American Shakespeare Center Receives National Grants to support Operations and Student Matinees


STAUNTON, Va., June 14, 2017 – The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) is proud to have received two national grants which will support general operations and subsidize student matinee performances for low-income school groups. 

The Shubert Foundation, the nation’s largest foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of not-for-profit theatres, funded the ASC for the sixteenth consecutive year. The ASC’s grant is part of a record-breaking $26.8 million awarded to 533 performing arts organizations. The ASC received $20,000 and was one of only seven organizations in Virginia to receive an award. 

The Shubert Foundation is especially interested in providing support to professional theatre companies that develop and produce new American work. “ As we embark on our 20-year, new work competition, Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, we are particularly grateful to the Shubert Foundation for their continued support,” said Managing Director Amy Wratchford. “We are proud of the ASC’s record of artistic excellence and appreciate being recognized by the Shubert Foundation. At a time when funding for the arts is in jeopardy, we are heartened to see these industry leaders increasing their level of giving across the board. ” 

The ASC also received a $25,000 Shakespeare in American Communities grant from Arts Midwest on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts to subsidize ticket prices to student matinee performances for low-income schools. The ASC’s award is part of a $1 million program which distributed funds to 40 nonprofit, professional theatres who perform the works of William Shakespeare for students. The ASC will provide matinee performances of, and workshops related to, its upcoming productions of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and MACBETH to students from over ten local schools. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for youth in communities across the country to see a live Shakespeare production, as well as the educational activities that help them to get the most out of the experience,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Partnerships like this one with Arts Midwest help the NEA to achieve its mission of giving people across America access to the arts.” 


The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The ASC Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic and modern plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy." Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005.

Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries is a groundbreaking, industry-changing undertaking to develop a new canon of 38 plays that vibe off of and are inspired by Shakespeare’s work.  It’s an opportunity for playwrights of every gender, race, and creed to partner with Shakespeare.  It’s our chance to find the next generation of the world’s greatest playwrights. More at 

The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to sustaining and advancing the live performing arts in the United States, with a particular emphasis on theatre and a secondary focus on dance. The Foundation's Board of Directors believes that the most effective way to encourage the artistic process is by providing the general operating support that reinforces the structure that nurtures its development. Accordingly, The Foundation does not earmark its awards; all allocations are unrestricted. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert in memory of their brother Sam, and is the sole shareholder of The Shubert Organization, Inc., which currently owns/operates 21 theatres: 17 on Broadway, one Off-Broadway theatre (The Little Shubert), and one each in Boston and Philadelphia. The Shubert Archive, a working repository of more than 10 million theatrical documents and related items, operates under The Shubert Foundation aegis.

Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years. For more information, visit

The National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit