About the NEH Challenge Grant

Theatre for a New Audience has been awarded a $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

To meet the Challenge, we must match it 3 to 1, leveraging a total of $2 million.  To date we have raised more than $1.4 million of the $1.5 million in matching funds needed to secure the full $500,000 award.  We have less than $100,000 left to raise!

The final deadline for the match is July 31, 2015.  Our goal is to complete the required match by July 31, 2014, so that our programs can be expanded ahead of schedule.

The Theatre’s seat naming campaign, A Seat for Shakespeare, has been designated to help complete the match you can find more information about  A Seat for Shakespeare by clicking here.

You can also make a direct gift to support the NEH match.  Click here to give a gift in support.

Here’s what the Challenge Grant supports:

Direct and endowed support to develop, pilot and implement an expanded humanities program in advance of opening our first home in Downtown Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District in late 2013.  Activities will include new publications and expanded public events in Manhattan and Brooklyn

New programs made possible by the Challenge funding and match:

This season we initiated the 360⁰ Series: Viewfinder, a publication to accompany each of our productions that provides facts, context and perspectives on the play, playwright and production.  This handy guide is meant for audiences of all types, from students to families to seasoned audiences.

We will be adding an expanded and diversified offering of public programs including workshops, panel discussions, play readings, seminars, lectures, and relevant films for members of the community.  We are also developing after-school and weekend programming for students and families.  We are developing a humanities component to our website to create stronger engagement with the themes explored through our artistic work, as well as enhance our national presence.

Our artists will benefit, too.  We are implementing a humanities component for the rehearsal process to enrich the contextual understanding of the play’s language, ideas and relationship to society for the director, actors and creative team.

We are enhancing our already acclaimed arts education programs in New  York City Public Schools by introducing a web component for teachers so that they can share experiences and best practices, as well as receive helpful humanities content.

Soon, our inaugural Council of Scholars, comprised of leading scholars from varied humanities disciplines, will start their first term.  They will partner in the development and implementation of the Theatre’s new humanities programming.

Our new humanities program will be varied and robust.  We are looking forward to offering exciting and engaging programs to our diverse communities.  Please help us build our Humanities Endowment Fund, ensuring a sustained and vigorous humanities program, by designating a gift to meet the NEH Challenge.

by Milton Glaser
Pictured above: Polonsky Shakespeare Center, photo ©David Sundberg/Esto.