HomeProgramsShakespeare in American CommunitiesPrepare your application: Schools

Prepare your application: Schools

  1. Read and understand the guidelines.
  2. The Intent to Apply was due on December 7, 2018 and is closed. This is required and nonbinding.
  3. Prepare your application by gathering the following information.
  4. Complete and submit the application form by Thursday, February 14, 2019. A link to a pre-filled application form specific to your organization will be emailed to you after December 7, 2018.
  • There is not an option to save and return to the application form.
  • 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.
  • Copy and paste narrative response from a Word document or text-based program (character count includes spaces). No italics, bold, underline, or bullets will be accepted.
  • 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

Once you enter the Case number in the application form, some of the information below will be prefilled. We ask that you review it and make any necessary edits.

  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 2019-2020.
  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. Intended use of support (500 character count): This brief narrative should explain your company’s intended use of the Shakespeare in American Communities funds. For example, will it enhance the artistic excellence and merit of the production, provide more related educational activities, create more in-depth residencies for schools, expand the number of schools to be reached, provide free or subsidized tickets or pricing, etc.
  7. 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 2018-2019 season, you do not 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), 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.

    The work sample must be posted as an unlisted video on YouTube. Preferred file format to upload to YouTube is an MP4. If your company does not have a YouTube account, you will need to create one. Review the tips for preparing your work sample and creating unlisted YouTube video. 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. 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.
    b. The total number of schools to attend the performances. Keep in mind 10 or more schools is required.
    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. 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 10 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 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, due to Title I, ethnicity, disability, etc.
    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). Click here for an example.

  4. 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 2018-2019 Excel spreadsheet (completed or projected)
    Download the 2017-2018 Excel spreadsheet

  5. Two letters of commitment from school officials (one page for each letter compiled into one PDF upload) This is a change from previous years.

  6. Letters should address the school’s commitment to partner with your company for the proposed project. They could come from an administrator or teacher and could 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. Or, it may address a new partnership with a school.

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. Describe the scope of your educational programs, including the total number of schools and students reached annually.
    c. Explain the qualifications, background, experiences of the artistic staff and personnel.
    d. 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. These budgets are used to assess the financial stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization.

    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, 2019, and July 31, 2020. 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. 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.
    c. Please make reasonable budget estimates and do not inflate the figures.
    d. The panel will asses if the administrative costs seem reasonable.
    e. 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.
    f. 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. If you mention free, subsidized, or reduced fees in your proposal, the advisory panel will look at this section of the budget to verify it.

    Download and complete the Project Budget Excel spreadsheet