Shakespeare in American Communities – Schools and Juvenile Justice

National Endowment for the Arts
Deadline for submitting intent to apply: 1/9/2023
Deadline for submitting completed application: 2/8/2023

There are two strands of this Shakespeare in American Communities program. One if for schools, and the other for juvenile justice institutions.

For Schools

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. Grant awards of $15,000 – $25,000 will be awarded to up to 40-50 theater companies to support performances and related educational activities for students from five or more schools. These awards require nonfederal match of 1 to 1. See guidelines for more information.

Community theaters and University or College Departments of Theater are not considered a professional theater company for the purpose of this program do not meet the requirements to apply.

For Juvenile Justice

This opportunity is open to eligible 501c(3) theater companies or organizations across the nation that have two years’ experience partnering with the justice system and engaging youths in a theater education program that illuminates the works of Shakespeare and addresses his work in modern context between August 1, 2023, and July 31, 2024. Grant awards of $15,000 – $25,000 will be awarded to 6-10 applicants to support theater education programs that reach youths within the juvenile justice system. These awards will not require a nonfederal match of 1 to 1. See guidelines for more information.

A theater company who is eligible for the Schools program may submit an application for the Juvenile Justice program if they meet the requirements. There must be no overlapping programming or costs between the applications and budgets.


Arts Midwest requests that all applicants apply online unless a disability prevents them from doing so. The platform we use, SmartSimple, has a dedicated Quality Assurance team that tests this platform, plus an outside consultant (a completely blind computer user) who does both accessibility and usability testing quarterly. They use assistive technologies such as the JAWS screen reader.

Arts Midwest works to ensure that grant guidelines, presentations, and any other written materials are created with accessibility principles in mind. Additionally, we are happy to provide materials in Braille, Large Print, or other formats with advance notice.

To ensure everyone has access to the application, Arts Midwest staff will work with applicants who wish to use other means to apply. Solutions we have previously implemented include filling out an adapted form in Microsoft Word and providing verbal responses that Arts Midwest will share via audio recording or transcription.

Contact us as early as possible to begin a conversation about how we can help make this opportunity accessible to you. Please contact Carly Newhouse, program & accessibility manager, at or 612.238.8002.

Curious about what makes an activity accessible? Visit our Accessibility Center, especially the Handbooks + Checklists section, for resources and tips on accessible events, venues, and platforms.

Application Assistance:

Arts Midwest staff are available to help with your application in 15-minute meetings. We can do some initial brainstorming/refining with you about ideas and will review application materials for eligibility and completeness. We are not able to help with reviewing content beyond eligibility. To schedule a meeting with a staff member, fill out the 15-minute consultation request form.

If you have questions, contact Joshua Feist, Director of Grantmaking, 612-238-8054 or