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Shakespeare in American Communities

Connecting youths across the country to Shakespeare’s plays by supporting performances and workshops in schools and in the justice system.

How do we do this?

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.

How to apply

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 granting cycle, for activities occurring between August 2021 and July 2022. Visit How to Apply for more information.

Arts Midwest accepts proposals annually starting with an intent to apply in December and deadline in mid-February.

Program impact

One hundred and twenty-seven 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 13,100 performances and 51,000 related educational activities at more than 11,000 schools and juvenile justice facilities in 4,500 communities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.


Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019
Ellen DeYoung, grants specialist, 612.238.8028
John Kaiser, grants specialist, 612.238.8024
[email protected]

Are you a non-profit, professional theater company or organization interested in applying to Shakespeare in American Communities? Join our mailing list for the latest information about upcoming opportunities.


Shakespeare in American Communities is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.