Atlanta Shakespeare Company Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Support Public School Residencies

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Grant one of 817 NEA Art Works grants totaling $26.3 million in funding nationwide

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced last week that the Atlanta Shakespeare Company is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The resident company of the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta is recommended for a $30,000 grant to support their Total Access Shakespeare residency programming with local public schools.

The 2013-2014 school year will be the company’s sixth year in a row bringing Shakespeare-based arts education experiences to public schools in the Atlanta area. Students at two public high schools will participate in after-school Shakespeare Performance Residencies for eight weeks, ultimately presenting their own production of a Shakespeare play in their schools and on the New American Shakespeare Tavern stage. Middle school students in these neighborhoods will also watch a professional Shakespeare matinee production, receive in-school workshops, and watch members of their own community performing Shakespeare in one of the final school productions.

“Every year we reach more and more public school students through Total Access Shakespeare, and we enjoy any chance to deepen our relationship with these schools and with the students there,” said Laura Cole, Director of Education and Training for the company. “We’re very excited to partner with the NEA once again!”  This year’s award will be the company’s fifth award in a row to support this programming.

Acting NEA Chairman Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts.”

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company is a professional theater ensemble dedicated to the communion of actor and audience through poetry. By connecting actors and audience members to create unique live performances, the company aims to make classical theater engaging to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Find out more about the company’s performances at the New American Shakespeare Tavern at shakespearetavern.com.