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Artist Career Development Grants

Grants to South Dakota Early Stage Artists
for Professional Development Activities

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South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC)

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Grants of $2,000 to South Dakota early stage artists for professional development activities. Funding is intended to support projects that help artists promote and market their work, create new artistic works, and attract new audiences. The purpose of the program is to assist emerging artists in advancing their work and furthering their careers.

In reviewing applications, panelists consider the following:

  • Quality of the applicant’s work as demonstrated by artistic documentation submitted. Artistic quality accounts for 50% of an applicant’s total score and plays a critical role in panel ratings and funding recommendations. Artistic quality is determined only by the quality of the submitted documentation.
  • Record of professional activity and achievement.
  • Contribution to the artist’s professional growth, and how support is important at this time to the development of the applicant’s artistic career.
  • Potential for contribution to higher standards for the arts in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Arts Council encourages the development of new projects and those that strengthen existing arts programs. Priority is given to quality projects that:

  • Employ professional artists, especially those living in South Dakota.
  • Focus on underdeveloped arts disciplines.
  • Recognize and relate to the cultural needs of the state and community.
  • Make the arts available to new, minority, and geographically isolated audiences.
  • Bring the arts into schools with the support of the local school.
  • Reach beyond a town’s boundaries to attract new audiences.
  • Train local talent to follow through on future projects.
  • Include financial contributions from participants of workshops.
  • Advance the role of the arts in economic development efforts.
  • Enhance cultural tourism.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178592

Number of Grants:

The total number of grants awarded each year will be left to the discretion of the South Dakota Arts Council, depending on total budget and applicant artists’ qualifications.

Estimated Size of Grant:


Term of Contract:

All work presented in the grant application, narrative, and included in the projected budget expenses must take place within the defined period of time (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


Artists with limited publication, performance, or exhibition records should apply for the Artist Career Development Grant rather than the Fellowship. Fellowships are intended to reward artists who demonstrate outstanding professional records of accomplishment.

Artists in any discipline may apply. Applicants must be residents of South Dakota for at least one year prior to the designated grant period (fiscal year July 1 – June 30) and remain residents throughout the project period within the designated grant period. Artists may apply for only one of the following grants per fiscal year: Artist Fellowship, Artist Collaboration Grant, Artist Project Grant, Artists Career Development Grant, or Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant.

Artists seeking funds for a specific project that benefits themselves and the public should apply for an Artist Project Grant.

-Past recipients of Artist Fellowships are not eligible to apply for an Artist Career Development grant.
-Recipients of an Artist Career Development grant are not eligible to apply again for a three-year period. Recipients of this grant, however, may apply the next year in other categories of support.
-Funding will not be granted for academic research or formal study toward an academic degree.
-Students pursuing a high school diploma, undergraduate or graduate degrees are not eligible.
-Currently serving South Dakota Arts Council board members, staff, and grant review panelists are not eligible.

Not Funded:
- Capital improvements, new construction, or restoration.
- Costs associated with fundraising activities such as galas, parties, or other events where alcohol is available.
- Tuition assistance and scholarships for which the primary purpose is to generate academic credit.
- Prize money for competitions.
- Events or projects that have already taken place.
- Events or projects that do not take place within the defined period of time (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).
- Arts projects that exclude the public. This includes performances and workshops which are available to the public only through a subscription season ticket or membership.
- Arts activities that occur during a religious service. Religious organizations may apply for a grant but only for arts components that do not occur as part of a religious service. Activities that are open to the public are encouraged.
- Projects involving travel outside the state, except when projects involve South Dakota Arts Council cooperative projects with neighboring states, Fellowship or Artist project grants, Artist Career Development Grants, Artist Collaboration Grants, or Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants.

Pre-proposal Conference:

SDAC staff will be available to help assess specific needs and assist in the development of grant proposals for artists and nonprofit organizations. Scheduled assistance events include:
- Jan. 13-17 – One-on-one support via phone consult, 8:00 AM - Noon.
- Feb. 3-7 – One-on-one support via phone consult, 1:00-5:00 pm.
- Jan. 30 - Grant Workshop, 9:00 AM, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital (501 Summit, Yankton). Participants will hear detailed information about our grant programs, the review process, and be able to ask direct questions about your projects.
- Feb. 5 - Grant Workshop, 5:30 PM, Racing Magpie (406 5th St, Rapid City).

Pre-Application Information:

Grant applications (for FY2021) open Monday, December 16, 2019. The application deadline is March 1, 2020.

SDAC staff members offer a draft review prior to final grant submission deadlines to help applicants improve their applications by checking for mistakes or omissions that might cause ineligibility. Staff will review the grant narrative, budget section, and support materials for compliance and consistency. Draft reviews do not provide grammatical editing or rewriting services. SDAC staff will provide feedback to the applicant in time to make corrections ahead of the submission deadline. To receive a draft review, applicants must contact Kathryn Vandel (see details in Contact Information below) prior to submitting their grant application in the online system and prior to the draft review deadline.


Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

To receive a draft review, applicants must contact:

South Dakota Arts Council staff are available to answer your grant questions by phone or email:

Patrick Baker, Director
Phone 605-773-5507

Rebecca Cruse, Deputy Director
Phone 605-773-5084

Kate Vandel, Arts Grant Specialist
Phone 605-773-5925

Department of Tourism
711 E Wells Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

P: 800-952-3625
F: 605-773-5977

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Dakota

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