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The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards



Deadline: Nominations for the 2014 awards must be postmarked or hand-delivered by December 16, 2013.



Category Descriptions

  • ARTS IN EDUCATION – open to SC individuals and institutions whose primary function is arts education. May include: arts educators (teachers, consultants, principals, administrators), schools, school districts, college/university arts departments, etc.
  • ORGANIZATION – open to SC organizations who contribute to the advancement and/or support of the arts. May include: arts discipline organizations, arts councils, arts advocacy groups, guilds, arts departments of organizations, educational institutions, etc.
  • GOVERNMENT – open to agencies and institutions generally described as units of state, county or municipal governments that have served their communities in outstanding ways through the arts, OR elected or appointed officials who, in their official capacities, have demonstrated notable support for the arts through leadership and public policy.
  • BUSINESS/FOUNDATION – open to SC individuals, or companies and foundations whose participation, support, and/or contributions have benefited the maintenance and growth of the arts.
  • INDIVIDUAL – open to SC individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and statewide impact through their leadership, support, and advancement of the arts. May include: arts professionals such as managers, administrators; arts supporters such as patrons, promoters, donors, etc.
  • INDIVIDUAL ARTIST – open to SC artists of exceptional talent and creativity, in any discipline, whose contribution to the arts has helped guide and influence directions, trends and aesthetic practices across the state or to national or international levels.


The S.C. Arts Commission may choose not to present an award in a particular category in a given year. In addition to the above categories, the S.C. Arts Commission may choose to give Special Awards for achievements falling outside the defined categories.




  • Commissioners and staff of the SC Arts Commission and members of their immediate families are not eligible for nomination;
  • Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination;
  • Past recipients of Verner Awards are not eligible for nomination for 10 years following their award.



Required Materials

1.  Nomination Form

The three-page nomination form is a PDF document. How to Use PDFs


Please provide all requested information about the nominee and the person submitting the nomination. Please check the appropriate category for the nomination (see Category Descriptions).


2.  Narrative

The narrative should make the case for the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina. It should be no more than two (one-sided) pages, using at least 12 point type, and include the following:


If nominating a business or foundation:

  • Describe the business or foundation. What goods or services does it provide? Who are its customers? What is its geographic service area? Explain why support of the arts is among its corporate values.
  • Describe how the business or foundation supports the arts. Describe the total range of activities. Examples may include philanthropic giving, employee volunteerism, corporate art collections, executive involvement or leadership, in-kind services or donations, or other activities that support and promote the arts.
  • If philanthropic giving is included, what percentage of the business or foundation’s total philanthropic budget was spent on the arts in the last completed fiscal year?
  • Include a list of arts events, organizations and/or artists who have directly benefited from the businesses’ support of the arts. Describe the method of support (donation, art purchase, board service, etc.)


For all other categories:

  • What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?
  • How does the nominee's leadership set them apart?
  • What exceptional achievements/contributions has the nominee made, and what has been the impact of those contributions on the community, state or beyond?
  • What honors and awards has the nominee received, which evaluate their achievements or contributions?
  • How is the nominee involved in the community or field in which he/she works? (Community activities, organizations, professional organizations, etc.)


3.  Résumé OR Mission Statement

    1. For individual nominees, include a current résumé
    2. For organizations, include a mission statement describing the purpose of the organization


4.  Letters of Support

You may provide up to 10 letters supporting the nomination. Letters should one or two pages and reinforce statements in the narrative regarding the nominee's contributions, leadership, achievements, impact, and community involvement, and provide specific examples whenever possible. Each letter should be labeled with the nominee's name and number corresponding with the Letters of Support list in the nomination form.


5.  Additional Support Materials

Support materials should reinforce and expand on the information provided in the narrative and letters of support.


Examples of support materials could include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • A scrapbook representing the nominee's body of work or accomplishments. Contents could include images, news clippings, magazine articles, reviews, promotional items, educational materials or other relevant items.
  • A book or publication by or about the nominee
  • Audio or video recordings or presentations
  • Digital images
  • Samples of an artist's work


Do not include more than 5 different pieces of support materials. For example, a scrapbook, an audio CD, a CD containing multiple images, a book of short stories and a poster would be considered 5 different pieces of support materials.


Do not provide multiples of the same type of support materials, for example: more than one scrapbook, multiple audio CDs or DVDs.


Do not include multiple formats of the same piece of material, for example: the same images in print and on a CD.


If including a lengthy example of work, such as a book or a CD, identify an excerpt or selection that best represents the nominee's work. Mark specific pages, provide a track number or a time reference.


Label each item of support material with the nominee's name and number corresponding with the Support Materials List in the nomination form.


Digital files should be playable with QuickTime or Windows Media Player. Please do not submit USB flashdrives or VHS tapes.

If the nominator wishes to have support materials returned, provide a self-addressed stamped envelope capable of holding the materials, or arrange to personally pick up the items from the Arts Commission.


6.  Image of nominee for publicity purposes

Enclose an image of the nominee in electronic (preferred) or print format, suitable for publicity use if the nominee is selected to receive an award. Electronic images may be submitted as JPG, TIFF, or EPS files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. If the nominee is an organization or business, please select an image that best represents the nominee, such as a corporate logo, exterior building shot, group staff photo or other representative image.



Assembling the Nomination Packet

Please assemble your nomination packet in a 3-ring binder using plastic sleeves. Do not staple, hole-punch or otherwise bind materials, as they will be taken apart for copying. Support materials that do not fit within a binder may be enclosed in an envelope or box accompanying the packet. Please ensure that all materials are clearly labeled.


Suggestions for Nominations

  • Please keep in mind that the selection committee sees photocopies of the application and narrative. While an attractive presentation has its merits, it is not necessary to create elaborate or highly decorated enclosures for the nomination materials. The committee makes its recommendations based on the content of the application, and may not see the original version.
  • The selection committee will review many nominations during its meeting, and may not have time to look at every piece of support material in its entirety. Please make sure that support materials are of high quality, brief, and that they convey their support of the nomination in a succinct and effective way.
  • Please do not submit items as support materials that are valuable, irreplaceable, or otherwise treasured. Images, reproductions, and photocopies are acceptable. The Arts Commission cannot be responsible for lost or damaged items.



How the Selection Process Works

The S.C. Arts Commission releases a call for Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts nominations each fall. The nomination guidelines and forms are posted on the agency's website and are also available in print upon request.


The Board of Commissioners of the S.C. Arts Commission appoints a diverse selection committee to review the nominations and make recommendations to the board for final approval. Members of the selection committee may include artists, arts professionals, educators, members of the business community, state or local government, citizens at large and others. The composition of the selection committee changes each year.


Photocopies of the nomination forms and narratives are sent to each member of the selection committee for their review in advance of the committee's meeting. Time at the selection committee meeting is spent reviewing support materials, discussing nominations and arriving at consensus on a slate of honorees. Recommendations are based solely on the information provided in the nomination packet and support materials. The committee's recommendations are sent to the Board of the Commissioners of the S.C. Arts Commission, which has final approval. Notification of award recipients should take place by March.


The awards ceremony and related events are tentatively scheduled for early May in Columbia.



Nominations must be postmarked or hand-delivered by December 16, 2013. Mail or deliver to:


Verner Award Nominations

South Carolina Arts Commission

1026 Sumter Street, Suite 200

Columbia, SC 29201