(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company is the recent recipient of two prestigious education grants. The Company was awarded $25,000 from the Shakespeare in American Communities program of Arts Midwest to support the Company’s acclaimed Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare. The Company also received $20,000 for its nationally renowned Fall Festival of Shakespeare from the Arts Works II grant initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We are so grateful for the financial and artistic support from two of our long-time collaborators, Arts Midwest and the National Endowment of the Arts,” said Kevin G. Coleman, Shakespeare & Company Education Director. “Arts Midwest helps us bring our touring productions of Shakespeare to schools across New England as they struggle to keep the arts a vital part of their curriculum. Support from the National Endowment of the Arts has been crucial to the continuation of the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, now celebrating its 30th year in local schools, a tradition we couldn’t be more proud of. It’s worth mentioning that both these national organizations pay attention to what happens locally.”
Arts Midwest has awarded $1 million in Shakespeare in American Communities grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies from 27 states and the District of Columbia. Participating theater companies, including Shakespeare & Company, will present plays by William Shakespeare to student audiences along with educational activities including in-school residencies, workshops, and post-performance discussions. Shakespeare in American Communities is a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced 2.9 million middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare through performances and educational activities.
“Arts Midwest is thrilled to continue our long partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, connecting youths with the transformational power of Shakespeare through shared live performance and educational experiences created by America’s finest theater companies,” said Adam Perry, Arts Midwest’s Vice President for Strategy and Programs. “Discovering Shakespeare’s canon inspires students from all backgrounds across America’s cultural landscape to dream, love, explore, and create new futures in epic Shakespearean style. The Shakespeare in American Communities grant awards bridge the past to the present where leaders of the next generation are discovering that tomorrow is indeed, promised to all.”
In pursuit of its commitment to advance the creative capacity of people and communities across the nation, the National Endowment for the Arts announced its second round of funding for FY 2018. This funding round included annual partnerships with state, jurisdictional, and regional arts agencies as well as the categories of Art Works, Creativity Connects, Our Town, and Research: Art Works. The NEA awarded 1,071 grants totaling $81.76 million to support programs that provide jobs to artists, administrators, and other creative workers and arts experiences for millions of people. Art Works is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “From Atlanta, Georgia to Sparks, Nevada, NEA funding reaches thousands of communities, assisting local organizations and providing access to the arts to all.”
About Arts Midwest
Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit arts.gov.
About Shakespeare & Company
Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.