NEA announces Shakespeare for a New Generation Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today announced that 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies will receive grants of $25,000 each to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation from June 1, 2010-May 31, 2011. Part of the NEA's Shakespeare in American Communities initiative, Shakespeare for a New Generation introduces middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. Managed by Arts Midwest, the program has benefitted more than 1.5 million students and their teachers with live performances and educational activities since the program began in 2003.

Six of the participating companies will receive additional grants of $10,000-20,000 through a partnership with the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which organizes federal programs for at-risk youth among multiple federal agencies. Funds for the grants are provided through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice, and will support performances and educational activities targeted to youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

"We are proud to support bringing Shakespeare to America's students" said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "I have seen firsthand how the productions supported through Shakespeare for a New Generation have connected youth with Shakespeare - sometimes for the first time - inspiring them and creating the next generation of audiences. At the same time, this funding increases work opportunities for our theatre artists."

Each of the 40 participating companies will present productions of Shakespeare plays with accompanying educational activities to at least 10 schools. Activities may also include in-school residencies, workshops, or post-performance discussions.

Some of the projects for the 2010-2011 season are:

In spring 2011, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival will produce Richard III and expand its matinee program to reach up to 1,200 students from 12 Baltimore City schools.
Kentucky Shakespeare will tour an abridged version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew with accompanying educational activities to 35 middle and high schools in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio.
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will present a tour of Twelfth Night with post-show discussions and workshops to more than 10,000 students at 50 schools.
Please see the complete list of the 40 companies that have been selected to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation for 2010-2011.

Including the newly selected companies, more than 80 of the nation's theater companies have taken part in the NEA's Shakespeare program since its inception. By June 2010, participating theater companies will have presented performances at 4,000 schools in 2,500 communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To enhance the educational impact of Shakespeare for a New Generation, the NEA also has developed free, multimedia educational resource kits. To date, nearly 75,000 toolkits have been distributed to classroom teachers. Included in the kits are a teacher's guide with lesson plans, a recitation contest guide, a "Fun with Shakespeare" brochure with word games and trivia, a timeline poster, a CD, and two educational DVDs. These resources can be ordered free of charge from www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA 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 largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.

About Arts Midwest
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.

About the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Established by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is an independent body within the executive branch made up of 12 federal agency members and nine practitioner members. The Council's primary functions are to coordinate federal juvenile delinquency prevention programs, federal programs, and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles, and federal programs relating to missing and exploited children. The Attorney General serves as chair and the Administrator of OJJDP as vice chair. Refer to www.juvenilecouncil.gov for more information.


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