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S.C. Arts Commission Grants

Folklife & Traditional Arts Grant Guidelines


The Folklife and Traditional Arts Grant application process is an online submission through Submittable. No paper applications will be accepted.


Before applying, you are strongly advised to contact the Arts Commission to discuss your project with the Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director in order to determine if your project meets the guidelines.


Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity that are learned as a part of the cultural life of a particular group. This shared identity may be rooted in family, geographic, tribal, occupational, religious, ethnic or other connections. As expressions of a living culture, traditional arts have been handed down from one generation to the next and reflect the shared experience, aesthetics and values of a group.


The Folklife & Traditional Arts Grant supports non-profit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state. Priority for funding is given to projects that provide recognition and support for South Carolina's traditional art forms and their practitioners.


The purpose of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Grant program is to ensure that South Carolina's living traditions remain vibrant and visible parts of community life. To this end, we fund projects that may include the following:

  • Presentation of Traditional Artists through workshops, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, radio programs, recordings, etc.
  • Documentation of Traditional Arts and/or Folklife of South Carolina – please note that such a project must result in some form of public presentation
  • Cultural Survey – fieldwork done to identify traditions and traditional artists
  • Production, Documentation and/or Distribution of a traditional artist's work; for example, the production of publicity materials
  • Acquisition of difficult-to-obtain materials or equipment needed to create traditional art
  • Conservation – projects, such as apprenticeships, that serve to keep a traditional art form vibrant and visible

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must:
    • be a nonprofit organization
      • be currently registered with the S.C. Secretary of State's Office
      • reflect S.C. as the primary address on all current official organizational documents
      • with federal tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service
        apply through a tax exempt Fiscal Agent/Receiver organization
    • be a unit of government
  • 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.


  • Interpretations of traditional art forms (i.e. artistic expressions other than the actual art forms themselves) and revivals of traditions that have ceased to exist within the originating culture are not funded through this program.
  • Individual artists are not eligible to apply to this program.
  • General oral history projects, projects that are limited to an historical focus and projects that present historical recreations of past lifestyles are not eligible for this program.
  • Applicants who have received funding for the past two consecutive years will not be a funding priority.
  • Organizations may only submit one project application.

Application Deadline

March 15


Folklife and Traditional Arts Grant applications must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on March 15, 2019. Once you begin your application, you may access it at any time by logging in with your user name and password.

Grant Period

July 1 - June 30

Funding Range

Up to $6,000.


1:1 (applicant:SCAC); 50% of the applicant's match must be cash.

How to Apply

Required Application Materials

Section One: Organization Information

You will provide the following information:


  • Name
  • Artistic discipline (e.g. visual, literary, film, media, theatre, music, dance, Folklife/traditional arts, etc.)
  • Mailing address
  • Primary phone number
  • Email address
  • Doing business as (if applicable)
  • Business street address
  • Business phone number
  • Business email
  • Business website
  • Are you registered with the S.C. Secretary of State?

Section Two: Budget (Upload document)


Helpful Hint:

What is “Applicant Cash?”

  • Applicant Cash is money taken from your own account to balance your budget.


Helpful Hint:

What's the difference between In-kind Expenses and Cash Expenses?

  • Cash expenses are items that you pay for; funds are transferred. Salaries are an example of a cash expense.
  • Think of in-kind items as contributions or donations. These are goods and services that gave you benefit, but for which you did not have to pay cash. Salaries are not in-kind; they are cash expenses.
  • Examples of in-kind: free printing, free copy paper, donated art supplies, free advertising, discounted space rental, etc. Provide description and formulas in the space provided.

Section Three: Narrative

Please consult the Review Criteria Indicators, as panelists will use these as guides for their review and rating of your application.

  1. Project Description
    Give a brief summary of the proposed project and explain for which part(s) of the project you are requesting funding from the S.C. Arts Commission.
  2. Artistry
    • Who are the traditional artists involved in this project and what are the traditional art forms they practice?
    • Who are the cultural community(ies) or group(s) reflected in this project?
    • What is the relationship of the traditional art form to the community or group?
    • Are partcipating artists members of the identified community or group, or do they have a long-standing relationship with it?

Section Four: Artistry Review Criteria - 50 points

The project involves traditional artists whose primary work is of high quality according to standards determined by the cultural community.


Artistry Indicators:


  1. The artists involved are traditional artists, according to the criteria listed above.
  2. The artists' work is of high quality, as demonstrated by support materials, in keeping with their community's aesthetic and cultural standards.
  3. There is evidence that the artists involved are recognized as capable practitioners of their art forms within the identified community (ies) or group (s).
  4. These criteria are upheld by the work samples submitted with this application.

Section Five: Impact Review Criteria - 30 points

The project has the potential to raise the visibility of and appreciation for the art form within the identified community and/or build bridges between the identified community and other groups by raising awareness about the art form. The applicant demonstrates a commitment to folklife and traditional arts documentation and/or programming through consistent past programming or plans for future projects.


Impact Indicators:


  1. Why is the project important for your organization, your community, and/or the state? Include information on how and by whom this need was identified.
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. How does this project benefit the artists involved?
  4. The project involves and impacts members of the identified community as well as other audiences.
  5. There is a demonstrated need for the project. Please include information on how and by whom the need for this project was identified. Particular consideration will be given to projects and applicants whose needs cannot be met through other means.
  6. The project has the potential to promote a broader understanding of traditional arts by presenting them in context and/or with quality interpretive material. Emphasis is on traditional arts as living tradition.


Section Six: Project Management Review Criteria - 20 points

The application presents a project that is manageable and achievable within the scope of the activities of the applicant organization.



Project Management Indicators:


  1. The project involves personnel with knowledge of folklife documentation and/or traditional arts programming methods
  2. The proposed project activities are appropriate and feasible
  3. The proposed budget is appropriate and feasible
  4. The methods used to evaluate the outcomes of the project are appropriate and effective
  5. What are the specific project activities by which the objectives will be accomplished? Include a project timeline, event times and locations, persons responsible, project participants, and roles of partners.
  6. What measurable changes will result from the project?
  7. The application and support materials are complete.

Section Seven: Organizational and Personnel Information & Support Materials


  1. Staff List (Upload document)
    Submit a list of all current and proposed grant-related positions. Include staff members' titles and a brief description of responsibilities/duties. Indicate with asterisks those who are African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, or Hispanic.

    Download the staff spreadsheet via this link

  2. Resumes
    Enter one paragraph for each principal artistic and administrative project personnel.

  3. Board of Directors list (Upload document)
    Submit a list of the applicant's current board of directors. Include board members' titles and occupations/professional affliations (if retired, provide previous profession). Indicate with asterisks those who are African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, or Hispanic.

    Dowload the board list spreadsheet via this link.

  4. IRS tax-exempt letter (Upload document)
    A copy of applicant's IRS tax-exempt letter.
    OR, IF APPLYING THROUGH A Fiscal Agent/Receiver,
    • A copy of Fiscal Agent/Receiver's IRS tax-exempt letter
    • A copy of a letter of agreement, signed by both the applicant and the Fiscal Agent/Receiver that outlines the working relationship and responsibilities of both parties.

  5. Required Support Materials/Work Samples

    Please submit support materials/work samples that best represent the type of work you will do related to this grant submission. For each item that you upload, you will find a descriptive field for entering the following information, as appropriate:


    • Name of the artist(s), or key individuals involved
    • Title of work/image/activity (if different from first bullet)
    • Date of work/image/activity
    • Location (if known)
    • No more than one sentence describing the work and its relationship to the project for which you are requesting support
    • For video, length of the sample

Applicants submitting multiple images on a PDF should include the relevant information from above with each image in the PDF. The descriptive field for the file should provide a brief overview of the group of images as a whole.


All work samples should be current (less than five years old).


We accept the following types of items:


Type Video Audio Images Documents Websites
Max. # 2 5 10 5 3

Max. Time Each Sample

Panelists will review up to 20 minutes of all work samples combined

3 minutes 3 minutes      
File Types



mov mp4 mpeg rm







Aiff M4pa Ogg



bmp png


or PDF with images









Upload a PDF or Word doc that lists the Internet link fo your websites


Application must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on the deadline date: March 15, 2019.



NOTE: In accordance with the S.C. Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, charitable organizations must maintain current registration with the S.C. Secretary of State's Office. The S.C. Arts Commission does not require a copy of an applicant's current S.C. Charities registration letter; however, failure to register and renew the registration annually may result in severe fines by the S.C. Secretary of State's Office.



Please contact Program Director Laura Marcus Green, (803) 734-8764.


How to Apply in Submittable


The online application is an easy process. Clicking the APPLY button below will open the Submittable application where you will see FY2020 Folklife and Traditional Arts Grants for Organizations, enter your name and other information, and upload your support materials.


Application Steps


  1. Choose the FY2020 Folklife and Traditional Arts Grants for Organizations
  2. Create Your Account
  3. Provide Applicant Information
  4. Upload Support Materials
  5. Submit


Step One: Application Category



Step Two: Create Your Account


  • Provide your name and email address and set a password.
  • Make a note of your password so you can log back into the system. If you don't complete your application in one sitting, remember to click "save draft" before closing your screen. You will re-enter your password to return to the application at a later time.



Step Three: Provide Applicant Information



  • Enter your full legal business name and the address associated with its IRS tax records.



Step Four: Upload Support Materials

  • Be sure to fill in the required fields to provide information about your support materials.



Step Five: Submit

  • After uploading your support materials, click the Apply button at the bottom of the screen.
  • When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation screen and an email acknowledging that your online application was received.


Remember: Application must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on the deadline date, March 15, 2019.


Ready to apply? Click the Apply button to go to the Submittable application site.




Review Process

The initial staff review of applications focuses on eligibility, accuracy and detail of budget, clarity of narrative, completeness of online application, compliance with grant requirements, and upload of support materials. A panel composed of professionals representing the field of folk and traditional arts will review and rate grant applications on the basis of specific criteria listed in the guidelines. Funding recommendations will be determined by panel consensus. Final funding decisions will then be presented to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

Review Criteria

Please note that the criteria used for review are noted in the "Required Application Materials" section, under "Narrative." It is strongly recommended that you use the criteria to guide you in determining what to include in the narrative. Although all of the narrative is meaningful, the number of points assigned to a section gives you an idea of its relative importance. Also, do not assume that the panelists know anything about you, your organization or your project. Write clearly and concisely. Creative writing is appreciated, but it is not a good substitute for a logical and honest presentation.

If you receive a grant award

If your application is approved, you will receive notification and a grant management folder through the postal mail. You must sign and return all required contracts to the S. C. Arts Commission by the date listed in the folder. You must also complete a Final Report, as listed in your grant management folder, by the date stated in your contract. You will be expected to contact Program Director Laura Marcus Green (803-734-8764) if for any reason your project will undergo significant revisions.

Grant Payments

Payment will be on an expense reimbursement basis only. Grantees may submit 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.

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 >>



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

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