Arts Education Project (AEP) Grants
To support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings and through other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in children
Most S.C. schools, nonprofit organizations (arts & non-arts), colleges and universities, and units of government
Up to $15,000
About This Grant
Arts Education Project (AEP) Grants fund projects and programs that use the arts to meet the educational, developmental and social needs of K-12 students. AEP grants support quality arts education programs in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that utilize the arts to advance learning in students (social service, health, community, education or other organizations).
- Expand student access to arts education opportunities; and
- Complement, augment, or advance standards-based arts instruction or arts integration activities delivered to students during the course of the school day curriculum; and
- Be focused on or include significant components delivering quality instruction and/or experiences in the visual arts, performing arts, media arts, design arts, folk and traditional arts or creative writing; and
- Address South Carolina’s 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency.
- The applicant must be
- A public, private, charter or parochial school; OR
- A consortia of schools with one primary applicant site; OR
- A school district; OR
- A college or university; OR
- A unit of state or local government; OR
- A nonprofit community-based organization (arts or non-arts)
- currently registered as a charitable organization with the S.C. Secretary of State’s Office; and
- reflecting S.C. as its primary address on all current official organizational documents; and
- with federal tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service
applying through a tax exempt Fiscal Agent/Receiver organization.
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 S.C. Arts Commission grant award.
If a grantee is using a fiscal agent/receiver, separate DUNS numbers must be provided for both the applicant organization and the fiscal agent/receiver.
Individual public schools may use their school district’s DUNS number and do not need to register separately.
- Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Schools are not eligible to apply. However, schools within an ABC District are eligible.
- Individual artists are not eligible.
- Individual schools may not apply if they are in any other application.
- Applicants may submit only one application per deadline.
- College and university departments are eligible, but only one application per department will be accepted.
Examples of eligible in-school and after-school activities include, but are not limited to:
- Artist residencies
- Public art projects
- Acquisition of critical equipment or supplies
- Program planning
- Professional development for instructors, artists and/or administrators
This funding category is highly competitive.
Priority will be given to projects or programs which
- Include partnerships between organizations, schools, and/or other entities to meet K-12 educational goals through the arts; and/or
- Serve specific student populations, including those living in rural or high-poverty areas; and/or
- Serve students in, and/or are located in, Opportunity Initiative counties targeted for special attention by the Arts Commission.
See the Review Process section of these guidelines for details.
Applications may be submitted until 11:59pm (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 the Arts Commission closes at 5:00 p.m. that day.
All projects must be implemented between July 1 and June 1. If your proposed project is scheduled to end after June 1, please contact the Grants Office (firstname.lastname@example.org | 803.734.8695) before applying.
Up to $15,000
At least 50% of the applicant’s match must be cash.
Funds from another S.C. Arts Commission grant may not be used as matching funds.
How to Apply
AEP grants are managed in our online grants management system, from application, to approval and contracts, through payments and final reports.
To apply for this grant, the applicant must have an active account in our online grants management system.
- Click the “Apply Now” link below. The online grants management system will open in a new browser tab or window.
- Log on, then click the “Apply” link at the top of your Applicant Dashboard.
- Find “Arts Education Project” in the list of available grant applications, and click the “Apply” button to the far right.
Not quite ready to apply? You can preview the application before you create an account or start your application.
After You Apply
Grants Office staff will review applications for completeness of submission and compliance with guideline and application requirements.
Applications will then be evaluated by a review panel of arts professionals, based on the published criteria. An applicant’s numerical rating and panel comments are available to them upon request.
Staff will develop funding recommendations based on the panel ratings for the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions.
- Section I: Expanding student access to arts education (45%)
Does the proposal provide access to arts instruction or experiences that complement, augment or advance arts instruction or integration delivered during the school day?
- Demonstrated need for the project or program (10%)
- Educational goals are clearly stated (10%)
- Activities support the educational goals (10%)
- Proposed activities address South Carolina’s 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency in a meaningful and reasonable way (5%)
- Applicant demonstrates an understanding of which and how many students will benefit from the proposed activities, and any special characteristics or needs to be addressed (5%)
- Plan includes appropriate methods of measuring success of activities (5%)
- Section II: Organizational capacity (30%)
Does the organization have the capacity to implement the proposal?
- Proposed budget demonstrates a balanced and realistic estimate of project expenses and sources of income to support the project (10%)
- The organization’s mission makes it an appropriate entity to implement the proposal (5%)
- Project timeline is present and feasible (5%)
- Personnel are qualified to deliver the programs and lead the project, as supported by the narrative and accompanying bios (5%)
- Evidence of the existence of adequate leadership (5%)
- Section III: Priority (25%)
- Partnerships (5%)
- Proposal represents partnerships between community organizations, local schools, or districts to meet K-12 educational goals through the arts
- Partners and their roles are identified and appropriate for the scope of the project
- Letters of support from partners are present in support material
- Distinct group populations (8%)
Proposed activities serve students
- in rural areas or urban clusters (as defined by the US Census Bureau) OR
- in high-poverty areas (20% or more of population served live below the poverty line) OR
- with disabilities OR
- in institutions (including hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters) OR
- living on a military base OR
- with limited English proficiency.
- Opportunity Initiative Counties
The following counties have been targeted for special attention by the Arts Commission:
- Proposed activities serve students in one or more Opportunity Initiative counties. (8%)
- The applicant organization is located in an Opportunity Initiative county. (4%)
- Partnerships (5%)
Grant award recommendations based on evaluation scores and availability of funds are presented to the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors for funding decisions. FY21 tentative award notification is expected in late April/early May 2020 (after the April board meeting), with the FY21 awards finalized 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 SC 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 (including a Final Report, as listed in your online account), by the due date given.
Please note: Any significant revisions to grant-funded activities must be approved in writing, in advance, by the SC Arts Commission.
Additional details about managing an SCAC grant are available on our agency website.
Payment will be on an expense 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.
ALL GRANTEES are required to file a Final Report at the end of the grant period. The Final Report Due Date is printed on your 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. The S.C. Arts Commission will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports.