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The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards




Nominations for the 2019 awards must be submitted by November 8, 2018.



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.


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. The nomination guidelines 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.


Copies of the nomination letters are sent to each member of the selection committee for their review in advance of the committee's meeting. After its initial review of all the nominations received, the selection committee will narrow the selections in each category and request additional information or materials in support of the nomination. Types of additional materials may include resumes, letters of support, work samples, media materials, publications or images. These materials should only be submitted if requested by the committee.


The committee will meet again to review support materials and make final selections to recommend to the Board of Commissioners of the S.C. Arts Commission, which has final approval. Notification of award recipients and those not selected should take place by March.


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


How to Submit a Nomination


Nominations must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on November 8, 2018. Once you begin your online nomination, you may save it and access it by logging in with your user name and password.


The online nomination is an easy process. Clicking the Submit Nomination button below will open the Submittable application where you will choose the 2019 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts Nomination Form, create a user name and password, enter the requested information and upload a nomination letter.


Nomination Steps


  1. Click the Submit Nomination button below and choose the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Nomination Form
  2. Create your account
  3. Check the nomination category
  4. Provide information about the nominee and the nominator
  5. Upload a letter of nomination
  6. Submit


Letter of Nomination

    The nomination letter should describe the nominee's exemplary contributions to the arts in South Carolina. It should be no more than three typed pages, using 12-point type, and should address any characteristics included in the Category Descriptions. It should include specific examples and relevant data wherever possible.


    Please note that only one letter per nomination will be accepted. If multiple letters are uploaded, only the first letter in the file will be sent to the selection committee for review.


    The letter should be structured to answer the following questions:

    • What makes the nominee superior or extraordinary?
    • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership in the arts?
    • What exceptional achievements or contributions has the nominee made, and what has been their impact on the community, state or beyond?
    • What other information about the nominee is important to know as they are considered for the state's highest award in the arts?






Questions? Contact Victoria McCurry, vmccurry@arts.sc.gov, (803) 734-8315.


About the Verner Awards


For more information about the Verner Awards, please contact Victoria McCurry, 803-734-8315.