About the program
Shakespeare in American Communities is a national theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest bringing performances and related educational activities to audiences across the country. The program supports high-quality, professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays and related educational activities for middle and high school students in underserved schools throughout the United States.
One hundred and eight theater companies across the United States have taken part in Shakespeare in American Communities since the program’s inception in 2003. Selected companies have presented 33 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. To date, the program has supported 11,000 performances and more than 40,000 related educational activities at more than 9,800 schools in 4,200 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Annually, up to 40 nonprofit theater companies are selected to receive $25,000 grant awards to provide performances of a Shakespeare play and related educational activities for middle and high school students between August 1 and July 31. These funds enable theater companies to present additional performances and educational activities; engage more schools, including underserved; and expand their geographic reach.
Shakespeare in American Communities is building future audiences and inspiring students to become informed theatergoers. The program’s national prestige empowers theater companies to leverage new connections in their community with teachers and school districts, civic and state partners, and other funders.
Are you a non-profit, professional theater company that would like to apply for a Shakespeare in American Communities grant? Join our mailing list and be the first to find out when the next application period begins.
Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019