Grant Programs

Grant applications (for FY2020) open Monday, December 3. The application deadline is March 1.
For a more information on the grants available, use the links below. The Applican Portal includes several resources to assist applicants. Visit the portal here

To apply visit

Scope of Funding

South Dakota Arts Council grant categories provide a unique mixture of economic as well as cultural enrichment to all South Dakotans.

All grants are intended to be seed money. Applicant organizations are funded at no more than 50% of projected costs. Grants to individual artists require no matching funds.

South Dakota Organizations, which for logical reasons share a 501(c)(3) tax identification number, may submit separate grant applications provided that:

• the relationship between the organizations is real and not contrived merely for the purpose of each writing a separate grant proposal. [Appropriate examples include but are not limited to (1) college/university organizations and departments that for practical reasons share the school’s nonprofit status and tax number; (2) an organization that functions independently but has a legal working relationship with a parent company whose tax number it shares; (3) a consortium of separate organizations each with its own board of directors which for fiscal purposes share the same tax number.]
• the financial records relating to any and all SDAC grant activities are separately maintained and demonstrate each organization’s autonomous, financially independent status.

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 Criteria for Awarding Grants. In addition, the Council considers these elements:

  • 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.
  • 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 resident artists and arts organizations. However, this does not exclude use of out-of-state organizations and artists capable of providing services or programs which will supplement those available within the state.
  • South Dakota Colleges and Universities. The Council supports projects from these institutions only if a project benefits and is easily accessible to the general public. Grants are not awarded for college and university events which are normally considered a part of regular or extracurricular programs, or if the primary purpose is to offer course credit.
  • Continuing grants. Arts Council support should be considered supplementary. Although continued support may be given an organization, no guarantee can be made for support of more than one year.

Council Funding Priorities

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

Priority is given to quality projects which:

  • 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 generally does not fund:

  • Capital improvements, new building construction, endowment funds, or fund raising 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. 

Important Note

Instructions for submitting grant proposals including how to apply, grant codes, and a glossary. Please read and follow explicitly these directions, as well as the individual application procedures for each grant application form. Applicants should not assume that review panel members know them, their organizations, or their work. Panelists change on a rotating schedule. In the past, worthy applicants have found that the grant was less than expected or lost completely because the application was not well-written, was incomplete, or failed to include documentation. How to Apply

Questions? Staff members are happy to assist. Contact the staff by calling
1-800-952-3625 (in-state, toll free) or (605) 773-3301 (not toll free).
E-mail to

Back to intro