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Community Impact Grants for Faculty and Staff


The Spark Community Impact Grants for Faculty and Staff encourage collaboration and innovation through music leadership. These grants support and encourage musical projects, events, or activities which impact one or more of the following:

  • School of Music community
  • USC Campus community
  • Columbia local community
  • South Carolina/Southeastern community
  • National/world community


Click here to apply. Deadline to apply for 2024-25 grants will be announced in Fall 2024.  

Funds Available

Awards up to $1,500 are available for projects realized in the 2024/25 academic year and may be used in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Class, studio, ensemble or area related expenses

  •  Support for student projects, guest artist visits/residencies, special events, workshops

  • Professional development

  • Encourage collaboration between the School of Music and the greater university


Eligible applicants include all School of Music faculty and staff who impact the learning environment at the University of South Carolina School of Music. We encourage applications from all music disciplines: applied, ensembles, education, academic, etc. 

Previous winners are welcome to reapply to fund new projects or new initiatives within existing projects. Submissions may come from individuals or teams.

Previous Winners

2024 Winners

Prof. Rachel Calloway – Professional Pre-Screenings for Students 
Prof. Michael Harley – Richard Greener Recording Project 
Prof. Lauren Meccia – Help Jazz Girls Day Continue to Thrive! 
Dr. Wendy Valerio – School of Music Sound Bath Training for Students, Faculty, and Staff 

2023 Winners

Dr. Gail Barnes – USC String Project Golden Anniversary 
Prof. Dominic Armstrong – Distinguished Guest Artist Master Class Series 
Prof. Rachel Calloway – The USC-Castleton Experience 
Dr. Alicia Walker – Choral Conducting Residency with Dr. John Dickson 
Dr. Michael Harley – Ten Thousand Birds in Shenandoah National Park 
Prof. Jeremy Polley – Hands on Harmonies 
Dr. Wendy Valerio – Music, You, Creativity, & Community + The Art of Improvisation – Opening Meal 

2021 Winners

Dr. Sarah Williams – Writing About Music and "Behind the Peake" Podcast
Prof. Michael Harley – Bassoons in Schools
Dr. Cormac Cannon – Genesis: Composer-Ensemble Collaboration
Dr. Kunio Hara – Concert Matchmakers


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