South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

ABC Advancement (ABC) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

(For FY20 ABC Group C grantees only.)

The application deadline for FY21 funding has passed. Application materials for FY22 are scheduled for release in Fall 2020.

Purpose Icon
To support schools and school districts committed to implementing standards-based arts curricula and to making the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
S.C. schools and school districts with a 5-year strategic arts plan and an arts steering committee

Funding Icon
Up to $15,000 per year per single school; up to $25,000 per year for a school district

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period

Matching Requirement Icon
Matching Requirement
2:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Important Note

The ABC Project is currently undergoing an internal review that will result in modifications to future grant guidelines. Therefore, the S.C. Arts Commission is not accepting new ABC Advancement applications for FY21. Only Group C returning ABC sites may apply in January of 2020 for FY21 funding. Applications for new ABC Advancement grants will resume for the January 2021 deadline.

About The ABC Project

ABC Advancement grantees, known as ABC sites, are part of the larger ABC Project, which is overseen by a steering committee of approximately 50 members including artists, educators, school administrators, representatives of higher education, business leaders and governmental representatives.

Among ABC Project programs and activities that support the efforts of ABC sites are 14 summer institutes for educators, including the Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts (CLIA), a summer arts leadership program for arts educators; the Arts Education Leadership Institute (AELI), an intensive summer planning program for school and school district teams; the SC Center for Dance Education at Columbia College; and an expanding statewide outreach program.

To learn about the steps for becoming an ABC site, visit The ABC Project’s website.

About This Grant

Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Advancement grants support schools and school districts committed to implementing standards-based arts curricula and to making the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction. Eligible applicants will have a school board-approved 5-Year Strategic Plan for including all five art forms in their school day curriculum. ABC grants provide three years of support for ongoing comprehensive planning, strategic projects and implementation of standards-based arts education initiatives, including but not limited to artist residencies. As of Fall 2019, there are 83 ABC sites in South Carolina, some of which have been sites since the project’s inception.

Applicants for FY21 ABC funding must meet all these requirements:

  • Be either
    • a S.C. public or private school (preK-12), or
    • a S.C. school district.
  • Have successfully established a Strategic Arts Plan developed using ABC Strategic Planning Guidelines as part of an Act 135 Education Improvement Act Plan.
  • Have a functioning arts steering committee – a broadly based planning and program advisory committee that includes both school and community leaders.
  • Be an FY20 Group C ABC grantee.
  • In accordance with federal government policy, all organizations – including (but not limited to) private schools, government entities, public school districts, and nonprofit organizations – must provide a valid DUNS number to receive an SCAC grant award.

    • Individual public schools may use their school district's DUNS number and do not need to register separately.
  • School district applicants (only) must have designated district arts coordinators with appropriate experience and certification in dance, drama, music or visual arts who have responsibility for arts curricula and professional development of district arts educators.
  • FY20 ABC Group C grantees must submit an application by the January 15, 2020 deadline for FY21 funding.
  • FY20 ABC grantees in Groups A or B may not submit a new ABC application for FY21.
  • Applications from new potential ABC sites will be accepted starting with the January 2021 deadline.

ABC Advancement grantees are expected to send representatives to meet with colleagues from other current and former sites for professional development days during the school year.

January 15

Applications may be submitted until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date. However, please be aware that staff members will not be available to assist you with questions or technical difficulties after SCAC closes at 5:00 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021

Grants are awarded on 3-year cycle of approval. Separate contracts will be issued each year.

Funding Ranges
  • Up to $15,000 per year per single school
  • Up to $25,000 per year for a school district

Awards may vary from year to year and are contingent on availability of funds.

Matching Requirements

2:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Each dollar awarded must be matched with $2 cash. No in-kind expenses are allowed as part of the applicant’s match in this category.

Please note that funds from another S.C. Arts Commission grant may not be used as matching funds.

How to Apply

ABC grants are managed in our online grants management system, from application, to approval and contracts, through payments and final reports.

Our online grants are managed using the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Foundant FAQbefore you begin working in the system.

The applicant must have an active account in our online grants management system.

  1. Follow the “Apply” link below. The online grants management system will open in a new browser tab or window.
  2. Log on, then click the “Apply” link at the top of your Applicant Dashboard.
  3. In the upper right corner of the “Apply” screen, enter the access code provided by the Arts Commission, and click the “Enter Code” button.
  4. Your screen should refresh with “ABC Advancement” as the only available grant application shown.
  5. To begin your application, click the “Apply” button to the far right.

Important Notes:

  • Until you enter your access code, you will not see ABC Advancement in the list of available grant applications. Please do not start an Arts Education Project (AEP) grant application instead! Enter your access code as instructed, and your screen will refresh with the ABC Advancement application shown.
  • If you would like to preview the application before you log in, you may visit the “Apply” page, enter your access code as instructed, then click the “Preview” button when the ABC Advancement application information is shown onscreen.
  • If you have already begun your FY21 ABC Group C application, do not click the “Apply” button again. Follow the instructions on the screen to return to the application you’ve already started.

After You Apply

Grants Office staff will review applications for completeness of submission and compliance with guideline and application requirements.

Since the ABC Project is currently undergoing an internal assessment that is expected to result in modifications to the program starting with FY22 ABC Advancement grants, the FY21 ABC application consists of updates to FY20 ABC Group C grantees’ activities and will not undergo a full review process. The eligible applicants’ typical three-year cycle will be extended to a fourth year for FY21 funding.

Based on the completed applications and current award amounts, staff will develop funding recommendations for the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions.

FY21 award notification is expected in late June/early July 2020 (after the June board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process).

If your application is funded, you (and your fiscal agent/receiver, if applicable) will enter into a contractual agreement with the South Carolina Arts Commission, and you must comply with all requirements stated in that contract. You will receive notification and instructions when your contract is available in our online grants management system. You must submit your completed Contract Packet, including signatures and other documentation as instructed, by the date indicated in the system. You must also complete all other assigned Follow Ups by the due date given.

Please note: Any significant revisions to grant-funded activities must be approved in writing, in advance, by SCAC.

Additional details about managing an SCAC grant are available on our agency website.

Grant Payments

Payment will be on a reimbursement basis only. If the applicant is part of a school district or is using a fiscal agent/receiver, payment will be made to the school district or fiscal agent/receiver, with the school or applicant listed on the check as the benefiting organization.

An accurate Pay Request, listing only expenses allowable under the program guidelines for the certified time period, must be submitted in order to receive payment for the grant award.

Grantees may request a maximum of two interim payments, totaling no more than 80% of the grant award. Final grant payment will be released upon receipt and approval of the grantee’s Final Report.

Final Report

ALL GRANTEES are required to file a Final Report at the end of the grant period. The Final Report Due Date is stated in the grant contract. Failure to submit an accurate and complete Final Report by the due date will result in cancellation of the award and repayment of any funds received. SCAC will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports.

ABC grants are awarded on a three-year cycle, but grantees are required to file a final report at the end of each annual grant period. Submission of your annual final reports for years one and two of the three-year cycle will allow us to assess long-term progress and generate the next year’s contract.


If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please visit our Staff page for Arts Education contact information. If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Office ( | 803.734.8695).