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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

The application deadline for the 2022-2023 granting cycle has passed.

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

Program impact

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.


Ellen DeYoung, grants manager, 612.238.8028
[email protected]

As of July 1, 2022, Arts Midwest is testing out a 4-day work week to give time back to our staff to pursue creative passions and recharge. Please note that our office is now closed on Fridays. If you contact us on a Friday, we will get back to you after the weekend.

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.