Project Grant

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

Project Grants assist South Dakota nonprofit organizations in presenting an activity in any arts discipline(s) that serves the general public and meets specific needs of the applicant organization. 

The funding category is designed to:

  • Enable nonprofit organizations in South Dakota to reach the public more effectively through special arts projects.
  • Recognize and assist artistic endeavors of excellence that contribute to quality of life in the applicant’s community or region.
  • Accommodate projects with creative/innovative potential
  • Eligible
    South Dakota nonprofit organizations that (1) are seeking funds for a single arts activity and (2) are designated as federally tax-exempt under the IRS Section 501(c)(3), units of government, or nonprofit educational institutions may apply for a Project Grant. 
    Nonprofit organizations without 501(c)(3) status may apply under the auspices of a qualifying organization which then becomes responsible for all fiscal and contractual arrangements.
    South Dakota Organizations that for logical reasons share a 501(c)(3) tax ID number with another organization are eligible to apply for project grants 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.

    South Dakota Organizations failing to meet the threshold for Arts Challenge grants should apply for a Project Grant, even if they are seeking funds for more than one activity.

    Organizations may apply for only one Project Grant per granting cycle. Recipients of Arts Challenge Grants, Importation of Musicians Grants, and Statewide Services Grants are not eligible to apply for Project Grants.

    All applications must be submitted  on-line only by March 1. Applicants may start to apply on December 1.Grant awards will be announced in May for the fiscal year that begins the following July 1.

    Grant Amount
    No more than 50% of the total project costs may be requested from the Arts Council. Grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar. A strong cash commitment by the applicant is encouraged. In many cases, SDAC will only be able to provide a grant of no more than one-half the artist’s fees and travel associated with the proposed activity. The range of South Dakota Arts Council Project Grants is generally $500 to $5,000. Please be realistic in the amount requested when preparing an application.
    Funds may be requested as needed throughout the fiscal year. The final payment (10% of grant) will be made upon receipt of the evaluation.

    Criteria for Awarding Grants
    Applications are reviewed by arts discipline panels and SDAC with consideration given to:

    • Complete description of the project.
    • How the project will make a positive contribution to the arts and/or quality of life in the community or region.
    • Quality within the art form(s) as determined from artistic documentation.
    • Realistic budget showing cash support from other public and private sources.
    • Organizational and fiscal management: indication of the applicant’s ability to manage and complete the proposed activity.
    Bonus points will be given to applications that reveal:
    • Especially innovative or creative projects.
    • Involvement of disabled, minority, geographically isolated or new constituencies as specifically addressed in the narrative.
    • Inclusion or development of advocacy, visibility, or public awareness of the arts as specifically addressed in the narrative.
    • Specific plans for enhancing K-12 arts education.

    Application Procedure How to Prepare and Submit an Application Applications for a Project Grant must be submitted on line through the South Dakota Arts Council’s e-grant system on or before March 1. Hard-copy applications submitted through the mail will not be accepted.When you log into the e-grant system, you will be asked to complete some on line forms and attach several different supporting documents as Word of PDF files. Although you can work back and forth from the e-grant system to the documents, you may find it more expedient to prepare the following documents ahead of time and have them ready to attach.

    1. A grant narrative of no more than 4 pages.

    • Introduce the narrative by providing a description of the project for which you are requesting funds. The description should help grant review panelists visualize what will occur during the project period. Assume that the panelists know NOTHING about you, your organization or your proposed project. Be as specific as necessary to give panelists a good understanding of what you propose.
    • Following the project description, explain how the proposed project will make a positive impact on the arts and/or quality of life in your community or region by restating and answering each of the following questions:

     What are the identified needs that this project addresses?
     What are the outcomes the project is expected to achieve?
     How will SDAC grant funds be used to support the project?
     How will the success of the project be evaluated?

    • Following your answers to these questions, provide explanations of any items on the budget page that the review panel may find unclear. (For example, if you budget $500 for travel, explain what the travel entails and how you calculated the amount. If you budget $600 dollars for marketing, how will this money be used?)

    2. Biographies or resumes of key administrative and artistic personnel
    3. Documentation that attests to the artistic quality of the proposed project. (Types of artistic documentation MAY include, but are not limited to, DVDs of performances, digital images of artists represented in visual art exhibitions, biographies or resumes of performing artists, etc. Instructions for attaching written documents, digital images, and audio clips are included in the e-grant instructions.)
    4. Additional supporting materials (optional), i.e. programs, brochures, posters, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.

    When you log onto the e-grant system you will be asked to:

    • Complete an Applicant Profile
    • Complete an Applicant Information form
    • Create and upload (attach) a narrative that explains the project in detail.
    • Complete a pre-existing budget form outlining all project expenses (for the project only) and income.
    • Complete a Project Summary & Information form
    • Create and upload (attach) biographies or resumes of key personnel involved with the project.
    • Upload (attach) examples of artistic documentation.
    • Scan and upload (attach) or mail supporting print materials, i.e. reviews, letters of recommendation, etc. If some supporting materials are in a form that prohibits scanning, mail 5 copies to SDAC with the signature page.
    • 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 no later than 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:

    Subsequent grants are dependent upon receipt of complete evaluation reports.

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