South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Emerging Artist Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

The application deadline for FY22 funding has passed.

Purpose Icon
To support the artistic and career development of emerging S.C. artists.

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Most S.C. artists in the first 1-5 years of their careers

Funding Icon
Up to $1,500

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period
January 1, 2022 - June 30, 2022

Matching Requirement Icon
Matching Requirement

About This Grant


The Emerging Artist Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is designed to assist emerging artists in South Carolina through project grant funding as well as mentorship and professional support during the grant period.

The combination of funding and mentorship is intended to

  • deepen artistic practice and foster artistic excellence;
  • encourage career growth, advancement, and sustainability; and
  • provide professional development and opportunities for collaboration.
  • “Emerging artists” are defined as those who are at an early stage in their career development (specifically, artists who are starting their careers and have been active for one to five years).
    • Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist.
  • An “active” or “practicing” artist is one who is creating work regularly (i.e., more than a few times a year).
  • The term “emerging” refers to professional accomplishments and recognition, not to stylistic evolution.
    • An emerging artist is expected to have a limited performing, publishing, or exhibition record.
    • Emerging artists may demonstrate potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways.

The applicant must meet all of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Be a practicing artist in one of the following disciplines:
    • Dance (choreography or performance)
    • Music (production or performance)
    • Opera/musical theatre 
    • Theatre (acting or playwriting)
    • Visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, or printmaking)
    • Crafts (clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, paper, plastic, wood, or mixed media)
    • Photography
    • Design arts (architecture, fashion, graphic, industrial, or interior)
    • Media arts (production, including animation; or screenwriting)
    • Literature (poetry or prose)
    • Spoken word/slam poetry
    • Time-based arts (installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-based technology, or performance art)
  2. Be an artist starting their career, who has been active for one to five years.
  3. Be 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.
  4. Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  5. Not be a degree-seeking student during the grant period.

The applicant must be an individual, not an ensemble or group.

The Emerging Artist Grant is a project-based grant.

Projects may be multi-disciplinary, but the artist will need to apply based on the project’s primary discipline.

Grant funds must be used for actual project costs, defined as consumable and non-consumable items needed to complete the proposed project (including, but not limited to):

  • Supplies and materials (e.g., sheet music, art supplies, scripts, costumes)
  • Equipment (e.g., kilns, lighting or sound equipment, musical instruments, storage)
  • Furniture (e.g., easels, music stands)
  • Professional Services (e.g., performance space rental, web designer)

Emerging Artist Grant funds must not be used for ordinary living expenses incurred during the project.

If, based on this information, you are uncertain if a purchase meets the qualifications for Emerging Artist Grant funding, please contact Ce Scott-Fitts (803.734.8203 |, Program Director for Artist Services, before applying.

  • Grantees will commit to participation in required monthly meetings during the grant period to build relationships with one another, SCAC program staff, and arts professionals.
  • 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.


October 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 SCAC closes at 5 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022


Up to $1,500

SCAC artist grant awards are considered taxable income.

Matching Requirements


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 application, you will provide samples of your artistic work.

  • The work represented by these samples should be
    • the type(s) of work proposed in your project application;
    • contrasting, to demonstrate the range of your artistic ability; and
    • completed within the last five years.
  • Your proposed grant-supported project may be multi-disciplinary; however, you will need to choose a primary project discipline for which to submit work samples.
  • 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 (Choreography or Performance), Music: Performance, Opera/Musical Theatre, or Theatre: Performance
  • Applicants may submit up to two viewing samples (not to exceed 20 minutes combined), by providing a link to each work.
  • Each work sample must be of only one performed piece. However, the recording or footage of each piece may be edited to include selections that exhibit the artist’s best work.
Media: Production
  • Applicants may submit viewing samples (not to exceed 10 minutes each) from up to two completed works, by providing a link to each work.
  • The first work sample must be a non-collaborative work conceived solely by the applicant. The second sample may be a collaborative piece.
Media: Screenwriting and Theatre: Playwriting
  • Applicants may submit up to two samples of full-length original work.
  • Acceptable file types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf
Music: Composition
  • Applicants may submit up to two original compositions, by providing a link to each work.
  • Each composition should be accompanied by its score or lead sheet. If a score or lead sheet is not available, a brief description of the composition should be submitted.
    • Acceptable file types for score/lead sheet uploads: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf
  • Applicants may submit up to 20 pages of work.
    • Poetry applicants: Each page may contain no more than one poem.
  • Double-spacing is not required. However,
    • Typeface must be legible, no less than 12 point;
    • Margins must be at least one inch; and
    • Pages must be numbered.
  • Acceptable file types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf
  • Do not submit books, chapbooks, magazines, pamphlets, or tear sheets of your work from publications.
Visual Arts, Crafts, Photography, or Design Arts
  • 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
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.
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


  • 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

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

  1. A professional letter of recommendation (from former instructors, professional artists, etc.); and
  2. An artist resume (maximum three pages; additional pages will not be read by the evaluators).

Acceptable file types (for both documents): pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf.

Additional guidance is available on our Support Materials page.

The application period for this grant is September 1, 2021 through October 15, 2021.

  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. Find “Emerging Artist Grants” in the list of available grant applications, and click the “Apply” button to the far right.

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

After You Apply

The Grants Team will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. SCAC program staff and management 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. Final funding decisions are approved by the Deputy Director. Award notification is expected by early December 2021.

Review Criteria
  • Work Samples (40%)
    • The work samples indicate there is potential for deepening the artist’s practice.
  • Narrative (35%)
    • The applicant provided a thorough description of the project and how the funds will be used.
    • The applicant has a good understanding of how the Emerging Artist Grant will benefit them.
  • Project Budget (10%)
    • The budget shows evidence that adequate financial resources are available to complete the project well.
  • Resume (10%)
    • The applicant’s resume shows their professional development in their art form and the sources of their training (e.g., in school, workshops, private lessons, mentoring).
  • Letter of Recommendation (5%)
    • The applicant shows promise as an artist and this is a good next step in their career development.

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 the grant award will be released upon receipt and approval of a completed Contract Packet. The remaining 20% will be paid on an expense reimbursement basis, released upon receipt and approval of a completed 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 Ce Scott-Fitts (803.734.8203 |, 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 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.