Prepare your application

HomeProgramsShakespeare in American CommunitiesPrepare your application

There is not an option to save and return to the application form, so prepare the contents of your application beforehand. All of the application contents are below, including all formatted documents that will need to be completed and uploaded. Prepare, share with team members, and revise. When you’re ready to submit your application enter the form provided at the end of this page, copy and paste narrative responses from a Word document or text-based program (character count includes spaces) and upload the necessary documents. No italics, bold, underline, bullets or other formatting will be accepted. You will find the application form at the bottom of this page.

Arts Midwest does not provide samples of past applications and does not review drafts.

General information

  1. Applicant’s legal name, street and physical address, contact person for details of engagement and official grant communications, DUNS number, and an “active” registration in SAM.gov.
  2. Shakespeare play(s) planned for school performances in 2018-2019.
  3. Geographic area(s) of the schools you plan to reach.
  4. Grade level(s) to be reached (i.e. 5-8 or 9-12).
  5. Project summary (500 character count): This summary should be an overview of the project and serves as an introduction to your application to the advisory panel.
  6. Federal tax-exempt status documentation either IRS 501c(3) determination letter or if a unit of state or local government, documentation of your organization’s Federal (not state) tax-exempt status or Federally recognized tribal community or tribe. This document will be uploaded. If your organization applied for the 2017-2018 season, you do need to provide this document since one is on file.

The artistic excellence and merit of the production

Please provide as many details as possible at the time of the application. This information is shared confidentially with the advisory panel. If your company has not determined the play and/or the director, please contact Christy Dickinson at 612.238.8019 for guidance.


  1. Description of production (4,000 character count)

  2. a. Provide the selected Shakespeare play(s) and approximate runtime(s).
    b. Explain the artistic viewpoint or intent that illuminates your company’s approach to the play(s).
    c. Describe the director(s) of the production(s) and their experience directing Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire.
    d. Describe the professional team of actors who will perform the play.
    e. If the production is abridged (shortened version), explain by whom, how it will maintain the theme of the play, how it offers the students the opportunity to experience the original text, and why this decision was made.
    f. If the production is translated, explain by whom and provide their credentials.
    g. If you are providing evening performances, explain how you will ensure the students’ attendance.

  3. Artistic director’s statement (one-page PDF upload)

  4. a. Discuss your company’s mission and goals in relation to the proposed production and the Shakespeare in American Communities program.
    b. Explain why you chose the play.
    c. Describe the relevance of the production as it relates to the students.

  5. Five-minute work sample (unlisted YouTube link)

  6. The advisory panel will have access to your five-minute work sample during their independent review. During the panel deliberations, the first 60 seconds will be shown. Review these tips to prepare your work sample and instructions for posting an unlisted YouTube video. If your company does not have a YouTube account, you will need to create one.
    Please provide the following information in the YouTube description.
    a. Title to production(s)
    b. Director(s)
    c. Key performers
    d. A brief summary of the work shown on the sample.

    Several union (e.g. Actors Equity Association) contracts allow the submission of work samples for the purpose of fundraising. Some contracts require that permission is obtained prior to producing and submitting work samples. Companies should contact their union representative with questions, and if necessary, to request permission for the production of work samples. Please note that this information does not constitute legal advice.

  7. Projected performance statistics supported by this grant

  8. a. The total number of performances for students.
    b. The total number of schools to attend the performances.
    c. The total number of students to be reached with performances.
    d. The number of actors in production(s).
    e. Venue(s) for performances: Choose theater company’s facility, school, and/or community venue.
    f. Types of performances: Choose student matinees, in-school performances, and evening performances.

The quality of the related educational activities for students

Focus your responses to the following as they relate to the specific program(s) and activities that will be conducted with students that are part of this proposal and not the company’s educational programs overall.


  1. Description of related educational activities (4,000 character count)

  2. a. Describe, in detail, the content of each of the educational activities supported by this grant and include where they will take place, the typical length, and frequency.
    b. How do these educational activities relate to the selected Shakespeare play(s) you plan to produce?
    c. Describe the credentials and experience of teaching artists, actors, or other staff who will lead these activities. Explain your plans to deepen or broaden activities from previous years (if applicable).

  3. Education/program director’s statement (one-page PDF upload)

  4. a. Discuss your company’s mission and goals in relation to these educational activities and the Shakespeare in American Communities program.
    b. Explain the connection of these educational activities to the production.
    c. Describe how the students will benefit from participating in these educational activities.

  5. Projected educational activities statistics supported by this grant

  6. a. Select the types of educational activities for students: Choose pre- or post-performance discussions, workshops, residencies, students in performance, backstage tours, and/or other.
    b. What percentage of schools will participate in a pre- or post-talkback or discussion? Choose 25% or less, 26% to 50%, 51% to 75%, or 76% to 100%.
    c. What percentage of schools will participate in one or more other educational activities aside from the pre- or post-performance talkback or discussion? Choose 25% or less, 26% to 50%, 51% to 75%, or 76% to 100%.

The feasibility to reach 10 or more middle and/or high schools

Focus your responses to the following as they relate to the schools who will participate in the specific program(s) that are part of this proposal.


  1. Description of feasibility to reach schools (4,000 character count)

  2. a. Provide a brief response to your company’s experience providing performances and educational activities to middle- and high-school students.
    b. Explain the methods used to communicate to schools, teachers, or school administration, including how you invite them to participate and how you keep them engaged throughout the project.
    c. Describe the types of schools that will participate and how the majority will be underserved schools, such as Title I, ethnicity, or disability.
    d. Explain your company’s plans to increase the number of schools or reach new schools (if applicable).

  3. Current and past school performances and educational activities (formatted-spreadsheet upload)

  4. Use the formatted spreadsheets below to provide a representative sample, only one-page in length, of your company performances and educational activities for three years. Click here for an example.
    a. Insert the year of activities (i.e. 2017-2018, 2016-2017, and 2015-2016). If you did not provide performances and educational activities in the last three consecutive years, they must be within the last five years.
    b. Provide the total number of students and schools reached per year across all your company’s programs.
    c. Please upload three separate spreadsheets. Only one page per year will be forwarded to the advisory panel.

    Download the 2017-2018 Excel spreadsheet (completed or projected)
    Download the 2016-2017 Excel spreadsheet
    Download the 2015-2016 Excel spreadsheet

The capacity and ability to carry out the project


  1. Description of theater company (4,000 character count)

  2. a. Describe your company’s history of performing Shakespeare or other classically-based repertoire within the past five years that demonstrates your company’s ability to create a high-quality Shakespeare production.
    b. Explain the qualifications, background, experiences of the artistic staff and personnel.
    c. Describe your company’s achievements, including institutional advances/initiatives, major awards, grants, etc.

  3. Relevant biographies (4,000 character count)

  4. Provide brief biographies of key staff for your project, including the artistic director, education director, production director, and teaching and creative artist(s).

  5. Organizational budgets (formatted spreadsheet upload)

  6. Use the formatted spreadsheet below to provide your company’s overall budgets for the recently completed and current fiscal years. Provide notes about any accumulated deficit, a change of 10% or more than one year to the next or additional information that would be helpful to the advisory panel’s understanding of the company’s financial situation.

    Download and complete the one-page Organizational Budgets spreadsheet

  7. Project budget (formatted spreadsheet upload)

  8. Use the formatted spreadsheet below to provide only the expenses and revenues directly related to the performances and educational activities that are part of this proposal and incurred during the programming period from August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019. We recommend comparing the details of the budget to figures provided in the narrative responses to ensure there are no inconsistencies, such as the number of performances, educational activities, schools, and artists.

    a. The budget must show a 1 to 1 match with nonfederal funds.
    b. The total project revenues must be at least $50,000.
    c. In-kind (tickets subsidies and reduced fees) may not be included in total expenses or revenues. If your company’s strategy to reach schools includes ticket subsidies, reduced fees, or other in-kind, the advisory panel will expect the details of these costs to be indicated in the in-kind contributions area at the bottom of the budget.
    d. If your project includes student matinees of a mainstage production, please prorate these expenses based on the number of performances for students that are part of this proposal.

    Download and complete the Project Budget Excel spreadsheet

  9. Two letters of support from school officials (one page for each letter compiled into one PDF upload)

  10. Letters should address the school’s past participation in your company’s performances and educational activities and reference your company’s artistic quality, program management, ability to work with student audiences effectively, and how the program meets the school’s needs. We recommend that these letters be recently written by your school partners.

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This is a reminder that there is not an option to save and return to the application form. Close all documents before you enter the form; you will not be able to upload documents left open on your computer.