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Artist Emergency Fund

The Artists’ Emergency Fund was developed out of a partnership among the Knight Foundation, Central Carolina Community Foundation and One Columbia for Arts and Culture. The Knight Foundation has committed $100,000 to assist artists in the Columbia area in order to temper the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting emergency shutdowns.

This fund was created to provide 40 emergency grants of $2,500 each to support professional artists in the Columbia area. By providing these funds, the partners hope to provide assistance for artists facing hardships caused by the loss of events, performances, and sales. The program serves the mission of the three partner organizations by supporting an ecosystem for professional artists to live, work and remain in and around Columbia, South Carolina.

The funds provided by this program can be used to assist artists with any relevant professional needs including artist supplies and materials, rent or mortgage, health insurance, or another professional purpose.

One Columbia will accept applications for two-week period starting on May 8. The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday, May 22. It’s anticipated that selected applicants will receive notice of their award by Thursday, May 28.

In order to assist artists most impacted with the highest relative need, the program has the following requirements for eligibility:

  • must be a resident of the City of Columbia or live full-time (more than 50% of the year) within one of the following ZIP codes: 29169, 29033, 29201, 29203, 29204, 29205, 29206, 29209, 29210, 29212, 29223, 29229.
  • must not be currently enrolled as a student in a degree-seeking program at an institution of higher learning
  • must be over the age of 18 years
  • must report 40% or more of annual income derived from artistic work in one or more of the following disciplines – curation, dance, film and media arts, folk and traditional arts, literary arts, music, technical staff (set design, lighting, sound), theater and/or visual arts

Application Requirements
Applicants will need to provide the following for their application to be considered.

  • Name, address, email and phone number
  • Artist biography of 150 words or less – Note: this is not an artist statement. An artistic bio denotes artists’ past and current accomplishments and demonstrates commitment to craft and achievements, whereas an artist’s statement provides an explanation of work, or artistic intent.
  • Description of need of 150 words or less denoting ways that professional income has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the emergency response
  • Description (150 words or less) of how funds, if granted, will be utilized
  • Identify other sources of financial assistance, if applicable

Application Process and Assistance
Applications are accepted online using this application form.

For those that may not have the ability or means to respond to the online form, special assistance can be arranged with One Columbia staff and an appointment to apply by phone will be arranged. Those that need to avail of this assistance can leave a voicemail at 803-254-5008 or send an email to

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of four professionals, comprised of artists and arts administrators. The committee will review applications in order to assess the needs of the applicants and prioritize awards that will provide necessary relief.

Awards will be made to 40 applicants and will be awarded at $2,500 each. Artists will need to provide an up-to-date W9 form in order to receive the award.

Reporting and Follow-up
Fund recipients will receive a request for follow-up in August 2020 in order to assess how the funds were used and whether it provided relief to the professional artist.

This is a project by One Columbia in partnership with the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation.