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Shakespeare in American Communities

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies to Perform
Shakespeare Plays in Middle and High Schools

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of $25,000 to USA nonprofit or governmental theater companies to perform the works of Shakespeare for middle- and high-school audiences. The deadline to submit an intent to apply is December 15. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registration at least two weeks prior to the deadline. Each theater company will hold performances and educational activities in ten or more schools.

Theater companies will be selected based on:

-The artistic excellence and merit of the production, including the quality of the director, professional team of actors, artistic staff, viewpoint, and evidence of sound artistic decisions.

-The quality of related educational activities for students, including the content, credentials, and experience of teaching artists or actors, plans to deepen or broaden activities from previous years (if applicable).

-The feasibility to reach 10 or more middle and/or high schools, including evidence of the company’s minimum of three years’ experience providing performances and educational activities to middle and/or high school students, methods used to communicate to schools, the strategy to include a majority of underserved schools, and plans to increase the number of schools or reach new schools (if applicable).

-The capacity and ability to carry out the project, including the company’s history, qualifications of personnel, proven fiscal responsibility, and appropriate financial resources as evidence in the budgets.

Geographic diversity may be taken into consideration in the final selection of companies.

Selected theater companies will be expected to carry out the performances and educational activities consistent with their application. If changes occur, they must be discussed and approved by the Shakespeare in American Communities staff at Arts Midwest.

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

-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:

Grants will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The standard grant award is $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Companies must conduct programming between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Theater company eligibility requirements
-Applicant must be a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, a unit of state or local government.
-Applicant must have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the past five years.
-Applicant must have a minimum of three years’ experience providing performances and educational activities to middle and/or high schools.
-Applicant must be a U.S.-based theater company 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.)
-Applicant must have a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number, which is free to obtain. Look up your DUNS number.
-All applicants and potential sub-recipients of Federal funds must have and maintain an “active” registration in (System for Award Management) until the application process is complete, and if selected, throughout the life of the award.
-Applicant must be able to comply with the Federal policies and legal requirements, statutes, and regulations as stated in the Assurance of Compliance .

Pre-Application Information:

All grants require nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. registration is free but will take time to complete. Secure or renew your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. You will need to opt-in to have it viewable in the public search. You may need to update your organization’s registration if you completed it for the Shakespeare in American Communities application in previous years.

Key Dates:
-Intent to apply email: On or before December 15, 2017 (not binding)
-Application deadline: Thursday, February 8, 2018
-Programming dates: August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019

All applicants will receive email notification of award decisions in May 2018 following approval from Arts Midwest’s Board of Directors.


Prepare Your Application:

More information about Shakespeare in American Communities may be found here:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Christy Dickinson, Senior Program Director

Arts Midwest
2908 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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