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Author: Heidi Schmidt

Colorado Shakespeare Festival Receives $25,000 NEA Grant

The Shakespeare in American Communities grant funds CSF’s Shakespeare & Violence prevention school tour.

Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 non-profit, professional theater companies across 27 states and the District of Columbia, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, to perform the works of William Shakespeare for middle and high school students. The Shakespeare in American Communities grant will support CSF’s touring Shakespeare & Violence Prevention project, which combines live performance of Shakespeare plays with an anti-violence curriculum. This is the second consecutive year CSF has been awarded this grant.

CSF’s Shakespeare & Violence Prevention project has introduced more than 92,000 Colorado students to Shakespeare since 2011. During the 2018-19 school year, middle and high schools throughout the state will host performances of “Macbeth,” followed by post-show classroom workshops using theatre techniques (supported by behavioral science research) to help students practice intervention strategies for increasing empathy and preventing violence in their schools.

“This school tour is a crucial component of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival as a whole, and it is the first exposure to Shakespeare for many communities across our state,” said Timothy Orr, CSF Producing Artistic Director. “Shakespeare is for everyone, and our school touring program was developed to inspire young audiences throughout the state, not just audiences with easy access to our home stage in Boulder. We are thrilled to have a project we believe in so deeply recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, and to continue sharing Shakespeare with Colorado schools.”

The awards mark the sixteenth consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced 2.9 million middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare through performances and educational activities.

“Arts Midwest is thrilled to continue our long partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts connecting youths with the transformational power of Shakespeare through shared live performance and educational experiences created by America’s finest theater companies,” said Adam Perry, Arts Midwest’s vice president for strategy and programs. “Discovering Shakespeare’s canon inspires students from all backgrounds across America’s cultural landscape to dream, love, explore and create new futures in epic Shakespearean style. The Shakespeare in American Communities grant awards bridge the past to the present where leaders of the next generation are discovering that tomorrow is indeed, promised to all.”

“Each year, thousands of students have an opportunity to experience Shakespeare performances and educational activities through Shakespeare in American Communities,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest are committed to expanding access to the arts to audiences across the country.”

ABOUT THE PROJECT: Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF)’s Shakespeare & Violence Prevention program combines Shakespeare in live performance with research on bullying and school violence. Professional actors from CSF perform a live, stripped-down Shakespeare play onsite at a Colorado school, then lead classroom workshops with students using theatre techniques (supported by behavioral science research) to help students practice intervention strategies for increasing empathy and preventing violence in their schools. CSF will tour “Macbeth” to middle and high schools, and “Twelfth Night” to elementary schools throughout the 2018-19 school year. Both productions will be directed by CU Boulder Assistant Professor (and former Illinois Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director) Kevin Rich. This program is a partnership between CSF and the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence on campus at CU Boulder, and is additionally supported by the CU Office for Outreach & Engagement and the Boulder Arts Commission.

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States.

CSF's Shakespeare & Violence Prevention school tour

Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s touring program uses live performance and the latest bullying and school violence research.

More Info about CSF's Shakespeare & Violence Prevention school tour