South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 and the arts in South Carolina

Updated April 1 | 3:15 p.m. 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. We will resume in-person business as soon as state/local authorities and public health experts deem it safe to do so.

We announced March 10 that we’re taking the step of canceling non-essential events into early May, including the May 6 South Carolina Arts Awards. Scheduled meetings and events deemed essential to our programs and operations are being altered to help stem potential transmission of COVID-19.

This began as a precautionary measure but is now 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.

Curated Resources for Creative Communities

On March 27, 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 provides $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 five-minute survey linked below to help them acquire that data:


NEW: National Endowment for the Arts to distribute $75 million in relief aid to arts organizations in need

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.

At this time we do not have emergency assistance funds, but are in the process of developing emergency grants for disbursement in the new fiscal year.


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.


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.

The Creator Fund
Providing financial assistance to active creators who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you have medical, childcare, housing, or grocery needs, please apply for assistance:

Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund
The Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund was set up on short notice to provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of Corona-related event cancellations:

Kincade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Curators
The program will provide one (1) one-time grant of up to $5,000 for unexpected emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

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:

Foundation for Contemporary Arts  COVID-19 Relief Fund is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions:

The Photographer Fund
Format has put together a $25,000 relief fund designed to help photographers facing financial difficulties during the outbreak. The fund offers $500 per person.

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.

Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund
This fund is for queer writers of color who are in need of financial assistance. The fund will make disbursements once per day.

Twenty Summers Emergency Arts Fund
Twenty Summer has launched an emergency fund for artists and arts organizations suffering from unexpected and unmanageable financial loss as a result of the COVID-19.

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.

The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.

PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 to writers based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kincade Family Foundation Emergency Grant for Humanitarian Non-profit Organizations
Two (2) new Emergency Grants for humanitarian non-profits that are supporting women, children, families, or art initiatives. The Emergency Grants provide funding to support organizations that are greatly impacted by the challenges we are facing due to 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


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