South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 and the arts in South Carolina

Updated Jan. 12 | 08:21 ET

Original artwork by South Carolina artist Amiri Farris

As with the rest of state government, the South Carolina Arts Commission remains open and serving our constituents.

Our team continues working diligently to respond to your needs.

During this time, the best way to reach us is via email. Virtual operations continue until such time as our staff return to our physical location on a day-to-day basis. We will resume in-person business as soon as state/local authorities and public health experts deem it safe to do so. Meetings can be conducted by appointment only and held virtually to help stem potential transmission of COVID-19. Agency personnel travel is restricted to agency-initiated essential business.

This began as a precautionary measure but is in compliance with state and local authorities’ directives on best serving our constituents by not risking exposure.

Do you like this artwork?

There’s a great story behind it and a free, downloadable flier on based on it below the resources sections.

COVID-19 y las Artes en Carolina del Sur

Actualizado el 12 del enero | 08:21 ET

Original artwork by South Carolina artist Amiri Farris

Al igual que con el resto del gobierno estatal, la Comisión de Artes de Carolina del Sur permanece abierta y al servicio de nuestros ciudadanos. Nuestro equipo continúa trabajando diligentemente para responder a sus necesidades. Durante este tiempo, la mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por correo electrónico. Reanudaremos los negocios en persona tan pronto como las autoridades estatales y/o locales y los expertos en salud pública lo consideren seguro.

El 10 de marzo anunciamos que a principios de mayo estaríamos dando el paso de cancelar eventos no esenciales, incluidos los Premios de Arte de Carolina del Sur del 6 de mayo. Las reuniones y eventos programados que se consideran esenciales para nuestros programas y operaciones se están modificando para ayudar a detener la posible transmisión del COVID-19.

Esto comenzó como una medida de precaución, pero ahora cumple con las directivas de las autoridades estatales y locales, en el mejor servicio a nuestros ciudadanos evitando correr riesgos de exposición.

¿Te gusta esta obra de arte?

Hay una gran historia detrás de ella  y debajo de las secciones de recursos, un folleto descargable gratuito basado en ella.

Traducido por Maribel Acosta / Translation by Maribel Acosta

Curated Resources for Creative Communities

More and more, life in South Carolina is returning to normal. As such, we are curating resources for responsible reopening.

  • If you’re a South Carolina artist or arts organization, we recommend the S.C. Arts Alliance’s Arts Reopening Guide. The S.C. Arts Commission recommends following CDC guidelines and those issued by local governing authorities at any level near you.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts published The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19. For this report, Arts Endowment research staff surveyed national arts service organizations and conducted interviews about reopening practices of organizations that resumed in-person programming in 2020. The 42-page report presents promising tactics and nine case studies.
  • Aimed at helping arts and cultural organizations consider key questions and variables as they plan for reopening and a post-COVID-19 future, this white paper from estimates the pandemic’s effect on the nonprofit arts sector and identifies three critical propositions and four prompting questions for consideration.
  • AccelerateED, the South Carolina Dept. of Education’s Task Force on school operations in the wake of COVID-19, was charged with developing guidelines on reopening schools across the state next school year. Read their draft recommendations as of June 15 here.
  • Once the dust settles, arts organizations would be well served to be ready for the next disaster. This paper from Arts Consulting Group is a good starting point:
    Nine Steps Arts and Culture Leaders Can Take to Overcome a Crisis
  • The Performing Arts Readiness Project offers Institutional Emergency Preparedness Grants and Network Grants.
    • Institutional Emergency Preparedness Planning Grants: Grants of up to $7250 will be awarded to 42 performing arts organizations for the creation of individual institutional emergency preparedness or Continuity of Operations (CoOP) plans. Grant funds may be used for such things as consultant fees, meeting expenses, travel, and training; $1250 of the award amount can be utilized on disaster-related supplies and equipment.
    • Application Deadlines – submit by July 31, 2020 for projects beginning between September 15 and November 1, 2020. If funding remains available, a second round of Planning Grants is expected to be offered in 2021.
    • Download complete guidelines and the Emergency Preparedness Planning Grant application form here.
    • Network Grants: 10 grants of between $5,000 – $25,000 each will be awarded for projects to support both the development of new or emerging disaster preparedness networks that include performing arts and culture organizations, and the expansion of existing networks to increase participation among performing arts organizations. Grant funds may be used for such things as consultant fees, meeting expenses, travel, and training.
    • Application Deadline – Rolling Deadline: submit between June 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
    • Download complete guidelines and the Network Grants application here.

On March 27, 2020, a $2 trillion stimulus package was signed into law in response to COVID-19. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or “CARES” Act includes access to loans, grants and unemployment benefits previously unavailable to many independent artists or arts organizations. This act also provided $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. State arts agencies, including the S.C. Arts Commission, will receive a portion of these funds to distribute.

Our partner the South Carolina Arts Alliance has comprehensive information available about:

  • Small Business Administration loans and grants
  • and unemployment benefits for artists and arts organizations.

To learn more or to become involved in advocacy, visit the South Carolina Arts Alliance website.


In order to best position the arts for a seat at the table, Americans for the Arts is aggregating data on the real loss this will have on arts and culture. Please fill out the appropriate survey linked below to help them acquire that data:


DHEC data shows COVID-19 disproportionately affecting African Americans in South Carolina, and our partners at the S.C. African American Heritage Commission are gathering input to tell that story. All materials collected will be housed in the Commission collection at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Share your story in prose, photography, music, artwork or other forms of expression at


Here are some of the latest numbers on the pandemic’s impact to South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors:

The National  Endowment for the Arts contributed to FEMA’s Recovery Support Function Leadership Group with COVID-19’s Impacts on Arts and Culture that offers resources to arts organizations and artists.


The South Carolina Arts Commission knows that during this international pandemic artists and arts and culture organizations are experiencing an unprecedented financial impact. We are working with state and national partners, including the South Carolina Arts Alliance, to stay up to date on opportunities for emergency relief.

As we receive information we will continue to communicate via the Artists and Arts Organizations tab and Arts Education tab on this page of our website. We will update this in real time so continue to check these tabs.

The CARES Act passed by Congress provided a total of $75 million in funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. The South Carolina Arts Commission’s disbursement came out of the 40 percent allotted to state and regional arts agencies, which the NEA apportioned among the states according to population.

Our team worked quickly to develop and release guidelines for the new South Carolina Arts Emergency Relief grants. Unfortunately, the deadline to apply for those funds passed on May 15.

  • View a table from Americans for the Arts that provides info on accessing CARES Act funds from the perspective of a nonprofit arts org, a governmental arts agency, a commercial arts company, a self-employed individual artist, and as a taxpayer.

We know in these uncertain times many organizations, schools, and artists are concerned about your ability to carry out grant-funded programs and activities. We are working with current grantees to allow maximum flexibility in spending and reporting on current grants. If you need to modify your FY2020 grant or grant-supported activities please contact Cathy Lee via email at to learn about your options.


Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants
The Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected, recent medical, dental, and mental health emergencies experienced by artists in the past six months. This is a national grant open to visual and media artists and choreographers. Artists of color, artists with a disability and those living outside of the East and West coasts are particularly encouraged to apply. These grants are cyclical. To learn more and/or apply for relief, please visit

Information on U.S. Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans (S.C. Arts Alliance)

Information about unemployment for artists and employees of arts organizations (S.C. Arts Alliance)

Arts Administrators of Color Network set up a GoFundMe campaign for BIPOC artists and administrators.

Dramatists Guild Foundation launches relief fund supporting individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters.

CERF+ offers a response page for craft artists.
Note: CERF+ ‘s emergency relief grants related to COVID-19 will focus on those infected with the virus that require intensive medical care.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
The Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund is intended to help those pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color):

Behind the Scenes Grant
Behind the Scenes will accept applications from anyone who has been hospitalized with Covid-19 and is in financial need and who has  earned a living for at least five years in the entertainment technology industry. Performing artists are not eligible.

Recording Academy and MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Recording Academy® and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares® have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help their peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund provides assistance for the performing artists for AGMA members in good standing. Members are entitled and encouraged to apply for financial assistance due to COVID-19  through the AGMA Relief Fund. Grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on need:

Authors League Fund
The Author League Fund helps professional writers in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses.

The Blues Foundation Handy Artists Relief Trust (HART) Fund is available to blues musicians and their families who are in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns:

Jazz Foundation Musicians Emergency Fund
Musicians who have made a living playing blues, jazz, and roots music can apply for emergency funding from the Jazz Foundation.

Carnegie Fund for Authors
The Carnegie Fund for Authors awards grants to published authors who are in need of emergency financial assistance as a result of illness or injury to self, spouse, or dependent child, or who has had some other misfortune that has placed the applicant in pressing and substantial pecuniary need.

American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. WEAF does not award grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects, nor does it fund works-in-progress of any kind.

Artist Fellowship
This grant provides emergency aid to professional fine artists and their families in times of sickness, natural disaster, bereavement or unexpected extreme hardship. Only artists with immediate medical emergencies should apply.

Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program
This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund
This relief fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet because of COVID-19.


The One SC Fund housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation is providing grants to nonprofits responding to the COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in the state of South Carolina.

The COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund at Coastal Community Foundation will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with priority groups, including senior citizens, children, health-compromised, and workers in the hospitality and tourism industry in our nine-county service area of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton and Horry counties.


Preparing Your Organization for Coronavirus Outbreak Webinar
This webinar by the Event Safety Alliance provides some helpful information around planning and crisis management. (Watch Now)

Coronavirus Preparedness for Theatres
This webinar by the Theatre Communications Group provides a holistic take on preparedness for theaters, including, general preparedness strategies, how to forecast budget shifts should productions be cancelled, how to navigate insurance, and more. (Watch Now)


Peace Center

Digital Theatre +

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Museum of Modern Art

Art Institute of Chicago

Museum of Fine Art Boston

Columbia Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Children’s Museum Indianapolis

Nasco Digital Art Lesson Plans

SCETV Learning Why

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

McHarper Manor

Free Online Learning Resources for Teaching Your Students Digitally

The Kennedy Center: Media and Interactives

Dance Spirit: No Class Because of Coronavirus? Here’s Where You Can Train Online

Dance Studies Association: Resources for Moving Dance Based Pedagogy Online

E-Learning Music Lessons With Musicplayonline

Google Arts and Culture

Online Teaching Resources for Theatre Design and Technology

The Ringling Museum Online Collections;jsessionid=DB96F1B1455F0CCFCF091C6D5EEF53E8?fbclid=IwAR38V0tWDS-3h0GiG9Ddz_1hStcQMnND4sFxzWjMGTRpwmYZh5xLpqS7w-A

The Barnum Museum Digital Archive

Cassie Stephens’ Favorite Lessons For Home-Based Education

The Art of Education

Teaching Chorus Digitally, with Zoom

Chrome Music Labs

Education Closet Preparing to Teach Online

Davis (visual art textbook company) Free online textbook access until June 30


International Music Score Library Project

EdVenture Today’s Play:

A How-To Guide for Going Online In the Age of COVID-19

Online Theatre Lesson Plan Resources

Puppetry Arts Video Series
Learn more on The Hub:


New York Times: Coronavirus Resources; Teaching, Learning, and Thinking Critically

People: These Twelve Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take On Your Couch

Distance Learning Alternatives: Questions to Consider in This Bizarre Time

Tate Kids (Tate Museum)

Art for Kids Hub


Online Acting Teaching Group

Theatre Education Distance Learning

Theatre Teacher Lesson Lending


International Schools Theatre Association Lending Network

Teaching Theatre Online: A Shift in Pedagogy Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

Middle Art Lesson Plans

Corona Virus Sub Lessons for Art Teachers

Teach Outside The Box – Maker Stations at Home

TED-Ed Video Playlist

Links to keep your from pulling out your hair in these heady times. Some of our team might or might not be using these too. In between, there’s also this.


The Kennedy Center LUNCH DOODLES
Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.

92nd Street Y 92Y@home series
Every day, we’re challenging ourselves to bring you exceptional content from the 92nd Street Y—highlights from our archives, new livestreams, contributions from our faculty and programming centers, and more.

National Public Radio Live Stream Concerts
NPR has compiled a list of live virtual concerts to watch during the Coronavirus shutdown.

Master Class (paid subscription)
MasterClass offers online classes created for students of all skill levels.

Kadenze (paid subscription)
Kadenze brings together the world’s leading colleges, universities, and industry partners to provide the best online courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Design, Music, and Math.

Arts Integration Specialist Jed Dearybury goes live on Facebook each morning at 9:00 am EST where he reads a story and offers an arts integration idea to do at home:

Trisha Zemp Stop Motion Camp for Kids
Stop motion camp for kids – fee waiver can be found on Instagram.

Roundup of dance classes being offered online in the coming weeks:

CLI Studios will offer free live dance classes in the coming weeks:

These 12 famous museums offer virtual tours you can take on your couch:

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home:

Walt Disney Imagineering Partners With Khan Academy To Bring You Imagineering in a Box:

EdVenture Today’s Play:


Richland Library has a list of readings here (open to all):

Author Oliver Jeffers reads one of his books live each day at 2 p.m. ET on Instagram:

Author Mac Barnett reads one of his books live each day at 3 p.m. ET on Instagram Live:

Author Peter Reynolds hosts a daily read aloud every week day at 12 p.m. ET.

Authors Philip & Erin Ulrich (Fountain Inn) are offering free content through The Growly Reading Adventure:

Follow the hashtag #operationstorytime to see authors read their stories online:

And because you need some good news

The arts can intersect with everything, even public health. South Carolina artist Amiri Geuka Farris created the timely artwork above that perfectly illustrates everyone’s best course of action right now: handwashing.

Download a flier to give people an artful reminder about this critical ounce of prevention.

With a motto that “art is everything,” Amiri Farris uses a wide range of visual design and expressions to examine issues including nature, culture, memory and perception. His work includes painting, drawing, video, performance and installation.

A resident of Bluffton, Farris is a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he teaches foundation studies and fine arts. He is a community-engaged teaching artist especially active in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties as part of the South Carolina Arts Commission program Art of Community: Rural SC, which looks at ways arts and culture can be used strategically to address community challenges. Case in point is a new poster commissioned as part of that initiative to be used as a reminder to help stop the spread of infection related to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. In addition, he has previously supported other public health campaigns that include awareness posters on drunk driving prevention for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Florida; and on the prevention of HIV/Aids for Chatham County, Georgia.

Farris’ artistic work is far-reaching. It has been featured in more than 100 exhibitions in the states, including the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, DC., and internationally. Learn more at

Y porque necesitas buenas noticias

Las artes pueden vincularse con todo, incluso con la salud pública. El artista de Carolina del Sur, Amiri Geuka Farris, creó oportunamente la obra de arte anterior que ilustra perfectamente el mejor curso de acción de todos en este momento: el lavado de manos.

Descargue el volante para darles a las personas un ingenioso recordatorio sobre esta acción mínima y fundamental de prevención.

Acerca del artista multidisciplinario Amiri Geuka Farris

Con el lema de que “el arte lo es todo”, Amiri Farris utiliza una amplia gama de expresiones y diseños visuales para examinar temáticas que incluyen la naturaleza, la cultura, la memoria y la percepción. Su trabajo incluye pintura, dibujo, video, performance e instalación.

Residente de Bluffton, Farris es profesor en el Savannah College of Art and Design, donde enseña el programa de Estudios Básicos  y Bellas Artes. Es un artista-pedagogo comprometido con la comunidad, especialmente activo en los condados de Beaufort, Hampton y Jasper como parte del programa Art of Community: Rural SC de la Comisión de Artes de Carolina del Sur, que analiza las formas en que las Artes y la Cultura pueden usarse estratégicamente para abordar los desafíos de la comunidad. Un ejemplo que ilustra esta iniciativa es un nuevo cartel que se utilizará como recordatorio para ayudar a detener la propagación de la infección relacionada con el reciente brote del coronavirus. Además, anteriormente ya ha apoyado otras campañas de salud pública que incluyen carteles de concientización en la prevención de conducir en estado de ebriedad para el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados en Florida; y sobre la prevención del VIH / SIDA para el condado de Chatham, Georgia.

El trabajo artístico de Farris es de gran alcance. Se ha presentado en más de 100 exposiciones en varios estados, incluido el Museo Nacional de Historia y Cultura Afroamericano en Washington, DC, y también internacionalmente. Obtenga más información en el siguiente enlace:

Traducido por Maribel Acosta / Translation by Maribel Acosta