2013-2014 Request for Proposals
Application deadline: February 21, 2013
Programming dates: August 1, 2013 to July 30, 2014
Up to 40 theater companies will be selected
Shakespeare in American Communities is a national theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest bringing performances and educational activities to audiences across the country.
Shakespeare for a New Generation is a component of Shakespeare in American Communities that reaches middle- and high-school students in underserved schools throughout the United States with high-quality, professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays.
Arts Midwest invites proposals from nonprofit professional theater companies to perform works by Shakespeare for middle- and high-school students between August 1, 2013 and July 30, 2014. Matching grants will be awarded to up to 40 theater companies to support performances and educational activities for students from a minimum of 10 schools. Applicant review will be based on artistic excellence and artistic merit.
To be eligible, an applicant must:
- Be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
- Be a professional U.S.-based theater company.
- Have a minimum of three years’ experience providing performances and educational activities to middle or high schools.
- Have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoire within the past five years.
- Have a DUNS number and an active registration at SAM.gov to be eligible for federal funds. Registration is free but will take time to complete.
In order to fulfill the goals of Shakespeare for a New Generation, theater companies must:
- Conduct activities between August 1, 2013 and July 30, 2014.
- Perform a Shakespeare play. This program supports Shakespeare productions of artistic excellence and merit that give students exposure to a live performance. While productions may be somewhat abridged, they must offer students the opportunity to hear Shakespeare’s text and to experience, to the extent possible, a full performance of the play. Performances may be held in the theater company’s facility, a school, or a community venue, but must be conducted in partnership with schools or school districts. Productions loosely based on Shakespeare’s text do not meet the intent of this program and are not eligible for support.
- Conduct related educational activities for students, led by experienced teaching artists with strong credentials. These must take place in conjunction with a performance and may include such activities as workshops, discussions, seminars, or other relevant educational activities.
- Reach students from a minimum of 10 middle or high schools with a performance and educational activity(ies). Some of the schools should be underserved, with students who lack access to the arts due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability. This may include schools in rural or urban communities or in federally recognized tribal communities.
- Comply fully with crediting requirements. Crediting will include proper use of Shakespeare in American Communities logo and credit line in all marketing materials and website, as well as display of the Shakespeare for a New Generation banners.
- Comply fully with reporting requirements as well as federal statutes and regulations. Reporting will include detailed listing of each participating school (address, city, state, and 9-digit zip code), attendance figures, responses to narrative questions, and photographic images to be used for publicity.
The standard grant award is $25,000. Grants must be matched on a 1-to-1 basis with nonfederal funds and may not include in-kind.
There can be no overlapping costs between expenses supported by Shakespeare in American Communities and expenses supported directly by the National Endowment for the Arts through their other granting programs.
Theater companies will be selected based on:
- The production, including artistic excellence and merit of the performance and the artistic staff, and evidence of sound artistic decisions.
- The educational experience, including the quality of the educational activities, capacity of teaching artists, plans to deepen or broaden the activities from previous years (if applicable), and the quality and usability of the educational study guides.
- Strategy for involving middle or high schools, including the feasibility of reaching the required number of schools, the inclusion of underserved schools, and plans to increase the number of schools or reach schools new to your program (if applicable).
- Ability to carry out the proposed activities, including the appropriateness of the budget and capacity of the personnel.
Geographic diversity may be taken into consideration in the final selection of companies.
Applications are reviewed by an advisory panel composed of theater experts. Panel composition changes annually.
If selected, your company will be expected to carry out activities consistent with your proposal. If changes occur, you must discuss them with the Shakespeare in American Communities staff.
|Application deadline||February 21, 2013|
|Selections announced||May 2013|
|Project activity||August 1, 2013 – July 30, 2014|
How to apply
To apply for Shakespeare in American Communities, you must submit an online application through eGrant. Click here to access eGrant.
- New to Shakespeare in American Communities’ eGrant? Register a login and password
- Forgot your login or password? Call Dana Setterholm at Arts Midwest, 612.238.8028.
- Prepare your eGrant application as outlined below. There will be additional questions in eGrant pertaining to number of schools and students to be reached.
- Enter your information in the eGrant application.
- Review it for accuracy. Remember to check the PDF summary from the view button.
- Submit your eGrant application on or before 5:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, February 21.
Prepare your responses to these questions in Word or a text-based program.
- Italics, bold, underlined text, or formatted bullets are not accepted.
- The length of each response must be no more than 4,200 characters. To determine the number of characters in a Word document, click on “Tools,” select “Word Count,” and view the number of characters (with spaces). To save space, limit the number of paragraphs within your response to two or fewer.
- Once your responses are complete, copy and paste them in the corresponding areas of the eGrant application.
- Description of production
- Provide production information, including the selected Shakespeare play(s), director(s), and approximate run time(s). Detail if the play is abridged, and if so, how and by whom the cuts were made. If your production is translated, detail how and by whom.
- Describe the team of actors who will perform the play.
- Explain the artistic point of view or intent that illuminates your company’s approach to the play(s) selected.
- If you are providing an evening performance, please explain how you will ensure that students will attend.
- Describe your history of performing Shakespeare (or other classically-based repertoire) within the past five years that demonstrates your ability to create a high-quality Shakespeare performance.
- Description of educational activities
- Provide a detailed description of your projected educational activities for this grant, including the location, length, and frequency of activities planned.
- Explain how the content of these activities relates to the selected Shakespeare play(s) you plan to produce.
- Describe the credentials and experience of the teaching artists who will lead the educational activities.
- Explain your plans to deepen or broaden the activities from previous years (if applicable).
- Describe how your study guides are developed, their intended use, how they are distributed to teachers, and if they meet the state's education standards. If your company does not produce a study guide, explain why the company has made this choice.
- Participating middle and/or high schools
- Explain your strategy for reaching out to schools.
- Provide a description of the types of schools and student audiences you will reach with your performances and educational activities.
- Describe your plans to reach and serve schools that are underserved (those with students who lack access to the arts due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability).
- Describe your plans to increase the number of schools or reach schools new to your program (if applicable).
- Theater company description
- Describe your theater company, including significant achievements (institutional advances/initiatives, major awards, grants, etc.).
- Explain the qualifications, background, and experience of your artistic staff that demonstrates your company's capacity to conduct Shakespeare for a New Generation activities.
- Relevant biographies
Provide brief biographies of key staff for this grant, including your artistic director, education director, production director, and creative artist(s) for the production.
Applicants must upload the formatted spreadsheets and documents below as instructed in eGrant.
- Artistic director's statement (one-page PDF)
Discuss your company's mission and goals in relation to your proposed participation in this program.
- Education/program director’s statement (one-page PDF)
Discuss your company’s educational activities for this grant and how students will benefit from participating.
- School performances (one page for each year compiled into one PDF)
Use these formatted spreadsheets: 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 (completed or projected) to provide a representative sample of your company’s performances for middle and high schools for the last three years of programming. We recommend including Shakespeare or classical theater productions whenever possible. Provide the total number of students and schools reached with the performances per year as indicated on the spreadsheet.
- Two letters of support from school officials (one page for each letter compiled into one PDF)
These letters should address their past participation in your theater company’s Shakespeare (or other classical theater) performances and educational activities, referencing your artistic quality, program management, and ability to effectively work with student audiences.
- Organizational budgets (one-page formatted Excel spreadsheet)
For recently completed fiscal year and current/projected fiscal year.
- Project budget (two-page formatted Excel spreadsheet)
- Include only expenses that are directly related to the performances and educational activities for this grant.
- If your project includes a mainstage production, please provide percentage of expenses based on the number of student performances provided for the project.
- Educational Study Guide – optional (URL or PDF)
- If you produce both a teacher- and student-focused study guide, you may provide a link to or upload both.
- If you do not provide a study guide, please include an explanation in your description of educational activities. Failure to provide a link or upload a study guide will indicate to the panelists that your company does not produce one.
- Educational brochures and/or programs - optional (PDF)
Upload a PDF of your educational brochure and/or program. Please do not provide your season brochures.
YouTube work sample
Work samples are crucial for evaluating the artistic excellence and merit of your production. Work samples should communicate effectively the quality of your work for middle- and/or high-school students.
Several union (e.g., Actors Equity Association) contracts allow the submission of work samples for the purpose of fundraising. Some contracts require that permission be obtained prior to producing and submitting work samples. Companies should contact their union representatives with questions and, if necessary, to request permission for the production of work samples. Please note that this information does not constitute legal advice.
The selection panel may only review two to three minutes of your work sample.
Select a 5-minute work sample
- Please submit a work sample that is recent, relevant to your proposal, and represents the level of artistic excellence of artists involved and the artistic merit of the company’s performances for schools.
- The work sample should demonstrate your company’s ability to speak classical or Shakespearean text.
- The work sample does not need to portray the Shakespeare play which you intend to perform, but it should be representative of the performance (or educational activities) for which you are requesting support.
- Provide a few scenes that demonstrate your company’s artistic excellence. Your sample should focus primarily on your performance. If you include educational activities, please insert this footage after your performance clip. This should not be a marketing video or movie trailer-type overview.
Create an unlisted YouTube video
- Sign into your YouTube account.
- Click on your account name located in the top right of the page. Click on “My Videos” from the expanded menu.
- Choose the video you want to edit and select the “Edit” button below the video thumbnail. Please name the file with your theater company’s name.
- Scroll down to the “Broadcasting and Sharing Options” and find the “Privacy” section.
- Select “unlisted.” Make sure to click the “save changes” button at the bottom of the page.
- Provide the HTML link to this video in your eGrant application as instructed.
Arts Midwest may copy or digitally convert your work samples to facilitate review. By submitting a work sample, you are giving Arts Midwest permission to disseminate it for the purpose of the panel review.
If your company does not have a YouTube account, you will need to set one up. DVD work samples are not accepted. Please contact Christy Dickinson at 612.238.8019 if you have questions concerning this requirement.
- If you have questions about the contents of your proposal or the required work sample, please contact Christy Dickinson, senior program director, at 612.238.8019.
- If you are experiencing technical difficulties with eGrant or assembling PDF documents, please contact Dana Setterholm, program assistant, at email@example.com or 612.238.8028.