About Shakespeare in American Communities
Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Through grants to theater companies that produce Shakespeare’s works, this program supports high-quality productions and educational activities in middle schools, high schools, and juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States. Arts Midwest accepts proposals annually starting with an intent to apply in January and deadline in mid-February.
One hundred and twenty theater companies and organizations across the United States have taken part in Shakespeare in American Communities since the program’s inception in 2003. Selected companies have presented 34 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, as part of the Schools program. To date, the program has supported more than 14,500 performances and 54,000 educational activities at more than 11,500 schools and juvenile justice facilities in 4,700 communities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Shakespeare in American Communities is now accepting applications. Please submit your Intent to Apply by Thursday, January 25th. Applications for the 2024-2025 cycle are due Thursday, February 8th.
In June 2022, Arts Midwest announced the recipients of $1.17 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants, with $1 million going to 40 professional theater companies partnering with schools, and $170,000 going to nine organizations working with students in the juvenile justice system. These performances and educational events will take place between August 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023.
- National Endowment for the Arts’ Resources to Help Ensure Accessibility of Your Virtual Events
- National Endowment for the Arts’ Checklists and Resources
- Arts Midwest’s Accessibility Center
Crediting and Visibility
Research and Evaluation
Banner: Scheduled to arrive by August 2023.
#artsmidwestshakespeare: Tag the program in social media posts.
We will not require that you use the Shakespeare in American Communities logo in your marketing materials. However, if you’d like to use it (in addition to the required NEA / Arts Midwest logo lockup), you can download it here:
Who can apply for a Shakespeare in American Communities grant?
501c3 non-profit professional theater companies located in the U.S. or the Native Nations that share this geography that have a minimum of two years’ experience providing professional performances and related educational activities to middle and/or high schools.
What do organizations receive if they are selected to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities?
Selected organizations receive grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 to support their Shakespeare in American Communities programming.
Can we apply for both the Schools and Juvenile Justice tracks?
Yes, but there must be no overlapping programming or costs between the applications and budgets.
Is there a matching requirement?
For the School track, applicants will be required to demonstrate matching funds on a 1:1 basis for their requested grant amount. (For example, if an applicant requests a $15,000 Shakespeare grant, the total project budget must be at least $30,000.) Federal funds cannot be used as a match. Juvenile Justice track grantees do not have a match requirement.
Is the Intent to Apply required?
Yes. The Intent to Apply is due January 25, 2024.
Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools
This opportunity is open to 501c(3) professional theater companies that have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the last five years. Companies should have a minimum of two years experience providing both performances and related educational activities for middle and/or high school students.
Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice
This opportunity is open to 501c(3) theater companies or organizations that have two years’ experience partnering with the justice system and engaging young people in theater education programs that illuminate the works of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare in American Communities Stories + Updates
Now Accepting Applications: 2024-25 NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities
October 24 2023
Applications are now open for the 2024-25 cycle of our two national grants programs: the NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities.
Announcing the 2023-24 Shakespeare in American Communities Grantees
June 1 2023
49 organizations across the country are receiving over $1.16 million in grants to bring the works of Shakespeare to youth in schools and the juvenile justice system.
Announcing the 2022-23 Shakespeare in American Communities Grantees
June 1 2022
Arts Midwest today announced the recipients of $1.17 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants, with $1 million going to 40 professional theater companies partnering with schools, and $170,000 going…
Have questions about Shakespeare in American Communities?
We’re happy to answer any questions you have about Shakespeare in American Communities. If you’d like to talk to us we’re just an email or a phone call away.Contact Our Team