HomeProgramsShakespeare in American CommunitiesGuidelines: Schools

Guidelines: Schools

  1. Read the following guidelines.
  2. The Intent to Apply was due on December 7, 2018 and is closed. This is required and nonbinding. This intent included both opportunities. Please contact Christy Dickinson at 612.238.8019 if you have questions.
    You will receive an email after submitting the intent with a Case number to enter into the application form that will pre-fill information we have on file for your organization.
  3. Prepare your application.
  4. Complete and submit the application form by Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Arts Midwest invites proposals from professional theater companies across the nation to perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors for 10 or more middle and/or high schools and conduct related educational activities for students between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020.

Theater company eligibility requirements


  • Applicant must be a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, a unit of state or local government.

  • Applicant must have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the past five years.

  • Applicant must have a minimum of two years’ experience providing performances and related educational activities to middle and/or high schools.

  • Applicant must be a U.S.-based theater company that compensates all professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel at no less than the prevailing minimum compensation. (This requirement is in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor in part 505 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 505 does not provide information on specific compensation levels.)

  • Applicant must have a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number, which is free to obtain. Look up your DUNS number .

  • All applicants and potential sub-recipients of Federal funds must have and maintain an “active” registration in SAM.gov* (System for Award Management) until the application process is complete, and if selected, throughout the life of the award.

    SAM.gov registration is free but will take time to complete. Secure or renew your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. You will need to opt-in to have it viewable in the public search. You may need to update your organization’s registration if you completed it for the Shakespeare in American Communities application in previous years. If you have issues completing your registration, please contact us at [email protected].

    If you need to renew your SAM.gov registration, sign-in and select “Register/Update Entity” in the left sidebar. Please remember to opt into the public search when updating your registration. Entities renewing or update their registration will be required to submit an original, signed notarized letter confirming the authorized Entity Administrator associated with the DUNS number before the registration is activated. As of June 29, 2018, when you log in you will be asked to create a Login.gov account. Your current SAM.gov username and password will no longer work.

  • Applicant must be able to comply with the Federal policies and legal requirements, statutes, and regulations as stated in the Assurance of Compliance .

Project requirements

In order to fulfill the goals of Shakespeare in American Communities, theater companies must:

  • Conduct programming between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020.
  • Perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors. It is not required that the actors be part of an Equity contract. The purpose of this program is to give students exposure to a live theatrical performance. If the production is abridged (a shortened version), it must maintain the theme of the play and offer students the opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s text. Performances may be held in the theater company’s facility, a school, or a community venue, but must be conducted in partnership with schools. Productions inspired, written, or loosely based on Shakespeare’s text or play do not meet the intent of the program and do not qualify.
  • Conduct related educational activities for students. Activities must be led by experienced teaching artists or actors with strong credentials and training. Activities must take place in conjunction with the Shakespeare production. Examples of these activities include workshops, in-depth pre- or post-performance discussions/talkbacks, seminars, and curriculum-based residencies.
  • Reach 10 or more middle or high schools with a performance and educational activity(ies).The majority of schools must educate underserved students who access to the performing arts is limited by ethnic background, economic conditions, disability, geographic location, or other barriers. This may include schools in rural or urban communities or federally-recognized tribal communities.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are evaluated by an independent advisory panel composed of theater peers and experts. Panel composition changes annually. The following selection criteria will be used in the panel’s assessment of the application. A theater company’s past participation in the program is not considered in this evaluation.

Theater companies will be selected based on:

  • The artistic excellence and merit of the production, including the quality of the director, professional team of actors, artistic staff, viewpoint, and evidence of sound artistic decisions.
  • The quality of related educational activities for students, including the content, credentials, and experience of teaching artists or actors, plans to deepen or broaden activities from previous years (if applicable).
  • The feasibility to reach 10 or more middle and/or high schools, including evidence of the company’s minimum of three years’ experience providing performances and educational activities to middle and/or high school students, methods used to communicate to schools, the strategy to include a majority of underserved schools, and plans to increase the number of schools or reach new schools (if applicable).
  • The capacity and ability to carry out the project, including the company’s history, qualifications of personnel, proven fiscal responsibility, and appropriate financial resources as evidenced in the budgets.

Geographic diversity may be taken into consideration in the final selection of companies.

Selected organizations will be expected to carry out the project consistent with their proposal. If changes occur, they must be discussed and approved by Christy Dickinson at Arts Midwest.

Grant awards

The standard grant award of $25,000 will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies to support performances and related educational activities for students from 10 or more schools. These awards require nonfederal match of 1 to 1.

These funds derive from Federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (CFDA #45.024: Promotion of the Arts_Grants to Organizations and Individuals). A theater company may not receive a Shakespeare in American Communities grant award and a direct grant from the National Endowment for the Arts or another Federal agency for the same project during the same or an overlapping period of support. A company may receive this grant award and the Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice award.

If selected, the theater company will enter into a Grant Agreement with Arts Midwest. The Grant Agreement will outline the terms and conditions, including Federal regulations and project and crediting requirements of the Shakespeare in American Communities grant award.

Review process

All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by Arts Midwest staff for completeness. The staff will contact you if there are any questions. Following the staff’s review, and email will be sent acknowledging receipt of your application and provide a PDF to review prior to being sent to advisory panel.