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Grants to USA Nonprofit Theater Companies for Programs
to Expose Students to the Works of Shakespeare

Shakespeare in American Communities: Schools

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arts Midwest

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/02/22 Midnight


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Grants of $25,000 to USA nonprofit professional theater companies for performances and educational activities for students. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to support programs that give middle and high school students the opportunity to experience the works of Shakespeare.

Arts Midwest invites proposals from professional theater companies across the nation to perform an in-person, socially-distanced, or virtual performance by professional actors of a play by Shakespeare; an adaptation of Shakespeare’s text; or a production that incorporates scenes, monologues, and/or sonnets of Shakespeare that is relevant to today, and conduct related educational activities for students that further explores and addresses Shakespeare’s work in modern context by partnering with five or more middle and/or high schools.

Project requirements:

  • Perform an in-person, socially distanced, or virtual performance by professional actors of a play by Shakespeare; an adaptation of Shakespeare’s text; or a production that incorporates scenes, monologues, and/or sonnets of Shakespeare that is relevant to today. Performances may be held in the theater company’s facility, a school, a community venue, or virtually. Most students should experience the play in-person and be conducted in partnership with schools. A supplementary virtual (livestreamed or filmed) version may be offered to extend reach or minimize barriers of engagement.
  • Conduct related educational activities with students that further explore and address Shakespeare’s work in modern context. Activities must be led by experienced teaching artists or actors with strong credentials and training. Activities must take place in conjunction with the production. Examples of these activities include workshops, in-depth pre- or post-performance discussions/talkbacks, seminars, and curriculum-based residencies.
    Hybrid activities (in-person and virtual) may be provided to schools with at least one activity, such as a pre- or post-performance talkback or in-classroom workshop, offered live and interactive with students. Some activities may be recorded and shared with schools.
  • Reach five 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.

Things to keep in mind: 

  • The program will accept a wider artistic vision of a production that gives students the opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s text.
  • The relevancy of the production to today and to students will be taken into consideration.
  • How the related educational activities relate to the play and further explores and addresses Shakespeare’s work in modern context will be taken into consideration.
  • Your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion plans and actions should be addressed throughout the proposal.

Flexibility due to COVID Response: It is understood that this proposal is what the company envisions to provide for schools and students during the related programming period. As the field and education moves forward through recovery, Arts Midwest understands that future considerations of the safety of actors, teaching artists, or students and the ability for schools to permit teaching artists/actors in the classroom or to take field trips could vary throughout the nation. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165844

Number of Grants:

Grants will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The standard grant award is $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Programming dates: August 1, 2022 – July 31, 2023

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This opportunity is open to eligible 501c(3) professional theater companies that have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the last five years and have a minimum of two years experience providing both performances and related educational activities for middle and/or high school students.

Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicant must comply with federal eligibility requirements.
- Applicant must have produced professional productions 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 theater company located in the U.S. and the Native nations that share this geography 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.)

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.

Pre-Application Information:

The Intent to Apply is due on December 2, 2021. This is required and nonbinding.

Complete and submit the application form by Wednesday, February 2, 2022. If you are applying to both opportunities, an application for each opportunity must be submitted by this deadline.

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. The application form will be accessible until midnight.

Notification to applicants: May 2022

These awards require nonfederal match of 1 to 1.


Federal Eligibility Requirements:

Prepare Your Application:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Intent to Apply:

Question about Intent to Apply or guidance for contents of application
Christy Dickinson, senior program director, 612.238.8019

Technical questions
Ellen DeYoung, grants specialist, 612.238.8028

Arts Midwest strives to provide accessibility services and accommodation solutions to ensure that people of all abilities are included. Arts Midwest staff is available to assist with adapting typical processes to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to submit an application. Please email Arts Midwest at or leave a message at 612.238.8054 to connect about your needs.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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