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Midlands artisans hoping to turn a passion into a business in the New Year now have help from Central Carolina Community Foundation as it joins an S.C. Arts Commission initiative.

Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) joins ArtsGrowSC, a new program that combines the strengths of the S.C. Arts Commission and Greenville-based CommunityWorks, a community development finance institution, to offer qualifying artists resources – including a savings program, micro-loans, business venture loans, matching grants, personalized coaching, and workshops – that will help develop and grow arts-based business ventures statewide.

ArtsGrowSC is being implemented to allow arts-based businesses to further contribute to the $9.2 billion generated by South Carolina’s core creative industries.

Involvement by CCCF will increase the number of artisans who can open Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s), specifically in its 11-county service area. CommunityWorks serves as a statewide IDA funding partner for the matched savings program. Artists who use an IDA to save would see a 2:1 match, so a savings of $1,000 would be matched by $1,000 from one of the participating funders, based on artist location, and another $1,000 from the Arts Commission.

Additional avenues of support from ArtsGrowSC include personal development and business coaching workshops that lead to the next-step Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant program. AVI provides one-time grants to encourage the creation of artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project could receive up to $3,500, and on-going business ventures can get up to $5,000. The deadline to submit a letter of intent to seek an AVI grant isJan. 18.

AVI grantees may then qualify for the Business Builder Loan program, wherein CommunityWorks could lend qualifying artists up to $15,000 to expand their ventures.

For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com, email Joy Young at jyoung@arts.sc.gov, or call 803.734.8203.

The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances.

Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:

  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Featured photo: Christine Eddy of Ladson is the first artist to receive a business loan through ArtsGrowSC, a partnership between the S.C. Arts Commission and Community Works, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Greenville. Eddy will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. Eddy received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016.

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