South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline
03/15/2022

Full application is by invitation only, based on Intent to Apply (due Dec. 1, 2021).

Purpose Icon
Purpose
To support artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that provide career satisfaction & sustainability for S.C. artists

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Professional-caliber South Carolina working artists (individuals and collaboratives)

Funding Icon
Funding
Up to $3,500 for a one-time project/single purchase; up to $5,000 for an ongoing business venture

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period
July 1, 2022 - December 31, 2023

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

About This Grant

Purpose

The purpose of the Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is 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.

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. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5,000. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3,500.

What is the Artists’ Ventures Initiative?

  1. The applicant must be:
    • a professional-caliber working artist or group of artists working in collaboration, in one or more of the following artistic disciplines: dance, music, opera, musical theatre, theatre, visual arts, design arts, crafts, photography, media arts, literature, and/or folklife/ traditional arts; and/or spoken word/slam poetry, and/or time-based arts;
    • a legal resident of the U.S. and S.C. 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.
  2. The applicant must not be a degree-seeking student during the grant period.

Please note:

  • 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.

Past recipients of the AVI grant may not reapply. Additional funds may be available through Arts Project Support (APS) Grants.

AVI funding may be used

  • 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
  • Applicants whose proposals are funded in this initiative will commit to:
    1. Mandatory attendance at AVI Full Application Workshop on January 13, 2022 at 3 p.m.
    2. Full-grant recipients are required to attend professional development sessions designed to further the professional development of participating artist entrepreneurs during the grant period.
    3. Submission of interim progress reports (narrative and financial statements) over the course of the grant period.
  • Any activities carried out within this grant must align with state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

There are no specified priority areas for this grant category.

Deadlines

Part One: Intent to Apply Application (Open to All) – December 1, 2021

Part Two: Full Grant Application (By Invitation Only) – March 15, 2022

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 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023

Funding
  • 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.

Matching Requirements

1:2 (grantee:SCAC)

100% of the grantee’s match must be cash. No in-kind or creative time is allowed as part of the grantee’s match.

Funds from another SCAC grant may not be used as matching funds.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted through our grants portal, which uses the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Grants Portal FAQbefore you begin working in the system.


You are urged to consider the Review Criteria (detailed in the “Review Process” section of these guidelines, under “After You Apply”) as you prepare your application materials. These criteria will be used to evaluate your application and determine the funding of your proposal.

The applicant must have an active account in our grants portal.

  • If you have previously used Submittable to apply for other SCAC grants or programs, please note that the grants portal is a different system. Your Submittable credentials will not work; you will need a grants portal account to apply for this grant.
  • If you have used the grants portal as both an artist and as a contact for a school or organization, be sure you log on with the correct account to apply for this grant.

As part of your Intent to Apply application, you will provide samples of your artistic work (maximum of 10 items).

  • The work represented by these samples should be
    1. the type(s) of work proposed in your artist venture; and
    2. completed within the last five years.
  • For each work sample, you will be asked to submit a brief statement describing the work and its relationship to the project for which you are requesting support.
  • If necessary, please feel free to combine artistic disciplines. For example: if you are a performing arts cooperative, you might submit a video of a combined performance of dancers, singers, and musicians.
  • The samples themselves should be of the highest possible quality.
  • You may need to create new electronic files (documents, video files, etc.) to submit materials that meet the length, content, formatting, and other specifications.
    • Evaluators will not review additional material beyond the stated maximum amount.

Additional guidance is available on our Support Materials page.

dance, music, opera, musical theatre, theatre, media arts*
  • Applicants may submit one listening/ viewing sample, not to exceed five minutes in length, by providing a link to each work.
    • If the work is not available on the web, contact our Grants Team at grants@arts.sc.gov.
visual arts, design arts, crafts, photography*
  • Applicants may submit up to ten high-res images.
  • For each work sample, applicants may provide a link to the image online or upload a high-res image file.
    • For uploads – Acceptable file types: jpg, gif, tiff, png, svg
literature*
  • Applicants may submit up to two sets of writing samples, totaling 10 pages per set.
  • Double-spacing is required.
  • Typeface must be legible, no less than 12 point.
  • Acceptable file types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf

*including folklife/ traditional art forms in these disciplines

SPOKEN WORD/SLAM POETRY
  • Applicants may submit up to six three-minute samples (not to exceed 18 minutes combined) of original spoken word/slam poetry, by providing a link to each work.
    • If the work is not available on the web, contact our Grants Team at grants@arts.sc.gov.
TIME-BASED ARTS (INSTALLATION, SOUND, EXPERIMENTAL FILM, VIDEO ART, COMPUTER-BASED TECHNOLOGY, PERFORMANCE ART)

Applicants may submit

  • up to three images
    • Acceptable file types: jpg, gif, tiff, png, svg

    and

  • up to seven listening/viewing samples (not to exceed 20 minutes combined) from up to seven completed works, by providing a link to each sample.
    • If the sample is not available on the web, contact our Grants Team at grants@arts.sc.gov.

Note: Applicants must submit at least one image and at least one listening/viewing sample.

In addition to samples of your artistic work, you will upload up to five resumes for artistic and management personnel responsible for managing the artistic product and/or supporting processes central to the venture.

  • Each resume may be a maximum of three pages; additional pages will not be read by the evaluators.
  • Acceptable file types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf.

Additional guidance is available on our Support Materials page.

Applying for an AVI grant is a two-part process.

Part One: Intent to Apply Application

To submit an Intent to Apply Application,

  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. Find “FY23 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.

Not quite ready to apply? You can preview the application before you create an account or start an application.

After You Apply

Part One: Intent to Apply Application

The Grants Team will review submitted Intent to Apply applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. SCAC program staff and management will evaluate the Intent to Apply applications based on the published Review Criteria, and recommend whether an applicant should be invited to develop their proposed venture into a full grant application. An applicant’s panel comments are available to them upon request.

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
  • The submitted Work Samples and Resume
    • Show evidence of the professional caliber of the working artist or group of artists working in collaboration
    • Are representative of the type(s) of work proposed in the artist venture
    • Are less than five years old
Part Two: Full Grant Application

The Grants Team will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. A review panel of business professionals will evaluate the applications based on the published Review Criteria.

Applicants will then present their venture to the review panel; details will be provided prior to the panel meeting, scheduled for May 11, 2022. An applicant’s panel feedback is available to them upon request.

SCAC program staff and management 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.

Full Application Review Criteria

Artistic Business Venture – 40%

  1. The proposed venture’s mission statement aligns with the planned activities, products, goals, and objectives.
  2. The proposed venture is clearly explained.
  3. The locations and timeline are appropriate for the project, product, or service.
  4. The proposed venture will help build a satisfying and sustainable career for the artist(s).
  5. The applicant demonstrates business savvy, acumen, and commitment to the venture.
  6. 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%

  1. 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.
  2. Personnel
    • 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.
  3. 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%

  1. Questions, suggestions, or panel concerns are addressed.
  2. Sample materials are professionally displayed/shown.
  3. Verbal presentation is concise.
  4. 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 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 an expense reimbursement basis only.  Accurate Financial Quarterly Reports fulfilling the grant program requirements must be submitted in order to receive payment for the grant award. Payments will be released upon receipt and approval of the First and Third Quarterly Reports, with the final grant payment 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.

Questions?
  • If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact Ce Scott-Fitts (803.734.8203 | cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov), Artist Development Director.
  • If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Team (803.734.8695 | grants@arts.sc.gov).
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.