NEA National Initiatives

Arts Midwest manages several initiatives in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to deliver programs to communities across the country.

The Big Read

The Big Read provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. The program supports innovative reading initiatives in selected cities and towns, by providing grants, comprehensive resources, and support for reading and discussing literature.

For information about participating communities, featured books, and more, visit or e-mail [email protected].

Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities is a national theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest bringing performances and educational activities to audiences across the country. The program reaches middle- and high-school students in underserved schools throughout the United States with high-quality, professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Arts Midwest invites proposals from nonprofit theater companies to perform works by Shakespeare for middle- and high-school students between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015. Grants will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies to support performances and related educational activities for students from a minimum of 10 schools. Grants must be matched 1 to 1. Applicant review will be based on artistic excellence and merit.

For more information visit or email [email protected].