SC Humanities Growth Grants

South Carolina Humanities is honored to provide funding to humanities organizations facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. South Carolina Humanities is responsible for the distribution of federal funding allocated to the state of South Carolina from the National Endowment for the Humanities Federal and State Partnership Division. The South Carolina Humanities ARP Grants initiative funding was made available by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden.

Awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 will be awarded to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. To help ensure the recovery funding is spent quickly and project activities are conducted in a timely manner, all grant funds will be awarded by November 30, 2021 with a final report due by November 30, 2022. Grant-supported activities must start no later than January 1, 2022.


  • Deadlines are:
    • Thursday, July 15, 2021 by 5:00 p.m. (for expenses/programs that start after August 15, 2021)
    • Monday, August 16, 2021 by 5:00 p.m. (for expenses/programs that start after September 15, 2021)
    • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 by 5:00 p.m. (for expenses/programs that start after October 15, 2021)
    • Additional deadlines may be added depending on availability of funds.
    • Grant-supported activities must start no later than January 1, 2022.


Applicant Requirements

  • Organizations must serve and have headquarters in South Carolina. Organizations outside of South Carolina should contact the state humanities council in their area.
  • South Carolina Humanities is federally required to limit funding eligibility to U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. Individuals, foreign, and for-profit entities are not eligible to receive funding.
  • Organizations must have a D-U-N-S® number. A SAMS registration (CAGE code) is strongly encouraged, but not required.
  • Organizations must agree to use the federal funding in a way that does not violate federal funding requirements.
  • Applicants must not have been federally suspended or debarred.
  • Applicants must not be delinquent on federal debt.
  • No match is required. However, a match (in-kind or cash) is welcome and would help SC Humanities’ reporting requirements significantly. All award recipients will be supplied with a form to report any available matching dollars.
  • Applicants must not function solely as fiscal agents or fiscal sponsors but should make substantive contributions to the success of the project.

Grant Funding May Support:

  • Humanities programming that prepares for, responds to, or helps recover from the pandemic. Recovery can be defined in multiple ways: reengaging with audiences; developing new public humanities programs; relaunching old programs, etc.
  • General operating costs of humanities-focused organizations.
  • Strategic planning and capacity building efforts related to preparing, responding to, and recovering from the coronavirus.
  • Technical/consultant needs related to a digital transition or in support of preservation and access programs (equipment costs cannot exceed 20% of a subaward).
  • Expansion, due to the effects of the coronavirus, of outdoor and virtual humanities programming and activities, from traditional environments to those that are more accessible.
  • Equity assessments and planning related to coronavirus and the economic crisis.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Organizations whose mission falls outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies) are not eligible to receive funding for general operating costs under NEH ARP awards. These organizations can apply for funding to support humanities programming. Arts organizations and other cultural nonprofits whose mission falls outside of the humanities are strongly encouraged to contact T.J. Wallace to discuss their application prior to submission., 803-771-2477

Grant Funding May NOT Support:

  • Unallowable expenses as defined in 2CFR 200 Subpart E-Cost Principles
  • Indirect costs on general operating support awards
  • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • Funds for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds
  • Competitive regranting
  • Cancellation costs
  • Pre-award costs dating to before March 15, 2021
  • Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
  • Travel (both foreign and domestic)
  • Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Collections acquisition
  • The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
  • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
  • Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
  • Support of specific public policies or legislation
  • Lobbying
  • Projects that fall outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies).

What are the humanities?

“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy;  archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.” ~ National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965, as amended

Review Process

Submission of an application does not guarantee receipt of funds, though it is SC Humanities’ goal to support as many cultural organizations as possible during the ongoing recovery from the pandemic. Applications will be evaluated on criteria such as:

  • How compelling is the need? Organizations with larger agency budgets, endowments, or reserve funds should request only what is immediately needed. Smaller, under-resourced, or rural organizations are especially encouraged to apply. Please only apply for what your organization can justify in the budget narrative.
  • Are the humanities core to the organization’s mission?
  • Are all areas of the state receiving funding and not just urban centers?

Submission Process

  • Submit your application by email to by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.
  • Applicants will receive a decision or a request for more information within 4 weeks of the deadline.

Application Form

For questions or assistance with your SC Humanities ARP Grant application, please contact SC Humanities Assistant Director, T.J. Wallace at or 803-771-2477. She will be glad to schedule consultations, review drafts, or talk through proposed projects and ideas.

Descarga las pautas y la aplicación en español.