Arts Midwest Now accepting applications: 2024-25 NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities

by SMAC
Arts Midwest logo in black

Arts Midwest recently opened applications for two national grants programs, the NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities.

Application guidelines and information can be found here: NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities.

Partner assets can be found here: NEA Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities

Contact: Arts Midwest, 3033 Excelsior Boulevard #380, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416

PH: 612.341.0755, Or Mia McGill (they/she), Communications Specialist at Arts Midwest, Phone 612.238.8009

Arts Midwest supports, informs, and celebrates Midwestern creativity. Learn more: new brand and strategy

NEA Big Read

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

New this year, community programming during this cycle will focus on the theme “Where We Live.” Applicants will host books discussions, writing workshops, and creative activities that celebrate unique aspects of their community, using as inspiration one of 50 available NEA Big Read books. These 50 titles are drawn from the NEA Big Read archive and showcase a wide range of genres, perspectives, and geographic regions.

Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each, and the Intent to Apply is due on January 10, 2024.

NEA Big Read At-A-Glance

  • What: The NEA Big Read is a reading program that brings communities together around a central theme, using a book selection from the NEA Big Read library as inspiration.
  • When: Applications are due January 24, 2024 (with the Intent to Apply due January 10), and funded projects must occur between September 2024 – June 2025.
  • Where: Nonprofit organizations and public libraries located across the United States and the Native nations that share this geography can apply.
  • Who: Arts organizations, universities, libraries, service organizations, museums, school districts, and tribal governments are all encouraged to apply.

NEA Big Read FAQ

Q: Who can apply for an NEA Big Read grant?
A: 501c3 nonprofits; divisions of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible organizations include arts organizations, community service organizations, colleges and universities, libraries, literary centers, school districts, theater companies, museums, and more.

Q: What do organizations receive if they are selected to take part in the NEA Big Read?
A: Selected organizations receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to support their NEA Big Read projects. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts offers online content for each reading selection, and resources to help organizations prepare to host and promote the NEA Big Read in their communities.

Q: Can we choose any book for the NEA Big Read?
A: The list of books available for NEA Big Read programming changes each year and can be found in the NEA Big Read library.

Q: Can individuals apply for NEA Big Read funding?
A: No, applicants for NEA Big Read must be a 501c3 nonprofit organization; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library.

Q: Is there a matching requirement?
A: Yes—applicants will be required to demonstrate matching funds on a 1:1 basis for their requested grant amount. (For example, if an applicant requests a $10,000 NEA Big Read grant, the total project budget must be at least $20,000.) Federal funds cannot be used as a match.

Q: Is the Intent to Apply required?
A: Yes. The Intent to Apply is due on January 10, 2024.


Shakespeare in American Communities

Shakespeare in American Communities is a theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Through grants to theater companies, this program supports high-quality productions and educational activities to young audiences throughout the United States. Applicants can choose from two paths: Schools or Juvenile Justice.

New this year, grantees applying to the schools path do not need to produce Shakespeare plays. They now have the option to conduct performances and educational activities that use the works of William Shakespeare as an inspiration. Additionally, grantees may conduct performances and educational activities outside of schools, as long as they still reach middle/high school age participants.

Grants range from $15,000 to $25,000 each, and the Intent to Apply is due January 25, 2024.

Shakespeare in American Communities At-A-Glance

  • What: Shakespeare in American Communities is a project-based, matching grant that helps theater companies and organizations bring Shakespeare and works inspired by Shakespeare to students.
  • When: Applications are due February 8, 2024 (with the Intent to Apply due by January 25), and funded projects must occur between August 2024 – July 2025.
  • Where: Nonprofit theater companies and organizations located across the United States and the Native nations that share this geography can apply.
  • Who: The schools program is available to theater companies producing a play that is a work written or inspired by Shakespeare, an adaption of Shakespeare’s text, or a production that incorporates scenes, monologues, and/or sonnets by Shakespeare, with related educational activities in partnership with schools. The Juvenile Justice program is available to nonprofit organizations providing Shakespeare educational activities in partnership with the Juvenile Justice System.

Shakespeare in American Communities FAQ

Q: Who can apply for a Shakespeare in American Communities grant?
A: 501c3 non-profit professional theater companies located in the U.S. or the Native Nations that share this geography that have a minimum of two years’ experience providing professional performances and related educational activities to middle and/or high schools.

Q: What do organizations receive if they are selected to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities?
A: Selected organizations receive grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 to support their Shakespeare in American Communities programming.

Q: Can we apply for both the Schools and Juvenile Justice tracks?
A: Yes, but there must be no overlapping programming or costs between the applications and budgets.  

Q: Is there a matching requirement?
A: For the School track, applicants will be required to demonstrate matching funds on a 1:1 basis for their requested grant amount. (For example, if an applicant requests a $15,000 Shakespeare grant, the total project budget must be at least $30,000.)  Federal funds cannot be used as a match. Juvenile Justice track grantees do not have a match requirement.

Q: Is the Intent to Apply required?
A: Yes. The Intent to Apply is due January 25, 2024.

Leave a Comment

SMAC_GRAPHIC_white-F

Join our email list

© 2024 Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ACCEPT READ MORE

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Skip to content