3. Be focused on or include significant components delivering quality instruction and/or experiences in the visual arts, performing arts, media arts, design arts, folk and traditional arts or creative writing; and
  4. Address South Carolina’s 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency.


Partnerships between community organizations, local schools, districts to meet K-12 educational goals through the arts are encouraged.


Examples of eligible in-school and afterschool activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Workshops
  • Camps
  • Artist residencies
  • Public art projects
  • Performances
  • Exhibitions
  • Acquisition of critical equipment or supplies
  • Program planning
  • Professional development for instructors, artists and/or administrators

Funding Priorities

This funding category is highly competitive.


Priority may be given to projects or programs which

  • serve children in rural or high-poverty areas
  • involve partnerships with other schools or organizations


The S.C. Arts Commission reserves the right to make selections to ensure diverse geographic distribution across the state.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants may be
    • public, private, charter or parochial schools
    • consortia of schools with one primary applicant site
    • school districts
    • nonprofit community-based organizations (arts or non-arts)
      • currently registered with the S.C. Secretary of State's Office
      • reflecting S.C. as the primary address on all current official organizational documents
      • with federal tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service
        applying through a tax exempt fiscal agent/receiver organization
    • colleges and universities
    • units of state and local governments
  • In accordance with federal government policy, the S.C. Arts Commission requires all organizations to include a valid DUNS number as part of their grant applications. Applications will not be accepted from organizations that do not have a DUNS number. What's a DUNS number, and how do I get one?
    • If using a fiscal agent/receiver, separate DUNS numbers are required of both the applicant organization and the fiscal agent/receiver.
    • Individual schools may use their school district's DUNS number and do not need to register separately.
    • All other organization applicants - including private schools, government entities, and nonprofits - must provide a DUNS number.
    • Individual artists are not required to obtain a DUNS number.


  • Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) sites are not eligible.
  • Individual artists are not eligible.
  • College and university departments are eligible, but only one application per department will be accepted.
  • Individual schools may not apply if they are included in an application from a consortium of schools, a school district, or an arts council.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per deadline.


Up to $15,000.

Grant awards are contingent on appropriation of funds by the S.C. General Assembly.


1:1 (grantee:SCAC). At least 50% of the applicant’s match must be cash. 

Funds from another S.C. Arts Commission grant may not be used as matching funds. 

Application Deadline

February 15

Applications must be submitted online before midnight (EST) on the deadline date. Please be aware that staff members will not be available to assist you with questions or technical difficulties after the Arts Commission closes at 5:00 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

July 1 – June 30
No project/program expenses are allowed prior to July 1.


For projects meant to be implemented during summer (May 1 - June 30) contact Arts Education Director Ashley Kerns Brown before submitting an application.


How to Apply

Arts Education Project (AEP) Grants are managed in our online grants management system, from application, to approval and contracts, through payments and final reports.

About Our Online Grants Management System

Our online grants are managed using the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Foundant page on our website, before you begin working in the system.

Helpful Hint:

The system works best with the Chrome and Firefox browsers. The Microsoft Edge browser is not recommended; it will not autosave and will not save data that is copied-and-pasted into fields.

About Your Account

If you have applied for or managed your organization's grants in our current online system, you already have an account and should not create a new one.


Not sure if you have an account? Try logging on, using the "Forgot your password?" feature if needed.

Helpful Hint:

The contact person for this grant should be the person managing this grant's activities, who will receive and respond to communications from the Arts Commission about this grant. To ensure the correct person is listed as the contact person for your AEP application, that person should be the one to log on and start the AEP application.

If you need to create an account, we strongly encourage you to first view the Registration Tutorial (PDF).

Helpful Hint:

Your email address becomes your username, so each user account must have a unique email address. If you need to use the same email address to manage grants for more than one organization, we suggest:

  1. Set up an email account for each of the organizations on whose behalf you'll be applying. This may be an account within the organization's own email system, or an account with one of the many free email providers (such as Gmail).
  2. If you'd rather not have to check multiple email accounts to get communications from us (email is our primary method of correspondence), set up the new account(s) to automatically forward incoming messages to your main email address.
  3. Create an online grants management account for each organization, using the email address(es) you've set up for that purpose.

  • In the first registration section, labeled Applicant Information, provide your organization's information (name, address, phone, etc.), not your personal information.
  • In the next registration section, labeled User Information, provide your work contact information (business address, email, etc.), not your home or personal information.

Start Your Application

  1. Click the "Apply Now" button below. The online grants management system will open in a new browser tab or window.
  2. Log on, then click the "Apply" link at the top of your Applicant Dashboard.
  3. Find "FY20 Arts Education Project (AEP)" in the list of available grant applications, and click the "Apply" button to the far right.


Apply Now


Preview the Application


Review Process

A panel of arts professionals will review the applications and recommend funding to the Board of Commissioners. Once the Board approves the awards (usually in May or June), the results are posted on our website.

Review Criteria

  • Section I: Expanding student access to arts education (45 points)

    Does the proposal provide access to arts instruction or experiences that complement, augment or advance arts instruction or integration delivered during the school day?
    • Demonstrated need for the project or program (10 points)
    • Educational goals are clearly stated (10 points)
    • Activities support the educational goals (10 points)
    • Proposed activities address South Carolina’s 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency in a meaningful and reasonable way (5 points)
    • Applicant demonstrates an understanding of which and how many children will benefit from the proposed activities, and any special characteristics or needs to be addressed (5 points)
    • Plan includes appropriate methods of measuring success of activities (5 points)
  • Section II: Organizational capacity (30 points)


    Does the organization have the capacity to implement the proposal?
    • Proposed budget demonstrates a balanced and realistic estimate of project expenses and sources of income to support the project (10 points)
    • The organization’s mission makes it an appropriate entity to implement the proposal (5 points)
    • Project timeline is present and feasible (5 points)
    • Personnel are qualified to deliver the programs and lead the project, as supported by the narrative and accompanying bios (5 points)
    • Evidence of the existence of adequate leadership (5 points)
  • Section III: Priority (25 points)
    • Partnerships (5 points)
      • Proposal represents partnerships between community organizations, local schools, districts to meet K-12 educational goals through the arts
      • Partners and their roles are identified and appropriate for the scope of the project
      • Letters of support from partners are present in support material
    • Distinct group populations (8 points)
      • Proposed activities serve students in rural areas  or urban clusters (as defined by the US Census Bureau)  OR
      • Proposed activities serve students in high-poverty areas (20% or more of population served live below the poverty line) OR
      • Proposed activities serve students with disabilities OR
      • Proposed activities serve students in institutions (including hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters) OR
      • Proposed activities serve students living on a military base OR
      • Proposed activities serve students with limited English proficiency.
    • Opportunity Initiative Populations
      The following counties have been targeted for special attention by the Arts Commission: Allendale, Bamberg, Calhoun, Clarendon, Dillon, Edgefield, Hampton, Jasper, Lee, Marion, McCormick, Newberry, Saluda, Union
      • Proposed activities serve children in one or more Opportunity Initiative counties. (8 points)
      • The applicant organization is located in an Opportunity Initiative county. (4 points)

If you receive a grant award

If your application is approved, you will receive notification and grant management information. You must follow the instructions for submitting your required contract materials to the S.C. Arts Commission by the given deadline. You must also complete a Final Report, by the date stated in your contract. You will be expected to contact your S.C. Arts Commission coordinator if for any reason your project will undergo significant revisions.


By accepting an Arts Education Project grant, you agree to participate in assessments by third-party evaluators of the S.C. Arts Commission’s choosing.

Grant Payments

Payment will be on an expense reimbursement basis only. Grantees may request a maximum of two interim payments, totaling no more than 80% of the grant award. Final grant payment will be released upon receipt and approval of grantee's Final Report. If the applicant is part of a school district or is using a fiscal agent/receiver, payment will be made to the school district or fiscal agent/receiver, with the school or applicant listed on the check as the benefiting organization. 

Final Report

ALL GRANTEES are required to file a Final Report at the end of the grant period. The Final Report Due Date is printed on your contract. Failure to submit an accurate and complete Final Report by the due date will result in cancellation of the award and repayment of funds received. The S.C. Arts Commission will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports. Go to the Final Report requirements >>


Please contact your coordinator.



In addition to this page, you must read the following for complete guideline information:

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