South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

District Arts Support Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

The application deadline for FY22 funding has passed. Information about FY23 funding is scheduled for release in late 2021/early 2022.

Purpose Icon
To support school districts committed to implementing standards-based arts curricula and to making the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Most S.C. school districts with a three-year arts education strategic plan and a part- or full-time arts coordinator

Funding Icon
Up to $25,000 per year

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period
July 2021-June 2022

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

About This Grant


The purpose of this South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) grant is to support school districts committed to implementing standards-based arts curricula and to making the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction.

Note: For this grant program,


This is a time-intensive and competitive grant application process.

If your school district does not have an FY21 District Arts Grant, contact Catherine Ntube (803.734.8694 |, Specialist for Arts Organizations & Education. She advises new applicants as to grant requirements and suitability.

If your school district has an FY21 District Arts Grant, is a former Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) district grantee, and/or has previously been submitting ABC grant applications, the District Arts application is similar, and you are likely prepared for the rigor of this application process. However, you are still welcome to reach out for advisement prior to or while applying for the FY22 District Arts Support Grant.

  1. The applicant must be a school district in South Carolina.
  2. The applicant district must have a school board-approved Three-Year Arts Education Strategic Plan for the inclusion of all five arts disciplines in their school day curriculum. The three-year plan should project through the proposed two-year grant cycle or longer, meaning it must include at least the next two school years, and either the preceding or following school year.
  3. The applicant district must have a designated district arts coordinator with appropriate experience in the five arts disciplines, who has responsibility for arts curricula and professional development of district arts educators. The district arts coordinator must work at least half-time at the district level.
    Please note: A classroom teacher or other school-based employee with the additional title of district arts coordinator would not fulfill the arts coordinator requirement unless they have a reduced classroom-load to work half-time at the district level.
  4. 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 SCAC grant award.
  5. New applicants: If your school district does not have an FY21 District Arts Grant, you are required to contact Catherine Ntube (803.734.8694 |, Specialist for Arts Organizations & Education, before starting an application.

Applicants may submit only one application per deadline.

All grant activities should be rooted in the district’s Arts Education Strategic Plan.

Eligible expense categories for this grant are limited to the following:

  1. Professional development, consultancies, and comprehensive planning related to arts education
  2. Subgranting to arts teachers
  3. Supplies, materials, equipment for arts classrooms
  4. Residencies and teaching artists
  5. Performances and field trips
  6. District-wide arts showcases and competitions
If you are hiring artists

Starting in Fiscal Year 2022 (July 2021), SCAC Arts in Education grant recipients must use members of the S.C. Arts Directory for grant-funded group lectures, demonstrations, performances, classroom residencies, and short-term arts teaching experiences. Artists labeled as Certified Teaching Artists on the Directory have been additionally vetted by SCAC through the submission of sample lesson plans, recorded teaching samples, and letters of recommendation; we encourage but do not require grant-funded teaching artist residencies to employ Certified Teaching Artists. Additionally, Arts Access SC Teaching Artists have trained with Arts Access SC to provide children, youth, and adults with disabilities quality arts experiences. Note: Schools should check with their district office about policies related to hiring artists, arts organizations, and teaching artists.

Any activities carried out within this grant must align with state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Priority will be given to school districts that meet the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 50% of schools comprising the district are FY21 ABC sites eligible for ABC grant funding. Additional priority will be given to school districts that have no FY21 ABC sites within the district.
  • Districts in SCAC Opportunity Initiative Counties:
    • Allendale
    • Calhoun
    • Dillon
    • Edgefield
    • Laurens
    • Lee
    • Marion
    • Marlboro
    • Saluda

March 5, 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 SCAC closes at 5 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022

Grants are awarded on a two-year cycle of approval. Separate contracts will be issued each year.


Up to $25,000 per year

Matching Requirements

2:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Each $1 awarded must be matched with a $2 cash investment by the district towards the district arts budget. No in-kind expenses are allowed as part of the applicant’s match in this category.

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.

Please Note
  • 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.

  • As part of your application, you will upload Lesson Plans and provide links to Lesson Plan Reflection Videos and Professional Development Impact Videos. We strongly encourage you to prepare these materials, following the instructions provided here, before you visit the grants portal to begin your application.

To demonstrate how visual and performing arts standards at the district level inform and permeate classroom instruction, please select three teachers to share a lesson plan and reflection video.

Lesson Plan Requirements
  • Unless the size of your district does not allow it, the teachers should represent three (3) different schools.
  • Lesson plans should draw from at least two (2) different grade bands (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and include at least two (2) different arts disciplines.
  • We do not require a specific lesson plan format; however, lesson plans should indicate the standard(s) being addressed and should be aligned with either your district’s or the state’s scope and sequence for implementing South Carolina’s 2017 College and Career Ready Standards for Visual and Performing Arts Proficiency.
  • Uploaded files may be .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.
Lesson Plan Reflection Video Requirements
  • Each reflection video should respond to the following prompts in roughly 3-5 minutes:
    • Summarize the lesson objective and activities.
    • Explain how the lesson fits into the larger scope and sequence (and/or other district-wide arts education expectations or initiatives, if applicable).
    • Answer the question: What reflections on this lesson would you share with other teachers in your district? For example, did a particular activity work well to drive student engagement or make a complex skill more manageable for students? Is there a realization you had, or a change you would hope to implement the next time you teach the lesson?
  • Reflection videos will never be made public and are not intended to be high-stress or masterfully produced. A cell-phone video in selfie-mode or a Zoom/Google Classroom recording is more than enough.
  • You will be asked to provide a URL/ link to a website where each video can be viewed.
    • Social media sites, YouTube, etc. are acceptable, as long as the video can be accessed without login credentials for that platform. Do not include social media or websites for which a password or other access information is required. For example: If you link to a YouTube video, be sure the privacy setting is “Unlisted” (which just requires the URL) instead of “Private” (which would require a personal invitation for each panelist).

Select two professional development participants to submit brief videos reflecting on arts-based professional development that your district provides.

Video Requirements
  • Each video should answer the following prompt in roughly 3-5 minutes: Please describe a district-provided arts-based professional development opportunity that you participated in. How has this professional development impacted or informed your teaching?
  • One video should come from an elementary school teacher and one from a middle/high school teacher.
  • Unless impossible due to the size of your district, these teachers should not be the same teachers that submitted lesson plans for this application.
  • Videos will never be made public and are not intended to be high-stress or masterfully produced. A cell-phone video in selfie-mode or a Zoom/ Google Classroom recording is more than enough.
  • You will be asked to provide a URL/ link to a website where each video can be viewed.
    • Social media sites, YouTube, etc. are acceptable, as long as the video can be accessed without login credentials for that platform. Do not include social media or websites for which a password or other access information is required. For example: If you link to a YouTube video, be sure the privacy setting is “Unlisted” (which just requires the URL) instead of “Private” (which would require a personal invitation for each panelist).

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.

This grant category is restricted to current grantees and new applicants who have contacted the program director for advisement.

  1. Follow the “Apply” link below. The grants portal 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. In the upper right corner of the “Apply” screen, enter the access code provided by the Arts Commission, and click the “Enter Code” button.
    (Current grantees will automatically receive the access code. New applicants will receive the access code after advisement with the program director.)
  4. Your screen should refresh with “District Arts” as the only available grant application shown.
  5. To begin your application, click the “Apply” button to the far right.

Important Notes:

  • Until you enter your access code, you will not see District Arts in the list of available grant applications. Please do not start a different education application instead! Enter your access code as instructed, and your screen will refresh with the District Arts application shown.
  • If you would like to preview the application before you log in, you may visit the “Apply” page, enter your access code as instructed, then click the “Preview” button when the District Arts application information is shown onscreen.
  • If you have already begun your FY22 District Arts Support application, do not click the “Apply” button again. Follow the instructions on the screen to return to the application you’ve already started.

After You Apply

The Grants Team will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. A review panel of arts professionals 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 2021 board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process.

Review Criteria

Capacity (Arts Budget & Teachers) (20%)

  • The budget is balanced and appropriately designated for arts programming.
    (Note: A “balanced” budget for this grant is a budget with no deficit; a surplus is fine.)
  • Together, the budget and description of in-kind support demonstrate high capacity and commitment to supporting the arts in the district.
  • The teaching staff has appropriate qualifications to teach the arts disciplines to which they are assigned. Based on Teacher Spreadsheet (and District Description, if applicable).

Curriculum (20%)

  • There is a district-level guide for implementing state-approved achievement standards in the visual and performing arts.
  • Lesson plans and lesson plan reflections meet requirements, clearly align with the district-wide implementation guide, and provide evidence that district-level guides are informing thoughtful, quality classroom instruction.
  • A substantial and equitable amount of time is allotted to arts classes in the district. Disparities in the time allotted are minor and the reasons/ challenges behind them clearly reflected upon.
  • Afterschool/ beyond the school day arts offerings are available to students across the district.

Strategic Plan (24%)

  • The plan creation process provided space for input from various stakeholders and has been communicated comprehensively across the district.
  • The arts education plan is board-approved, up-to-date (extends through the entire two-year grant period), and includes objectives, strategies, and parties accountable for the development and implementation of all activities.
  • There is a plan for regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the arts education strategic plan, and there is evidence that lessons learned from the evaluation have informed and/or will inform adjustments to the plan.
  • There is evidence of administrative and community support for the plan (superintendent, principal, and other stakeholders).

District Policies (20%)

  • There are regularly scheduled meetings among arts teachers and between arts and non-arts teachers (for integrated curriculum planning)
  • Professional development includes regular attention to the arts for non-arts teachers, as well as ample professional development for arts teachers.
  • Professional development reflection videos indicate that district-level professional development is positively impacting arts instruction and student experiences.

SCAC Values (8%)

  • The district demonstrates alignment with SCAC values.
  • The district demonstrates consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Priority (8%)

  • District ABC Sites (4%)
    • Less than half of the total schools in the district are FY21 ABC sites eligible for ABC grant funding.
  • Opportunity Initiative Counties (4%)
    • The applicant district is located in an Opportunity Initiative county. 
      • Allendale
      • Calhoun
      • Dillon
      • Edgefield
      • Laurens
      • Lee
      • Marion
      • Marlboro
      • Saluda

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

Payments are reimbursement-based. This means any expenses must be financed up front by the grantee and/or a cooperating entity.

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 in this category may be eligible for interim payments, 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.

  • If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact Catherine Ntube (803.734.8694 |, Specialist for Arts Organizations & Education.
  • 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.