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SC Arts Commission Grants Programs
The next Artists' Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant application cycle will begin November 1, 2018, with the posting of new guidelines, and a new application process in our online grants management system.
- Letter of Intent (LOI) materials will be available November 1, 2018. The LOI submission deadline is January 15, 2019.
- The full grant application (for those invited to submit) will be due March 26, 2019.
The information below is for reference only.
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 venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5000.
Open to artists (individuals and collaboratives) with a strong plan to launch a new arts-based business venture that will operate in an ongoing manner, to execute a temporary venture that will lead to increased audience and income, or significantly alter an existing venture.
- Be a professional-caliber working artist or group of artists working in collaboration;
- 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; and
- Not be a degree-seeking, full-time student during the grant period.
Note: Funding will be awarded to the individual artist identified as the primary applicant, not to the business entity. This grant award will constitute taxable income for the artist and should be reported to the federal and state governments.
Additional Requirements of this Grant
Applicants whose proposals are funded in this initiative will commit to:
- Attendance at no fewer than two convenings designed to further the professional development of participating artist entrepreneurs. These meetings will take place during 2017 and 2018.
- Submission of quarterly progress reports (narrative and financial statements) over the course of the first 18 months of the grant.
Online Application Deadlines
Part One: Letter of Intent to Apply (Open to All) - January 18, 2018
Part Two: Full Grant Application (By Invitation Only) - March 23, 2018
Application materials must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST).
July 1, 2018 - December 31, 2019
Up to $3,500 for a one-time project/single purchase
Up to $5,000 for an ongoing business venture
This grant award will constitute taxable income for the artist and should be reported to the federal and state governments.
1:2 (applicant:S.C. Arts Commission)
100% of the applicant's match must be cash. No in-kind or creative time is allowed as part of applicant's match.
How to Apply
In order to be considered as an applicant for the Artists’ Ventures Initiative grant, you must first submit a Letter of Intent online along with samples of your work. If you are approved to move forward, you will then be invited to submit a full application online.
Two-Part Grant Process
I. Part One: Letter of Intent to Apply - Deadline: January 18, 2018
The South Carolina Arts Commission will review letters of intent and related materials and extend an invitation to selected applicants to develop the proposed venture into a full grant proposal. Letters and support materials must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on the deadline date. Letter of Intent Guidelines >>
II. Part Two: Full Grant Application - Deadline: March 23, 2018
After the review of the letters of intent and support materials has been completed, selected applicants will be invited to proceed to Part Two with a full grant application. Only those applicants who have been invited will be considered. Applications must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on the deadline date. Guidelines for the Full Grant Application >>
(Note: the PowerPoint includes the original January 11 deadline; the deadline has been extended to January 18.)
Your letter of intent contains four sections:
- Applicant information
- Business plan summary
- Work samples
- Professional resumes for all primary artists involved in the venture
Section One: Applicant Information
Please provide the following:
- Artistic discipline (e.g. visual, literary, film, media, theatre, music, dance, etc.)
- Mailing address
- Primary phone number
- Email address
- Doing business as (if applicable)
- Business street address
- Business phone number
- Business email
- Business website
- Organizational structure
- Legal status of the venture (e.g. Sole Proprietorship, LLC, etc.)
- Permanent operation or one-time event
- Are you registered with the S.C. Secretary of State?
- List other primary contributors, partners, or employees involved in this venture
Section Two: A Summary of your Business Plan
In one to two pages, the summary must address 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 you sell your product or services, 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.
Section Three: Work Samples
Please submit work samples that best represent the type of work you will be doing in relation to this grant submission. 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.
All work samples should be current (less than five years old).
- For visual arts – 10 high-resolution images
- For literary arts – two sets of writing samples, totaling 10 pages per set (double spaced, 12 point type).
- For music, theatre, dance, film, and media arts – a 5-minute, high quality recording of principal performers. Your recording may be submitted one of two ways: 1) Upload a file OR 2) Upload a PDF or Word doc that lists the Internet link for your recording.
If you have questions about work samples, please contact Joy Young at 803-734-8203.
Section Four: Professional resumes for all primary artists involved in the venture.
Please include both artistic and entrepreneurial experience.
Letter of Intent must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) January 18, 2018.
After the review of the letters of intent and support materials has been completed, selected applicants will be invited to proceed to Part Two with a full grant application. Only those applicants who have been invited will be considered. Applications must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) on the deadline date.
- There is a strong team in place that has the capacity to bring the product or service to market.
- The product or service provides a feasible creative or artistic value to the marketplace.
- The target market is clearly understood and there is a clear and well-defined strategy to achieve objectives and goals.
- Current and potential competitors are identified and there is a distinct plan for differentiating your product or service.
- There are reasonable financial projections and a demonstrated method for creating new revenue streams to sustain profitability.
- Grant Application for Individuals form (online)
- Venture Plan
In no more than 3,000 words, provide a plan for the venture that includes a venture summary, the venture's mission, operational strategy, product information, marketing plan, and budget narrative describing anticipated income.
Use this structure:
- Mission Statement
What are you doing and why are you doing it? How will this venture help you build a satisfying and sustainable artistic career? What is your financial goal for this venture?
- Organizational Strategy
- Legal status of the venture
Is this venture a permanent operation or a one-time event? Have you registered with the S.C. Secretary of State? Is this venture a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), a partnership, a non-profit corporation?
- Management Team
Who is managing the artistic product and operational processes required by this venture? As an attachment, please provide resumes for each. Does your venture have a board of directors or advisors? Please provide a brief biographical sketch of each in this space.
How were participating artists and support personnel selected? How will participating artists and support personnel be compensated?
- Legal status of the venture
- Product or Performance
- Description of Artistic Product or Performance
Please provide a one-paragraph description of the venture’s primary artistic work. What stage of development is the venture currently in? What is the timetable for the venture during the grant period (July 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019)? Are there liability concerns to address? Have necessary permits and insurance coverage been obtained? Are trademarks, copyrights, or patents required?
- Facility needs
Please describe the location(s) for your venture and explain the appropriateness of the space and location.
- Description of Artistic Product or Performance
- Marketing Plan
- Market Research
Describe your target market and outline the research you have done to determine this market. How large is this market?
- What is the competition for this market?
- What is your strategy for reaching this market and getting them to buy your product? How will you differentiate yourself from your competition? What distribution channels will you use? How will you price your product?
- Market Research
- Financial information
- If you are proposing a project, you must submit a Grant Budget for Individual Artist Projects form (PDF) (How To Use PDFs). Enter the applicant's name in the "Grantee Name" field. Leave the "Grant #" field blank. (Required)
- Follow the link to open the PDF document.
- Save the file to a convenient location on your computer or network.
- Enter your data on the budget form.
- Save your completed document.
- Upload your completed budget form and submit as part of your online application packet.
- For your ongoing project budget, you must complete the financial template that is used by SCORE/SBA. The template along with directions are at this link: https://www.score.org/resources/financial-projections-template.
To use this template:
- Professional resumes for those managing the artistic product and support processes central to the venture
The Full Application must be submitted online via Submittable by midnight (EST) by March 23, 2018.
Helpful Hint: The Submittable system works best with the Chrome and Firefox browsers. The Microsoft Edge browser is not recommended; it will not autosave and will not save data that is copied-and-pasted into fields.
I. Part One: Letter of Intent to Apply
Letters of Intent and related materials will be reviewed by S.C. Arts Commission program staff and management. Selected applicants will be invited to develop the proposed venture into a full grant proposal.
II. Part Two: Full Grant Application
After the review of the letters of intent and support materials has been completed, selected applicants will be invited to proceed to Part Two with a full grant application. Only those applicants who have been invited will be considered. Applications will be reviewed by business professionals based on the criteria in the published guidelines.
Funding recommendations are presented to our Board of Commissioners. Approved awards are posted on our website.
If you receive a grant award
If your application is approved, you will receive notification and grant management information, either by email or postal mail. You must follow the instructions for all required contracts to the S.C. Arts Commission by the date listed on your contract. You must also complete a Final Report, by the date stated in your contract. You will be expected to contact your S.C. Arts Commission coordinator if for any reason your project will undergo significant revisions.
Payment will be on a reimbursement basis only. Grantee may receive up to 80% of the grant award during the grant period, with the final 20% released upon receipt and approval of 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 funds received. The S.C. Arts Commission will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports. Go to the Final Report requirements >>
Please contact Joy Young (803-734-8203).
In addition to this page, you must read the following for complete guideline information:
- Before You Apply
- Completing the Application
- Terms & Definitions
- Support Materials
- After the Grant Award
- General Information
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