Home   :   About Us   :   What's New   :   Arts Calendar   :   The Hub   :   Contact Us   :   Foundation

SC Arts Commission Press Releases

S.C. Arts Commission Awards $3.2 Million in Grants


Aug. 27, 2015

Media Contact:

Milly Hough
(803) 734-8698

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission has awarded $3,232,674 in grants to South Carolina communities, artists, arts organizations and schools for the 2016 fiscal year as of Aug. 1. That total includes a large portion of the $1 million in new arts education grant funds recently approved by the General Assembly.


See the list of grant recipients by program.


See the list of grant recipients by county. (PDF)


“Thanks to the support of the General Assembly, we hit the ground running in July with a pilot summer program in Clarendon County serving low income children,” said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. “We worked with the school district and a nonprofit partner to deliver a high quality arts and STEM program designed to combat summer learning loss. The additional $1 million will allow us to offer similar programs in other areas of the state and expand our arts education initiatives.”


The push to expand arts education access is the result of recommendations from the 2014 Arts Education Task Force, created to respond to new research and a new climate for education and arts education reform in South Carolina, according to May. “The task force was charged with answering the question, ‘What must South Carolina do to ensure that all of its young people explore, create, learn and grow in and through the arts?’ The answer was, in a nutshell, ‘do more of the good projects you’re already doing and find new approaches and new partners to reach kids, especially in high poverty areas.’ We will continue to support projects in traditional settings such as schools, but we want to work with community partners and afterschool/summer program providers to reach children beyond the school day and school year.”


The agency’s support of the broader arts sector has increased as well. “We have been able to increase support for most current grantees and cultivate new grantees, ensuring that we support a wide variety of projects in more places, helping to boost the state’s creative economy,” said May.


A total of 286 grants were awarded in 37 counties and range from operating grants and project support for organizations to seed money and fellowships for individual artists, ensuring a diversity of relevant arts experiences around the state.


Grant categories, programs and amounts awarded:


Arts in Education $1,570,565
Grants help fund curriculum planning and implementation, artist residencies, performances, professional development for teachers and summer and afterschool arts programs.


  • Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) Advancement $669,451
    Awarded to 56 schools and school districts that are participating in the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, which works to ensure every child in South Carolina has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the Arts Commission, the S.C. Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
  • Arts Education Projects $450,485
    Thirty-three grants funding projects and programs that 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).
  • Arts in the Basic (ABC) Curriculum $304,480
    Three grants to support management of the ABC Project Partnership.
  • Education and Community Partnerships $110,800
    Ten grants awarded to help local education agencies or districts, artists and arts-focused organizations partner to meet the educational, developmental, or social needs of students through the arts.
  • Youth at Risk Partnerships $29,500
    Three grants to provide arts experiences for youth at risk.
  • Teacher Standards Implementation $5,849 (1st quarter only)
    Eight grants to help arts teachers acquire the supplies, materials, and expertise necessary for meeting the 2010 Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. 


Operating Support $1,418,871
Grants help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, other organizations and communities throughout the state.


  • General Operating Support $1,338,062
    One hundred eight grants for arts organizations.
  • Statewide Organizations $42,029   
    Seven grants for arts organizations operating statewide.
  • Operating Support for Small Organizations $38,780
    Twenty-six grants for arts organizations with annual expense budgets of less than $75,000.


Folklife and Traditional Arts $116,501
Grants support programs that promote a greater understanding and visibility of South Carolina’s many cultures through documentation and presentation of traditional art forms, their practitioners and their communities.


  • Partnerships $79,501
    Two grants to support management of the Folklife and Traditional Arts Partnership.
  • Organization grants $32,000
    Six grants to support nonprofit organizations that seek to promote and preserve the traditional arts practiced across the state.
  • Apprenticeships $5,000
    Four grants that support a partnership between a master artist, who will share artistic and cultural knowledge, and a qualified apprentice, who will then continue to pursue the art form.


Subgranting $66,437


  • Seven awards to local arts councils that distribute quarterly grants to organizations and artists in their regions. This program is funded in part by an award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.


Artists Ventures Initiative $35,000


  • Partnership $25,000
    One grant to support management of Artists U, a career development program for artists.
  • Artists $10,000
    Two grants to individual artists for projects designed to help them develop the knowledge and skills to build satisfying, sustainable careers.


Individual Artist Fellowships $20,000


  • Four grants to individual artists to recognize and reward their artistic achievements.


Quarterly Project Support $5,300 (1st quarter only)


  • Six grants to support a variety of quality arts projects and programs and/or for professional development opportunities to assist artistic and managerial staff. This category also supports specific arts activities that promote an individual artist's professional development or career advancement.


Additional Quarterly Project Support and Teacher Standards Implementation grants will be awarded later in the year. For a complete list of grant recipients by program or by county, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com/awards. For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.


About the S.C. 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 www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.