Grants for Shakespeare Plays

by June Farquhar
Many organizations provide grants for Shakespeare plays.

Many organizations provide grants for Shakespeare plays.

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The cultural and artistic importance of Shakespeare plays makes "the Bard" a focus of many grant opportunities. Even when Shakespeare is not a grant focus, the grant may apply to Shakespearean plays under the granter's arts, culture or educational grant-making activity. Some grant givers, such as National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will give grants to organizations that pass grants down to smaller organizations that share the same focus as the original grant.

Skaggs Foundation

The Skaggs Foundation in Oakland, California, considers applications for grants each November for the following year. Over the years it has provided many grants for organizations involved in the production of Shakespeare's plays, and it has been recognized by the government of Great Britain for its philanthropy. The foundation accepts letters of intent from January 15 through June 1 of each year and replies to the organization whether or not its program meets the foundation's criteria. If it does, a proposal may be sent.

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., provides grants annually for projects that include Shakespearean productions. Its 2011-2012 "Shakespeare for a New Generation" is an example of the organization's interests regarding Shakespeare's plays. Special grant focuses are announced far enough in advance for organizations to prepare a proposal, but even grants without the specific Shakespearean focus may apply to Shakespeare plays.

Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation in Michigan provides grants for Shakespeare plays under its "Arts and Culture" gifting. In 2010, the foundation provided "Shakespeare & Company" with an $800,000 grant, which it used to raise an additional $1.5 million. The Kresge Foundation gives internationally, but it only gives to organizations that are nonprofit. Most of its grants, such as the one Shakespeare & Company was awarded, are focused on education. Shakespeare & Company conducts actor training programs for 50,000 students each year.

National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities awards millions of dollars each year to organizations whose focus is art and culture, including those with a Shakespearean focus. The Folger Shakespeare Library, which provides educational programming for children, was awarded a challenge grant of $625,000 for its "Shakespeare in the Schools" programming. Smaller organizations often benefit from NEH grant awardees whose focus is expanding educational resources.

About the Author

June Farquhar has been writing for newspapers and special publications in California since 1998. She's the recipient of a press club award for organizing and designing a 42-page "Red Ribbon Week" tabloid, which received recognition from the California State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. Farquhar studied newspaper journalism at Bakersfield College.

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