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Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools

Grants to USA Nonprofit Theater Companies for
Performances and Educational Activities for Youth

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arts Midwest

LOI Date:


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Grants of $25,000 to USA nonprofit theater companies for performances and educational activities for high school and middle school students. Applicants must submit an intent to apply prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended to support professional productions of Shakespeare plays and related educational activities for students in underserved schools.

The grant award will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies to support performances and related educational activities for students from 10 or more schools.

In order to fulfill the goals of Shakespeare in American Communities, theater companies must:

  • Perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors. It is not required that the actors be part of an Equity contract. The purpose of this program is to give students exposure to a live theatrical performance. If the production is abridged (a shortened version), it must maintain the theme of the play and offer students the opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s text. Performances may be held in the theater company’s facility, a school, or a community venue, but must be conducted in partnership with schools. 
  • Conduct related educational activities for students. Activities must be led by experienced teaching artists or actors with strong credentials and training. Activities must take place in conjunction with the Shakespeare production. Examples of these activities include workshops, in-depth pre- or post-performance discussions/talkbacks, seminars, and curriculum-based residencies.
  • Reach 10 or more middle or high schools with a performance and educational activity(ies).The majority of schools must educate underserved students who access to the performing arts is limited by ethnic background, economic conditions, disability, geographic location, or other barriers. This may include schools in rural or urban communities or federally-recognized tribal communities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165844

Number of Grants:

The standard grant award will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies to support performances and related educational activities for students from 10 or more schools.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The standard grant award is $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Programming dates: August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This opportunity is open to eligible 501c(3) professional theater companies.

Additional theater company eligibility requirements:
- Applicant must comply with federal eligibility requirements.
- Applicant must have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the past five years.
- Applicant must have a minimum of two years’ experience providing performances and related educational activities to middle and/or high schools.
- Applicant must be theater company located in the U.S. and the Native nations that share this geography that compensates all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

Productions inspired, written, or loosely based on Shakespeare’s text or play do not meet the intent of the program and do not qualify.

Pre-Application Information:

- The Intent to Apply is due on December 6, 2019. This is required and nonbinding. Please contact Christy Dickinson if you have questions.
- Complete and submit the application form by Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
- Notification to applicants: May 2020
- Programming dates: August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

These awards require nonfederal match of 1 to 1.

If you are a new applicant to Shakespeare in American Communities, Christy will be in contact with you to schedule a call to discuss your proposed project and ensure it qualifies for this program before proceeding too far into the preparation of your application.

For more application information, see:
For Guidelines, see:

Spreadsheet Preparation Tips Example:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Intent to Apply:

Question about Intent to Apply or guidance for contents of application:
Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019

Technical questions:
Ellen DeYoung, program associate, 612.238.8028

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming