Home Programs Shakespeare in American Communities Prepare your application: Schools

Prepare your application: Schools

  1. Read and understand the guidelines.
  2. The Intent to Apply is due on December 2, 2021. This is required and nonbinding.
  3. Prepare your application by gathering the following information.
  4. Complete and submit the application form by Wednesday, February 2, 2022. A link to a pre-filled application form specific to your organization will be sent to you.

Arts Midwest staff will be available to receive phone calls and respond to emails until 5:00pm on February 2, 2022, and will be checking email periodically in the evening at [email protected]. The application form will be accessible until midnight.

Application Tips:


  • 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.

  • The application system will NOT auto-save your work, so some applicants may wish to work in another document and paste your answers once written. You will type your application into the text boxes online.

  • Character counts include letters, numbers, spaces, and paragraph breaks. There is no formatting (bold, italics, or bullet points). Do not include links in narrative text fields. Close all documents before uploading into the form.

  • Arts Midwest staff does not review drafts. If you would like guidance with the contents of your application, please contact Christy Dickinson, senior program director, at 612.238.8019.

General information to provide

After you complete the intent to apply, a link to your application will be provided to you and some of the information below will be prefilled. We ask that you review it and make any necessary edits.

Prefilled info:

  1. Applicant’s legal name, mailing address, physical address, contact person for details of engagement and official grant communications, company’s website (provided to advisory panel), and DUNS number.

Project information to be provided by applicant:

  1. Theater company’s summary (1,000-character count): This summary should explain your company’s history and mission and serves as an introduction of your company to the advisory panel.
  2. Diversity, equity, and inclusion statement (1,000-character count): This statement should address the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion both on and off stage and should be reflected throughout the proposal.
  3. Project summary (500-character count): This brief summary should be an overview of the proposed performances and educational activities for middle and/or high school students.
  4. Title of play(s) by or adapted from Shakespeare planned for school performances in 2022-2023.
  5. Geographic area(s) of the schools you plan to reach.
  6. Grade level(s) to be reached (i.e. 5-8 or 9-12).

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)

a. Provide the selected production and why the title was chosen, its relevance to today, and how it offers students the opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s text.
b. Explain the artistic viewpoint or intent that illuminates your company’s approach to the play(s).
c. Provide the director(s) of the production(s) and their experience. If unknown, provide a few directors you have used in past productions.
d. Describe the professional team of actors who will perform the play. If the actors are unknown, provide information of how the cast is selected, if they are part of a core company, and how you determined the diversity and inclusion of the team of actors.
e. Provide the run time, and if shortened, why this decision was made and how the theme will be maintained.
f. If you are providing a supplemental virtual (filmed or livestreamed) performance, explain how you will ensure the majority of schools will experience a live, in-person performance.
g. If the production is translated, explain by whom and provide their credentials.
h. If there is an evening performance for students, you must explain how you will ensure partnering with schools and students’ attendance

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

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.

This year, you will not be required to submit a five-minute work sample. Therefore, it is important to provide a thorough description of the performance, add a personal touch with the artistic director’s statement, and provide the relevant biographies of those who are part of the proposed production (see “the capacity and ability to carry out the project.”)

3. Projected performance statistics supported by this grant

The figures you provide should be consistent with what is referenced in your narrative responses and the Proposed Project Budget. A discrepancy in these numbers can confuse the advisory panel’s review.

a. The total number of performances for middle and/or high school students. Keep in mind this must be the majority of the 5 or more schools.
b. The total number of students to be reached with performances.
c. The number of actors in production(s).
d. Venue(s) for performances: Choose theater company’s facility, school, community venue, and/or virtual.
e. Types of performances: Choose student matinees, in-school performances, evening performances, and/or filmed/livestreamed. (multiple choice)

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)

a. Share how these activities for students will explore and address Shakespeare work in modern context.
b. Describe, in detail, the content of each of the educational activities and include where they will take place, the typical length, and frequency.
c. Provide information of how the content of these activities are developed and how they relate to the proposed play(s).
d. 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).
e. If you are providing hybrid activities (in-person and virtual), explain how students will have access to the activities and how you will ensure participation. Remember at least one activity, such as the pre- or post-performance talkback or in-classroom workshop must be live and interactive with students.
f. If applicable, explain the plan to deepen or broaden activities from previous years.

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

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

3. Projected educational activities statistics supported by this grant

The percentages you provide should be consistent with what is referenced in your narrative responses and the Proposed Project Budget. A discrepancy can confuse the advisory panel’s review. Keep in mind five or more schools must experience a performance, plus a related educational activity.

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 workshops, seminars, or curriculum-based residencies? Choose 25% or less, 26% to 50%, 51% to 75%, or 76% to 100%.

The feasibility to reach five 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)

a. Provide a brief response to your company’s experience providing performances and educational activities to middle and high school students.
b. Describe the types of schools that will participate and how the majority will be schools that educate students with limited access to the performing arts, due to Title I, ethnicity, disability, or other factors.
c. If you are proposing supplementing a virtual (livestreamed or filmed) performance and/or hybrid educational activities, explain the method for delivering these to schools and students.
d. Explain the methods used to communicate to schools, teachers, or school administration, including how you invite them to participate, how you communicate programming, and how you keep them engaged throughout the project.
e. Share if you provide teacher training and or curriculum study guides.
f. Briefly describe the fee structure for schools and if tiered, subsidized, or free, how determinations are made as to which schools receive it.
g. Explain your company’s plans to increase the number of schools or reach new schools with both a performance and related educational activity. (if applicable).

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

Click here for an example.

a. Use the formatted spreadsheets below to provide a representative sample of your company’s two years’ experience providing performances and educational activities to middle and/or high schools. If you did not provide performances and educational activities in the last two consecutive years, they must be within the last five years.
b. Only one page per year will be forwarded to the advisory panel. Therefore, it is important to show an array of schools and related educational activities for students. Remember this is a representative sample and more explanation of your company’s educational programs can be addressed in the Description of the Theater Company.
c. Please complete and upload these separate spreadsheets.

Download the current year (completed or projected) Excel spreadsheet
Download the previous year Excel spreadsheet

3. List of planned core partners (one-page PDF upload) This is in place of the letter of commitment from schools that was required in previous years.

Please provide a list of the core partner schools that are interested in ensuring this proposed project is available to their students. This may include schools who have received programming in the past or new schools who are interested.

The capacity and ability to carry out the project

1. Relevant biographies (4,000 character count)

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

2. Resilience Plan (4,000 character count)

a. Provide a brief description of how your theater company is responding to meet the challenges of a transformed world.
b. Explain how your company has the ability the pivot the proposed project in response to future circumstances.
c. Describe your company’s ability to financially meet the $25,000 match if projected earned income from schools is decreased. Remember other federal funds may not be used as match.

3. Organizational budgets (formatted spreadsheet upload)

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. These budgets are used to assess the financial stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization.

Download and complete the one-page Organizational Budgets spreadsheet

4. Proposed project budget (formatted spreadsheet upload)

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, 2022, and July 31, 2023. 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. The total project revenues must be at least $50,000.
b. The compensation of the professional actors/teaching artists at no less than the prevailing minimum wage.
c. We recommend comparing the details of the budget to figures provided in the narrative responses to ensure there are no inconsistencies, i.e. the number of performances, educational activities, schools, and artists.
d. Please make reasonable budget estimates and do not inflate the figures.
e. The panel will assess if the administrative costs seem reasonable.
f. 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.
g. School subsidies may not be included in total expenses or revenues. If your company’s strategy to reach schools includes ticket subsidies or reduced fees, the advisory panel will expect the details of these costs to be indicated in the section at the bottom of the budget. If you mention free, subsidized, or reduced fees in your proposal descriptions, the advisory panel will look at this section of the budget to verify it.

Download and complete the Project Budget Excel spreadsheet