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SC Arts Commission Grants Programs

General Information for Applicants

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements below are basic for applicants requesting SCAC funds. Any additional eligibility requirements for a particular funding category are stated within the appropriate program-specific guidelines. Refer to program guidelines for specific eligibility requirements.


Organizations must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply:

  • Serve the citizens of South Carolina in one of the following ways:

    1. as a unit of government; or

    2. as a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt agency

    Nonprofit organizations must be incorporated and registered in the state of South Carolina with the Office of the Secretary of State at the time of application, and must have a Secretary of the State Charities Letter (see example PDF). Organizations must also have received recognition of tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In some programs, another nonprofit, tax-exempt organization or public agency may act as a fiscal agent for an organization that has not yet secured IRS tax-exempt status. A letter of agreement, signed by both the applicant and the fiscal agent, that outlines the working relationship and responsibilities of both parties must accompany the application materials.

  • Have no overdue/incomplete grant reports or outstanding debts to SCAC.

  • Be based in South Carolina and have a South Carolina address. Nonprofit organizations that are based in another state must be registered in South Carolina according to the procedures set by the Office of the Attorney General, have a South Carolina address, and provide arts activities in South Carolina to be eligible for funding.


Individuals must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply:

  • Be a legal resident of the United States and South Carolina.
  • Maintain a permanent residence in South Carolina prior to the application date and throughout the grant period. For project grants the residency requirement prior to application is 6 months; for fellowships the requirement is 2 years.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • Must not be a degree-seeking, full-time, undergraduate student at the time of application or during the grant period. Students are ineligible to apply if academic credit will be earned as a result of the proposed project.
  • Have no overdue/incomplete grant reports or outstanding debts to SCAC.

Use of Funds

How SCAC funds may be spent:

YES - The Commission WILL fund the following types of projects. Please note that the list is not inclusive:

  • Projects, exhibitions, productions and presentations in all arts disciplines, including media, design, folk life and traditional arts, and small press publications
  • Fundraising events and activities
  • Professional consultants
  • Expendable supplies and materials
  • Subgranting (Arts Councils only)
  • Professional development and study
  • Staff salaries and training
  • Career advancement
  • Community outreach
  • Commissioning of new works
  • Ticket subsidies
  • Rental and leasing of equipment
  • Purchase equipment, such as potter's wheels, weaving looms, printing presses, computer equipment and software
  • Endowment and cash reserve development
  • Challenge/local government challenge
  • Art in Public Places
  • Planning
  • Marketing
  • Arts Education planning, curriculum development, and residencies
  • Temporary installation art
  • Sudden opportunities

NO - The Commission WILL NOT fund:

  • Capital improvements and real property, unless in a granting program specifically designed for this type of support. (However, applicant funds raised for these purposes may be used to satisfy SCAC matching funds requirements.)
  • Activities completed prior to the grant period.
  • Support of the same project in more than one grant category or if funded by other SCAC programs, including funding from subgrant sites.
  • Matching funds for one SCAC grant used as a match for any other SCAC grant.
  • Performances and exhibitions that are not open to the general public.
  • Non-arts museums (science and natural history) except arts personnel and arts projects sponsored by non-arts museums.
  • Tuition for degree programs.
  • Indirect costs.
  • Underwriting for ongoing residencies or curricular programs in degree-granting colleges and universities.
  • Arts activities that are directed and performed by students or student groups.

Matching Funds

General Requirements:

Most grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar or 1:1 (applicant: SCAC). Some categories require a match of 2:1 or 3:1 (Applicant: SCAC). Consult program-specific guidelines for allowable funding requests and matching requirements or contact your county or discipline arts coordinator for additional information and clarification.

Possible Sources

Cash match represents an applicant's cash outlay, including contributions to the applicant from other sources. All cash contributions expended by the applicant are allowable as part of the applicant's match, except grants from other SCAC sources. Generally, administrative costs may be used as a portion of cash match for grant-supported activities.

in addition to actual cash expenditures and cash income, the Commission allows organizations to claim professionals' time and goods/services (printing, utilities, telephone expenses, etc.) allocated toward the project for which a fee would normally be paid (though no currency exchanges hands) as a part of the cash match. See program-specific guidelines for allowable percentages of in-kind matching funds. Refer to specific program guidelines because some programs do not allow use of in-kind funds. Documentation in the form of accounting records, receipts, and invoices for such allocations must augment fiscal records and are subject to audit.

Creative time
Creative time is no longer allowed for individual applicants. Instead, cash match has been reduced from 1:1 (applicant:SCAC) to 1:2 (applicant:SCAC).

Accommodations taxes, non-SCAC federal, state and local grants, corporate and other private donations, etc.

SCAC encourages the use of these types of funds to match SCAC funds.


Unless otherwise indicated in program-specific guidelines, all SCAC deadlines are postmarked deadlines or electronic submission deadlines, meaning that applications must be postmarked or electronically submitted no later than the stated date, or, when the deadline occurs on a weekend or holiday, no later than the next business day. If the applicant prefers, and the program guidelines allow, applications may be hand-delivered to the SCAC offices before 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. No late or faxed applications will be accepted. Requests for deadline extensions must be made prior to an application deadline and only for reasons of unforeseen extenuating circumstances such as natural disasters or personal tragedies. In these special cases, an applicant should, prior to the deadline, contact their county or discipline arts coordinator who will present the case to the grants director. The decision to grant an extension will be made on a case-by-case basis by SCAC management.

Getting Help

All applicants are encouraged to call their county or discipline arts coordinator prior to beginning the application process. Coordinators can assist applicants by clarifying questions on guidelines and eligibility, reviewing narrative drafts, and offering help in other application procedures..

Steps in the Review Process

Although the review process varies according to category, the process always involves a qualitative evaluation of some kind. The following steps apply to categories involving non-staff panels that are open to the public. (See program-specific guidelines to determine the review process for each category.) These steps do not apply to all funding categories.

NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be submitted for panel review and, therefore, will not be considered for funding. Submit only original application forms with original signatures. Do not submit copies or fax your application.

Applications and fees (if applicable) are received at SCAC and entered into the grants office database.

Grants office staff checks applications for eligibility, accuracy and completeness. Applicants are notified that their application has been received only if a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard is included with the application.

Panels, composed of artists, arts administrators, and community arts representatives from the approved panel pool and staff (where appropriate) are appointed.

Each application is assigned to a panel according to its funding category and discipline. Application materials are copied and distributed to panelists for individual review and ratings according to review criteria stated in the program-specific guidelines.

Grant review panel meetings are scheduled. Applicants are notified of specific dates and approximate times (not applicable in all categories - see specific program guidelines) so that they may attend.

During panel meetings, applicants are NOT permitted to respond to questions posed by panelists nor provide updated information. County and discipline arts coordinators may provide factual answers to questions posed by panelists that cannot be answered by application materials, if requested by panel.

Panelists' ratings are averaged to reach each applicant's overall rating.

Panel comments are recorded during the meeting. Panel comments are available to applicant upon request. Please contact your county or discipline coordinator to request panel comments.

After applicant ratings have been recorded, grants office staff develops funding recommendations based on the applicant ratings and program budget.

The staff and management panel reviews the recommendations of all panels in preparation for presentation to the Board of Commissioners, who make the final funding decisions.

Appeals Process

An appeal process is available for applicants who believe they have not received fair consideration by the Commission. An appeal request, stating the reasons for the appeal, must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director within 30 days of the date of the written notification from the Commission. An appeal may be granted solely at the discretion of the Board.

Legal Assurance of Compliance

Public Information

All applicants become part of a public process, and the fact of their applying, along with information included in their applications, becomes part of the public record and is, therefore, public information. Grant recipients must comply with the SC Freedom of Information Act.

Federal and State Law

Grants made by the South Carolina Arts Commission are subject to the conditions and requirements listed below. These conditions are stipulated by federal law, state law and South Carolina Arts Commission policy. It is the applicant's responsibility to sign assurance forms agreeing that their individual project or organization and project comply with all other South Carolina Arts Commission terms and conditions and all regulations of the National Endowment for the Arts pursuant to the following federal acts:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that: No person in the United State shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (Section 601).

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that: No person in the United State shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance (Section 601).

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 provides that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Grantees will be required to be in compliance with both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Section 504 provides that: No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States, shall solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal assistance. The Americans with Disabilities Act extends the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by: 1) prohibiting discrimination in employment based on disability; 2) requiring places of public accommodation (including arts organizations) to be accessible to people with disabilities; 3) mandating gradual replacement of buses and railroad cars with equipment that can accommodate people with disabilities; and 4) making telephone services available to people with hearing and speech impairments.

Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires that employees of the grantee not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances in the grantee's workplace or work site.

Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all professional performers, artists, related and supporting personnel employed on projects or productions which are financed in whole or in part under the grant will be paid not less than the minimum compensation as determined by the Secretary of Labor in Parts 3, 5, 505 or Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. No part of any project shall be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to the health and safety of the employees engaged in the project.



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