Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies across 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform the works of William Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities. The awards mark the fifteenth consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced 2.5 million middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare through performances and educational activities.
“The partnership that Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts have forged benefits not only these highly-talented theater companies, but the thousands of students across the country reached by these theaters’ performances and educational activities,” said Susan Chandler, Arts Midwest’s vice president. “Shakespeare’s plays teach creativity, history, complex and intriguing themes, and rich language. Students–especially those in schools that lack financial resources–across the U.S. deserve to be introduced to live performances of his timeless works.”
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for youth in communities across the country to see a live Shakespeare production, as well as the educational activities that help them to get the most out of the experience,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Partnerships like this one with Arts Midwest help the NEA to achieve its mission of giving people across America access to the arts.”
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Performance of The Tempest. Photo by Christina Hallowell, courtesy of Theater at Monmouth.