National Endowment for the Arts Announces
Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced that 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies will receive grants to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation from June 1, 2008-May 31, 2009. Part of the NEA's Shakespeare in American Communities initiative, Shakespeare for a New Generation targets middle and high school students, introducing young people to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. Managed by Arts Midwest, the program already has benefited more than one million students and their teachers with live performances and educational activities.
"The NEA's Shakespeare initiative not only introduces millions of Americans to the English language's greatest writer, but it also brings the experience of professional theater to many students who have never seen it before," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "I am delighted that through Shakespeare for a New Generation, we have benefited not only students, but also their teachers, as well as provided employment to numerous actors and theater professionals."
Each of the participating companies, 11 of which are new to the program, will present productions of selected Shakespeare plays with accompanying educational activities to at least 10 schools in their communities. These activities may include in-school residencies, workshops, or post-performance discussions. Companies receive grants of $25,000 each to support the project for a total federal investment of $1,000,000.
Some of the projects for the 2008-2009 season include:
Please see the complete listing of 2008-2009 grantees.
Including the newly selected companies, more than 75 of the nation's theater companies have taken part in the NEA's Shakespeare program since its inception. To date, participating theater companies have presented more than 4,000 performances at 3,200 schools in 2,000 communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The initiative also has provided employment for nearly 1,400 theater artists, including actors, directors, and stage designers.
To enhance the educational impact of Shakespeare for a New Generation, the NEA also has developed free, multimedia educational resource kits. To date, more than 55,000 toolkits have been distributed to classroom teachers. Included in the kits are a teacher's guide with lesson plans, a recitation contest guide, Fun with Shakespeare brochure with word games and trivia, a timeline poster, a CD, and two educational videos. These resources can be ordered free of charge from www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
About Arts Midwest
Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries. 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 non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit www.artsmidwest.org.
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