South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Arts Education Project (AEP) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

Purpose Icon
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

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Most S.C. schools, nonprofit organizations (arts & non-arts), colleges and universities, and units of government

Funding Icon
Up to $15,000

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period

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

The following information is for reference only.

The guidelines and application for the next round of funding will be available in early November 2019 for the upcoming January 15 deadline.

After You Apply

The initial staff review of applications focuses on eligibility, conformity to guidelines, accuracy and detail of budget, clarity of narrative, completeness of application, compliance with grant requirements, and confirmation of required support materials.

A panel of arts professionals evaluates the grant applications based on the specific criteria listed in the guidelines.

Review Criteria
  1. 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 children 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%)
  2. 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%)
  3. Section III: Priority (25%)
    • Partnerships (5%)
      • Proposal represents partnerships between community organizations, local schools, 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 Populations
      The following counties have been targeted for special attention by the Arts Commission:

      • Allendale
      • Bamberg
      • Calhoun
      • Clarendon
      • Dillon
      • Edgefield
      • Hampton
      • Jasper
      • Lee
      • Marion
      • McCormick
      • Newberry
      • Saluda
      • Union
      • Proposed activities serve children in one or more Opportunity Initiative counties. (8%)
      • The applicant organization is located in an Opportunity Initiative county. (4%)
Funding Decisions

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.  FY20 tentative award notification is expected in late April/early May 2019 (after the April board meeting), with the FY20 awards finalized in late June/early July 2019 (after the June board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process).

By accepting an Arts Education Project grant, you agree to participate in assessments by third-party evaluators of the S.C. Arts Commission’s choosing.

Grant Payments

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.

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 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.


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