Program Funding

Please note, eligibility requirements for SDAC Grants vary by program. For eligibility requirements please review the Guide to Grants and materials available on the Applicant Portal.

Scope of Funding

All grant applications are evaluated on their merits and in competition with other applicants. Grant awards are subject to the availability of federal and state funds.

Each grant category has its own guidelines and scoring criteria. Review the Guide to Grants and materials available on the Applicant Portal for details specific to each grant category.

The South Dakota Arts Council has established policies regarding categories of grant support requiring special attention or clarification. Over the years, the following policies have been adopted:

Professionalism. Rather than attempting to define the term “professional artist,” the consensus of the Council is that the basis for awarding grants to artists shall be the quality of the artist’s work (as provided and presented within the application).

Support of resident artists and South Dakota arts organizations. The Council recognizes the crucial role of South Dakota’s artists and arts organizations. Priority is given to those projects involving South Dakota artists and arts organizations.

Continuing grants. Arts Council support should be considered supplementary. Although continued support may be awarded to an organization, no guarantee can be made for support from year to year.

Accessibility. All events funded by the South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC) must be accessible to persons with disabilities, including accommodations for those with visual, hearing, mobility, and learning impairments.

SDAC does not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, or physical or mental disability. The Council has the responsibility of ensuring that all programs using federal funds allocated by SDAC are equally accessible to all people. The Council adheres to federal Fair Labor Standards and non-discrimination guidelines stated in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The Council requires that those accepting SDAC grant money also comply with these guidelines.

Arts Expansion and Equity. In addition, the Council strives to build active cultural participation with all ethnic and minority groups, particularly American Indians living in the state through the Council's Arts Expansion policy statements:

  • The Council promotes the development of artistic work and presentations suited to the state's diverse resources and needs of small towns and geographically isolated areas.
  • Educational opportunities at the state's post-secondary institutions are encouraged and supported for the development of artists to work in South Dakota.
  • The Council strives to encourage private and public-sector support of cultural development, planning, and funding of the arts in South Dakota.
  • The Council seeks to remove social, economic, and physical barriers to cultural activities to ensure that all citizens have a role in cultural policy and decision-making.

Funding Priorities

South Dakota Arts Council encourages the development of new projects and those which strengthen existing arts programs.

The SDAC funds quality arts 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 and heritage tourism.

South Dakota Arts Council DOES NOT fund:

  • Capital improvements, new building construction, endowment funds, or fundraising efforts.
  • Tuition assistance and scholarships for which the primary purpose is to generate academic credit.
  • Prize money for competitions.
  • Projects already completed.
  • Performances and workshops which are available to the public only through a subscription season ticket or membership.
  • Projects involving travel outside the state, except when projects involve South Dakota Arts Council cooperative projects with neighboring states, Professional Development Grants, Technical Assistance Grants, Artist Grants, Artist Collaboration Grants or Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants.
  • 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.

How to Apply

South Dakota Artists and Organizations can find instructions for submitting grant proposals including how to apply, grant guidelines, and tips for applying on the Applicant Portal. Please read and follow these directions, as well as the application procedures for each grant application form.

Questions? Staff members are happy to assist. Contact the staff by calling (605) 773-3301 or E-mail to

Back to intro