National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $30 million in grants, including a $10,000 Challenge America Grant to The Scranton Shakespeare Festival for its 2017 summer season of free, professional theater.
The grants are part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. The Challenge America category supports primarily small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to under served populations— those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as The Scranton Shakespeare Festival, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said Ms. Chu, NEA Chairman. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
“I am so happy that the hard work of so many people has been recognized and awarded from the prestigious National Endowment of the Arts,” said Michael Bradshaw Flynn, producing artistic director.
“The Scranton Shakespeare Festival is about to embark on it’s sixth season of professional, free theater. In that time, we have befriended and created beautiful art with a myriad number of talented and good people. Our audiences have grown with us every year. We look forward to making 2017 our best season yet and continue our mission to contribute to a renaissance of theater in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region.”
The Scranton Shakespeare Festival produces five shows in June and July. The productions vary from Shakespearean classical comedies and tragedies to Broadway musicals and world premieres. The organization is also developing their Young Theatre Maker’s Lab, which debuted last summer. The lab provides young, local artists an opportunity to create and perform a show of their creation.