South Carolina Humanities Awards $850,000 to 78 Cultural Organizations through Growth Grants

South Carolina Humanities has awarded $856,587 in emergency relief funds to 78 cultural organizations in South Carolina. These “Growth Grant” awards reach 31 counties and all seven Congressional Districts. Funding for the Growth Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative.

South Carolina Humanities Growth Grants were designed to offer operating and/or program support to humanities organizations throughout the state that are facing financial hardship as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These grants provide immediate funds to help stabilize humanities organizations and allow them to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring their future success.

Dr. Tom Mack, Chair of the SC Humanities Board of Directors, said, “Regarding the current pandemic, we were all hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel by now.  Instead, the tunnel just appeared to get longer in 2021.  Museums, libraries, and other cultural sites with a focus on humanities-based programming have continued to struggle under adverse economic conditions.  This is why SC Humanities has been so happy to be able to provide Growth Grants under the auspices of the American Rescue Plan.  They offer the hope of a brighter tomorrow.”

In 2020, SC Humanities awarded $490,000 in emergency relief funds to 103 cultural organizations in South Carolina through Bridge Emergency Relief Grants, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. The smaller Bridge Grant awards helped stabilize cultural organizations in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus shutdown in Spring of 2020. The larger Growth Grant awards are designed to help cultural organizations build back their staffing, programming, and emergency preparedness ability after the last 18 months of sustained disruption.

Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, said: “The pandemic continues, and the cultural sector continues to struggle, particularly in smaller rural areas of the state.  Thanks to Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, SC Humanities was provided with a second round of relief money to keep the cultural sector afloat until we are full speed ahead.  We are so fortunate to be able to help organizations throughout the state, giving them hope to build for the future.”

SC Humanities Growth Grants have been awarded to:

Actors Theatre of South Carolina, Summerville
Allendale County, Allendale
Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta, North Augusta
Arts in Healing at the Medical University Hospital Authority, Charleston
he Beaufort History Museum, Beaufort
Belton Area Museum Association, Belton
Benedict College, Columbia
Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, Seneca
Blythewood Historical Society, Blythewood
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet
Cecil Williams SC Civil Rights Museum, Orangeburg
Charleston to Charleston, Inc./Charleston Literary Festival, Charleston
Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society, Inc., Gaffney
Chester County Historical Society, Chester
College of Charleston, Charleston
Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society, Walterboro
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia
Converse University, Spartanburg
Daufuskie Island Foundation, Port Royal
Dorchester Heritage Center, St. George
Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, Edisto Island
Elloree Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Elloree
Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach
ufort History Museum, Beaufort
Friends of Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken
Friends of Florence County Library, Florence
Georgetown County Historical Society, Georgetown
Georgetown County Library, Georgetown
Greenville Chautauqua Society, Greenville
Greenville Light Opera Works/Glow Lyric Theatre, Greenville
Hagood Mill Foundation, Pickens
Hampton County Historical Society, Hampton
Harbor Historical Association/SC Maritime Museum, Georgetown
Historic Camden Foundation, Camden
Historic Charleston Foundation, Charleston
Historic Columbia, Columbia
Historic Penn Center Inc, St. Helena Island
Historic Port Royal Foundation, Port Royal
Horry County Museum, Conway
Jamestown Foundation, Florence
Kaminski House Museum, Georgetown
Kershaw County Library, Camden
Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, Lancaster
Latino Communications CDC, Columbia
Lincoln High School Preservation Alumni Association, Sumter
Marion County Museum under Marion County Administration, Marion
McCormick County Historical Society, McCormick
Middleton Place Foundation, Charleston
Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage, Ridgeland
The Museum and Railroad Historical Center, Greenwood
Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina, Walhalla
Newberry College, Newberry
Newberry Opera House Foundation, Newberry
Oconee History Museum, Walhalla
Olympia-Granby Historical Foundation/Olympia Mill Village Museum, Columbia
Pat Conroy Literary Center, Beaufort
Patriots Hall Association/Oconee Military Museum, Walhalla
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, Mt. Pleasant
Pendleton District Historical, Recreational, and Tourism Commission/Lake Hartwell Country, Pendleton
Richland Library, Columbia
Saint Matthew AME Church Community Development Foundation, Dillon
Saint Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment, Lake City
SC Rural Community and Workforce Development, Rembert
Sigal Music Museum, Greenville
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia
The South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston
South Carolina State Museum Foundation, Columbia
South Carolina Tobacco Museum, Mullins
Southeast Rural Community Outreach, Hopkins
Spartanburg County Historical Association, Spartanburg
Spartanburg Philharmonic, Spartanburg
Speaking Down Barriers, Spartanburg
Sumter County Museum, Sumter
United Nations Association of the United States of America, Southern Palmetto State Chapter, North Myrtle Beach
University of South Carolina Beaufort Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era, Beaufort
Upcountry History Museum, Greenville
WeGOJA Foundation, Hartsville
Williamsburgh Historical Society, Kingstree
Winthrop University – College of Arts and Sciences, Rock Hill

The Growth Grant opportunity had three deadlines in July, August, and September of 2021. There are no additional deadlines planned. SC Humanities continues to offer its regular grant opportunities of Major Grants, Mini Grants, Planning Grants, Fast Track Literary Grants, and other program and funding opportunities throughout the year. For more information about current grant opportunities available, visit or contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477,

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 350,000 citizens annually.