Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) Grants
To encourage and enable the creation, expansion, or modification of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for South Carolina artists.
Professional-caliber South Carolina working artists (individuals and collaboratives)
Up to $3,500 for a one-time project/single purchase; up to $5,000 for an ongoing business venture
July 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022
About This Grant
To encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for South Carolina artists.
South Carolina artists (individuals and collaboratives) may use AVI funding to help launch a new arts-based business venture (or significantly alter an existing venture) that will operate in an ongoing manner or to help execute a temporary venture (a one-time project or single purchase), that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5000.
- The applicant must be:
- a professional-caliber working artist or group of artists working in collaboration;
- a legal resident of the US and SC with a permanent residence in the state for at least one year prior to the application and throughout the grant period; and
- 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
- The applicant must not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the grant period.
- If the applicant is a group of artists working in collaboration, one individual artist must serve as the primary applicant and recipient of funds. SCAC artist grant awards are considered taxable income.
- Funding will be awarded to the individual artist identified as the primary applicant, not to a business entity.
Applicants whose proposals are funded in this initiative will commit to:
- Mandatory attendance at AVI Full Application Workshop on January 29, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
- Full-grant recipients are required to attend professional development sessions designed to further the professional development of participating artist entrepreneurs during the grant period.
- Submission of interim progress reports (narrative and financial statements) over the course of the grant period.
Part One: Intent to Apply Application (Open to All) – December 1, 2020
Part Two: Full Grant Application (By Invitation Only) – March 15, 2021
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 the Arts Commission closes at 5:00 p.m. that day.
July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022
- Up to $3,500 for a one-time project/single purchase
- Up to $5,000 for an ongoing business venture
SCAC artist grant awards are considered taxable income.
100% of the grantee’s match must be cash. No in-kind or creative time is allowed as part of the grantee’s match.
How to Apply
Applications are accepted through our online grants management system, which uses the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Foundant FAQ, before you begin working in the system.
The applicant must have an active account in the Foundant system.
If you have previously used Submittable to apply for other SCAC grants or programs, please note that Foundant is a different system. Your Submittable credentials will not work; you will need a Foundant account to apply for this grant.
If you have used the Foundant system as both an artist and as a contact for an organization, be sure you log on with the correct account to apply for this grant.
Applying for an AVI grant is a two-part process.
Part One: Intent to Apply Application
To submit an Intent to Apply Application,
- Follow the “Apply” 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 “FY22 Artists’ Ventures Initiative” in the list of available grant applications, and click the “Apply” button to the far right.
Part Two: Full Grant Application
Based on review of the submitted Intent to Apply Applications, selected applicants will be invited to develop their proposal into a full grant application. Only those invited to proceed to Part Two will be eligible for AVI funding.
After You Apply
Part One: Intent to Apply Application
Grants Office staff will review submitted Intent to Apply applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements.
Intent to Apply Applications will then be evaluated, based on the published criteria, by SCAC program staff and management, who will recommend whether an applicant should be invited to develop their proposed venture into a full grant application.
Intent to Apply Application Review Criteria
- The Application addresses the following
- The business’s mission statement
- A description of the business’s operations (its work and the processes that accomplish that work)
- The business’s marketing strategy (where and how the product or service is sold, as well as a description of the market research that has led to these choices)
- A clear explanation of how requested funding will be utilized (Financial statements are not necessary at this point.)
- Whether this AVI proposal supports a one-time project/single purchase or an ongoing business venture
- Resume(s) showing the professional caliber of the working artist or group of artists working in collaboration
- The submitted Work Samples
- Show evidence of a professional-caliber working artist or group of artists
- Are representative of the type(s) of work proposed in the artist venture
- Are less than five years old
Part Two: Full Grant Application
Grants Office staff will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements.
Applications will then be evaluated, based on the published criteria, by business professionals. Applicants will then present their venture to the review panel; details will be provided prior to the panel meeting, scheduled for May 11, 2021. An applicant’s panel feedback is available to them upon request.
SCAC program staff and management will develop funding recommendations based on evaluation scores and availability of funds. Recommendations will be presented to the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions.
Full Application Review Criteria
Artistic Business Venture – 40%
- The proposed venture’s mission statement aligns with the planned activities, products, goals, and objectives.
- The proposed venture is clearly explained.
- The locations and timeline are appropriate for the project, product, or service.
- The proposed venture will help build a satisfying and sustainable career for the artist(s).
- The applicant demonstrates business savvy, acumen, and commitment to the venture.
- The applicant has a plan for
- Liability concerns (environmental, health, safety, and security)
- Necessary permits and insurance coverage
- Trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc.
Business Plan – 30%
- Marketing Strategy
- The project, product, or service provides a feasible creative or artistic value to the marketplace.
- The target market is clearly understood, and there is a sound strategy for reaching this market and getting them to buy/utilize the product/service.
- Current and potential competitors are identified and there is a distinct plan for differentiating the product or service.
- Price and distribution channels are identified and feasible.
- There is a strong team in place that has the capacity to bring the product or service to the market.
- The staffing composition, selection, and compensation are appropriate for the artistic product and operational processes required by this venture.
- Financial Support
- There is evidence of financial health and capacity to responsibly carry out the work.
- The application shows reasonable financial projections for this venture.
Panel Presentation – 30%
- Questions, suggestions, or panel concerns are addressed.
- Sample materials are professionally displayed/shown.
- Verbal presentation is concise.
- Goals of proposed venture are clarified.
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 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.
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 SC Arts Commission will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports.