South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

The application deadline for FY23 funding has passed.

Purpose Icon
To support the passing of traditional artistic and cultural knowledge from Mentor Artists to qualified Apprentices

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Traditional artists who meet the requirements of Mentor Artist or Apprentice Artist

Funding Icon
$2,000 to the Mentor Artist and $500 to the Apprentice

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period
July 1, 2022-May 1, 2023

Matching Requirement Icon
Matching Requirement

FY23 Folklife & Traditional Arts Applicant Coaching Call

UPDATE: Due to internal advisement limitations, the FY23 Folklife & Traditional Arts Applicant Coaching Call originally scheduled for January 20 is unable to occur.

For your reference, the recording of our FY22 Folklife & Traditional Arts Applicant Coaching Call may assist with questions about application content and project types for our Folklife & Traditional Arts grant categories. Please note that the deadlines and other dates stated in this recording reference the previous application cycle. The following deadlines are for our current round of applications for FY23:

About This Grant


Traditional arts are expressions of shared identity that are learned as a part of the cultural life of a particular group. This shared identity may be rooted in family, geographic, tribal, occupational, religious, ethnic or other connections. As expressions of a living culture, traditional arts are generally handed down from one generation to the next and reflect the shared experience, aesthetics and values of a group. Traditional arts are dynamic, reflecting change over time and individual innovation over generations of practitioners.

The purpose of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is twofold:

  1. To support Mentor Artists who seek to pass their artistic and cultural knowledge to qualified Apprentices.
  2. To provide Apprentices with an opportunity to advance their artistic and cultural knowledge to a higher level so that they may continue to pursue the art form beyond the life of the apprenticeship.

  • All applicants must be legal residents of the U.S. and S.C. with a permanent residence in the state for at least one year prior to the application date and throughout the grant period.
  • The Mentor Artist and the Apprentice Artist should belong to the same cultural community or group in which the traditional art form is practiced.
  • A Mentor Artist
    • Should be held in high regard for their skill, knowledge and cultural practice by their community through formal or informal recognition.
    • Should have attained excellence within their artistic tradition as defined by their cultural community.
    • Should be able to express in the application a sincere interest and commitment to teaching the tradition to the proposed apprentice.
    • Must be 18 years of age or older as of July 1, 2022.
    • Must not be a degree-seeking student during the grant period.
  • An Apprentice Artist
    • Should demonstrate interest and basic competency in the art form prior to the apprenticeship (generally at least one year of relevant experience).
    • Should be able to express in the application a sincere interest and commitment to sharing with others the knowledge learned after the completion of the Apprenticeship.
    • Must be 12 years of age or older as of July 1, 2022.
      • If a prospective Apprentice will be under 18 years of age as of July 1, 2022, they must have approval from a parent or legal guardian to apply for this grant; if awarded, the grant contract will be made with the parent or legal guardian, on behalf of the Apprentice.
  • Interpretations of traditional art forms (i.e., artistic expressions other than the art forms themselves) and revivals of traditions that have ceased to exist within the originating culture will not be funded.
  • This program does not support beginning-level students.

The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative assists with the communication and strengthening of cultural skills and knowledge by providing funds for a Mentor Artist’s time and assisting an Apprentice with the cost of travel, necessary materials, or other expenses relating to the apprenticeship.

  • The Mentor Artist and the Apprentice are required to:
    • work with the program director to ensure that deadlines for all paperwork are met;
    • work with the program director to establish and adhere to a lesson schedule;
    • notify the program director of any significant changes to the lesson schedule; and
    • make themselves available to the program director for interviews and documentation of the project.
  • Any activities carried out within this grant must align with state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Priority for funding is given to

  • Projects focusing on traditional arts considered to be endangered.
  • Applicants who have not been previously funded through the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative. (However, previously-funded Mentor Artists and Apprentices are eligible to re-apply.)

Documentation from the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative will be deposited in the Folklife Resource Center at McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina. It will be made available for historical and other academic research and public distribution. Public use of documentation extends only to educational and non-profit uses. The SCAC will seek your permission before using your image for any commercial/for profit purpose.


February 25, 2022 (EXTENDED from February 18, 2022): Intent to Apply Notification deadline, by which potential applicants must contact the program director to discuss their intent to apply for the grant. Notification of intent to apply may be submitted via email or phone.

The application process must be completed by April 15, 2022.

Grant Period

July 1, 2022-May 1, 2023

Apprenticeships may last a maximum of 10 months. All activities must occur between July 1 of the year the application is submitted and May 1 of the following year, leaving time for completion, submission and approval of the final report.

  • $2,000 to the Mentor Artist as compensation for their time
  • $500 to the Apprentice to assist with travel, supplies, or other expenses related to the apprenticeship

80% of the award will be paid at the beginning of the project; the remaining 20% will be paid upon completion of all grant award responsibilities.

SCAC artist grant awards are considered taxable income.
Matching Requirements


How to Apply

  1. Review all of the information in these guidelines.
  2. Contact the program director: Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D. (803.734.8764 |, Folklife and Traditional Arts Director.
    • To be considered for this grant, you must contact the program director by February 25, 2022 (EXTENDED from February 18, 2022).
  3. If your project meets the guideline requirements, the program director will schedule a meeting in which the prospective Mentor Artist and Apprentice will be interviewed (including discussion and/or collection of Work Samples & Support Materials).
    • Applicants are urged to consider the Review Criteria (detailed in the “Review Process” section of these guidelines, under “After You Apply”) as you discuss your work with the program director. These criteria will be used to evaluate the application and determine the appropriateness of your project.
  4. Following the interview, the program director will create a Narrative based on the Application Interview Questions, Work Plan, and Public Component as discussed during your meeting.
  5. With your approval, this Narrative and your Work Samples & Support Materials will be submitted as your application for an Apprenticeship grant.
    • The application process must be completed by April 15, 2022.

The program director will ask the following questions when meeting with the potential Mentor and Apprentice team. It is important that you review these questions in preparation for the interview.

Mentor Artist

  • How, where, when, and from whom did you learn the traditional art form you wish to teach?
  • What role does this art form play in your life?
  • Please describe your relationship to the cultural community or group in which this art form is practiced.
  • What role does this traditional art form play in your cultural community? Please describe any threats to the art form’s continued practice.
  • Since learning the traditional art, have you continually practiced it? Please explain if there have been interruptions in your practice.
  • Have you previously taught the art form? Please describe.
  • What do you hope to achieve by teaching your traditional art?
  • Why do you believe the person whom you plan to teach will make a good Apprentice?


  • Please describe your experience to date with the art form to be taught during this apprenticeship.
  • Please describe your relationship to the cultural community or group in which this art form is practiced.
  • Please describe your relationship between you and the Mentor Artist.
  • What do you hope to achieve through this project?
  • The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative is intended to help the Apprentice build a solid foundation to continue learning and practicing the art form beyond the life of the apprenticeship. How do you plan to pursue the study and practice of the art form once the apprenticeship is completed?
  1. Skills – What skills and techniques will be taught over the course of the apprenticeship (e.g., what styles will the Apprentice learn, what objects will you make)? Please be as specific as possible.
  2. Goals – What goals have the Mentor Artist and Apprentice agreed to achieve?
  3. Schedule – Provide the schedule you intend to follow for the length of the apprenticeship (e.g., how many days a month, length of each lesson).

The Mentor Artist and Apprentice are encouraged, but not required, to participate in or present a public event. The purpose of the public component is to introduce the traditional art form to the larger community. Funds awarded by SCAC may be used to help create the public event. While the public component is not required, inclusion may result in a stronger application.

The public component does not have to be elaborate. For example,

  • A Mentor Artist teaching the Apprentice blues guitar may perform at a local venue or festival.
  • Basket makers may display or demonstrate the work created or learned during the apprenticeship at a local museum or festival.

Applicants should consider what type of public program might be appropriate, and provide a brief description of any potential public component planned.

Work Samples & Support Materials representing both the Mentor and Apprentice reinforce the information you have provided for your Narrative and help the review panel to assess your skills, commitment to the art form, and community involvement. They are a vital part of the application; panelists will not be able to evaluate your application without them.

Your Work Samples & Support Materials will be collected during the first interview by the program director, who can also help create these materials if they are not available.

Be selective when choosing these items, prioritizing quality over quantity – less can be more!

Work Samples


Work samples may include, but are not limited to

  • Recordings (audio and/or video) of the artists at work
  • Photographs of the artists’ work or of the artists performing

Work samples should

  • demonstrate artistic quality, cultural relevance, and/or technical ability as appropriate to your project, and
  • best represent the type of work that will be taught and practiced during your proposed apprenticeship.

For each work sample, you will be asked to provide:

  • Name of artist(s) or key individuals involved
  • Title of work/image/activity
  • Date of work/image/activity (Note: All work samples should be less than five years old.)
  • Location (if known)
  • For audio and video, the length of the sample
  • A sentence describing the work and its relationship to the proposed apprenticeship

Type, Duration, & Quantity

You may upload a maximum of 10 work samples, total, for the Mentor Artist and Apprentice, combined.

Panelists will review no more than 20 minutes, total, of audio and/or video work.

  • Video
    • Maximum length of each sample: 3 minutes
    • Accepted file types: flv, mov, mp4, mpg, wmv, webm
  • Audio
    • Maximum length of each sample: 3 minutes
    • Accepted file types: mp3, wav
  • Images
    • Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, tiff, svg, PDF with images
  • Documents
    • Accepted file types: PDF, Docx, RTF, Doc, Txt
  • Websites
    • Links to websites where work samples can be viewed are also permitted, including social media sites or YouTube videos. Create and upload a PDF file with the URL(s) of your work sample(s).
      • Be sure the work sample(s) can be accessed without login credentials for that platform (e.g., If you link to a Facebook video, make sure it’s a public link, as panelists may not have a Facebook account.)
Support Materials

You may submit up to five items of support material, to assist the panel in understanding

  • the artists’ skill levels,
  • their involvement in the community, and
  • the likelihood that they will be a successful teacher (Mentor Artist) or student (Apprentice).

Support materials may include, but are not limited to

  • Letters of support
  • Samples of media coverage (e.g., newspaper or magazine articles)
  • Brief publications or publication excerpts

Support materials may be uploaded (accepted file types: PDF, Docx, RTF, Doc, Txt, PPT, PPTX) and/or you may provide a link to the support material online.

After You Apply

The Grants Team will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. A review panel of professionals representing the field of folk and traditional arts will evaluate the applications based on the published Review Criteria. An applicant’s numerical rating and panel comments are available to them upon request. Staff will then develop funding recommendations, based on these evaluations and the availability of funds. Recommendations will be presented to the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions. Award notification is expected after the June 2022 board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process.

Review Criteria

Mentor Artist (50%)

Artistry (40%)

  • The artist is truly a master, recognized as highly skilled within the identified community/folk group and among their peers.
  • The artist’s work is of high quality, as demonstrated by work samples and support materials, and as defined by the cultural community.
  • The Mentor Artist has gained their knowledge, skills, and abilities in a traditional manner.
  • The Mentor Artist is appropriately matched with the Apprentice.

Managerial Capacity (10%)

  • There is evidence that the Mentor Artist is capable of effectively teaching their art form.

Apprentice (20%)


  • The Apprentice has the skills that will allow them to benefit from the proposed apprenticeship.
  • The Apprentice has shown that they are interested in and capable of continuing the practice of the traditional art beyond the period of this apprenticeship.

Overall Project (30%)

Managerial Capacity (20%)

  • Both applicants have shown a commitment to working together to successfully complete this project.
  • The work plan is clear and detailed, providing a realistic framework for accomplishing the goals of the apprenticeship.
  • The lesson schedule is feasible and will ensure that the Apprentice will have a significant amount of time with the Mentor Artist.
  • The art form being featured in this application is an acknowledged traditional art form practiced in a particular cultural community/ folk group.

Impact (10%)

  • The project involves and impacts members of the identified community/folk group.
  • There is a demonstrated need for the project; the traditional art may be considered endangered.

Once awarded, Folklife Apprenticeship grant contracts, payments, final reports, and any other requirements will be managed in our online system, using the Foundant platform. Both the Mentor Artist and the Apprentice will need to have active accounts in this system. Our Grants and Folklife program staff will provide assistance with your online grants management as needed, but we also highly recommend visiting the Foundant FAQ on our website for frequently asked questions and other helpful information.

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 of 80% of each grantee’s award will be released upon receipt and approval of their completed Contract Packet. Final grant payments (the remaining 20% of each grantee’s award) will be released upon receipt and approval of their 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.

At the end of the apprenticeship period, the program director will again meet with both the Mentor and the Apprentice to review what has been accomplished. Each grantee’s Final Report will be created based on the discussion and documentation (e.g., photos, audio, and video) of the work completed. The program director will work with grantees to complete the report approximately one month prior to the report due date.

  • If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact Laura Marcus Green, Ph.D. (803.734.8764 |, Folklife and Traditional Arts Director.
  • If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Team (803.734.8695 |
Grants Coaching

We also highly recommend a visit to our Grants Coaching webpage, for

Missed a group call or session? Look for the “Video” link to access a recording of that presentation.