Artist Career Development Grants

Grant applications (for FY2021) open Monday, December 16, 2019. The application deadline is March 1, 2020. The Applicant Portal includes several resources to assist applicants. Visit the portal here

To apply visit

The Artist Career Development Grant is designed to provide financial support to emerging artists committed to advancing their work and careers as artists. This category provides funds which may assist in the artist’s ability to produce new work, aid in the marketing or promotion of a specific project, or reach new geographic or social audiences for existing work.

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.

Funding will not be granted for academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.

Students pursuing high school diplomas and graduate or undergraduate degrees are not eligible.


  • 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.

Applications must be submitted on-line by March 1. Applicants may start to apply on December 1. Grant awards will be announced in May for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Grant Amount
Artist Career Development Grants of $2,000 will be awarded on a non-matching basis. 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.

Criteria for Awarding Grants
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.

Application Review
In reviewing applications, panelists first consider

  • The quality of the artist’s work as demonstrated by the artistic documentation submitted. For those applicants who pass this review, panelists then consider:
  • The record of professional activity and achievement as reflected in the application and the artist’s resume.
  • To what extent a grant would impact the artist’s professional growth at this point in his/her career.
  • Potential for contribution to higher standards for the arts in South Dakota.

Application Procedure

How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Applications for an Artist Career Development Grant must be submitted on-line through the South Dakota Council's e-grant system on or before March 1. Hard-copy applications submitted through the mail will not be accepted.
When you log onto the e-grant system you will be asked to:

  • Complete an Applicant Profile
  • Complete an Applicant Information form
  • Complete Applications Summary & Information form reminder: all grant activities must occur between July 1st and June 30.
  • Create and upload (attach) a narrative, including an "artist statement," that addresses how this grant will advance the artist’s professional career.
  • Complete a pre-existing budget form specifying the projected use of grant funds.
  • Create and upload (attach) a professional resume.
  • Upload (attach) examples of artistic documentation. Specific instructions are available when you log onto the e-grant system.
  • Scan and upload (attach) supporting print materials, i.e. reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.
  • Complete Signature Page
  • Electronically submit application
  • Mail Signature Page to SDAC

Specific instructions for completing and submitting the above information will be provided after you log into the e-grant system ( and complete the Applicant Profile.

Grant Evaluation Form:  Evaluations are due 30 days after the end of the fiscal year. An evaluation form will be provided with grant award materials. It is also available on SDAC’s website: The evaluation narrative should give a brief description of work accomplished with grant funds during the grant period and a statement indicating the impact of the grant on the artist’s career development.  
Subsequent grants are dependent upon receipt of complete evaluation reports.

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