South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

About Us

How We Serve


We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences.


The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina.


Six core values inform our vision and how we set about accomplishing it through our work every day.


We are committed to transparency, honesty, and integrity.


We are committed to and call for courageous leadership that advances equitable access to the arts through policy and practice.


We value innovation, creative expression, and a commitment to quality in artistic experiences.


We believe education is a right that must be accessible to all. Learning in and through the arts should be integral to a continuum of lifelong growth.


We believe building connections and working in partnership deepen impact and advance the arts.

Social Justice

We value diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. We believe in our collective responsibility to support culturally relevant and responsive art.

Statement of Solidarity

We wish to speak out about the racial violence and systemic injustice prevalent against Black people in our country. We acknowledge the pain that Black colleagues, artists, family, and friends feel. We realize that the silence of institutions has historically erased and helped perpetuate racially-motivated, anti-Black violence. We stand in solidarity with efforts for justice and equality.

Where We Began

On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation that established the South Carolina Arts Commission, an autonomous state agency charged with guiding the development of the arts.

Where We Are

For more than 50 years, the agency has worked to build a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their circumstances or where they live.

How we accomplish our mission

to establish the arts as an integral part of South Carolina’s educational systems and the lifelong learning process of our citizens. 

Visit the Arts Education section.

to encourage, nurture and support the artistic growth and the personal and economic well-being of South Carolina’s artists.

Visit the Artist Development section.

to stimulate the development of South Carolina’s culturally diverse arts resources and organizations and promote creative partnerships to improve the quality of lives, preserve cultural heritage, and enhance economic growth.

Visit the Community Arts Development section.

Our Strategies

The S.C. Arts Commission’s staff of experienced arts professionals consult with and assist local organizations, governments, schools, artists, citizens and others. These services are delivered via direct interaction between staff and constituents.

Visit the staff page.

Programs, exhibitions, conferences, awards and other events wholly produced and presented by the Arts Commission, usually targeted to a statewide audience.

Visit the Direct Programs section.

Building strong programmatic and financial relationships with strategically aligned organizations to maximize productivity, cost effectiveness, statewide reach and inclusiveness for a variety of statewide programs.

Visit the Partnerships page.

Cash awards with matching and reporting requirements, designed to support and advance the state’s long-range and strategic goals for the arts, delivered through an accountable and transparent application and review process.

Visit the Grants section.


The Arts Commission’s primary source of funding is state tax dollars appropriated by the S.C. General Assembly. Grants from the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts comprise the Commission’s secondary source of funding. Additional support for Arts Commission projects is provided by private foundations and community sponsors.


The South Carolina Arts Commission has produced nationally recognized initiatives in:

  • arts curriculum reform
  • rural arts development
  • dance touring and audience development
  • community design
  • electronic communications
  • media arts
  • traditional arts infrastructure development