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Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) Grant

Grants to South Carolina Artists and Artist Collaboratives
to Create and Expand Arts-Related Business Ventures

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/16/20 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants of up to $3,500 and grants of up to $5,000 to South Carolina professional artists and artist collaboratives to create, expand, or modify business ventures that are arts-based and artist-driven. Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent before applying. Funding is intended to support business training, start-up costs, single purchases, one-time projects, and ongoing ventures.

The purpose of the Artists' Ventures Initiative (AVI) Grant is to encourage and enable business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for South Carolina artists. 

South Carolina artists 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.

The AVI. a broad-reaching project at the Arts Commission, is dedicated to improving conditions for S.C. artists by helping them develop the knowledge and skills to build satisfying, sustainable careers. Responding to input from artists across the state about their key concerns, the Arts Commission offers the following activities:

  • Business training: The Artists’ Ventures Initiative connects artists to affordable training from Artists U that supports their development as entrepreneurs and profitable business people.
  • Start-up support for new arts-based businesses: Through a competitive grant program and virtual business incubator, the Artists’ Ventures Initiative supports artists with sound plans for starting new arts-based businesses.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149557

Estimated Size of Grant:

One-Time Project/Single Purchase: Up to $3,500
Ongoing Business Venture: Up to $5,000

Term of Contract:

Grant Period: July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant must:

- 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 a business entity. This grant award will constitute taxable income for the artist and should be reported to the federal and state governments.

Pre-Application Information:

Two-part application process:

1. Letter of Intent to Apply (open to all eligible artists) due 1/15/2020
2. Full Application (by invitation only) due 3/16/2020

Based on review of the submitted LOIs, 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.

Applications may be submitted until 11:59pm (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.

Applications must provide a 1:2 cash match. 100% of the grantee’s match must be cash. No in-kind or creative time is allowed as part of the grantee’s match.

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 2020 and 2021.
- Submission of quarterly progress reports (narrative and financial statements) over the course of the first 18 months of the grant.

Past recipients of the AVI grant may not reapply.

About the AVI Grant:

FAQs on the Online Grants Management System:

Preview of the LOI form:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Grants Management System:

For advisement before submitting an application, please contact Ce Scott-Fitts ( or 803.734.8203). If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Office ( or 803.734.8695).

South Carolina Arts Commission
1026 Sumter Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina