Alabama Shakespeare Festival to Get Federal Grant

-Senator Jeff Sessions News Release

The National Endowment for the Arts will award a $25,000 grant this week to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to produce two Shakespearean productions for Alabama school children, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) announced today.

The funding comes as part of NEA's national "Shakespeare for a New Generation" program, which aims to expose school children to the works of William Shakespeare.

            "This grant will provide essential funding to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to help further the arts education of Alabama's youth," Sessions said. "It's important that young people have the opportunity to learn from masters, such as William Shakespeare, who have had such an impact on theater and the English language.  The Shakespeare Festival is a fabulous part of Alabama's culture and is known throughout the country for its artistic excellence and professional productions.  I am always proud to support the fine men and women at the Festival who make such a wonderful contribution to our state."

Since 2003, the NEA has awarded 175 grants to professional theater companies to provide live performances of Shakespeare to schools and communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  More than one million students have attended these productions, introducing many of them to live theater.

Federal grant programs are one way that local leaders, elected officials and non-profit organizations can secure funding for local community improvement projects.  Twenty-six federal agencies administer over 1,000 different competitive grant programs each year

Sessions' Birmingham office includes a full time staff member to help local officials around the state seeking federal grants.  In 2006, the office assisted in obtaining $148 million in federal funds for communities and organizations in Alabama.

Sessions' office also publishes a Weekly Grants Advisory, available on Sessions' website,, to make grant information and application procedures more accessible to leaders in Alabama.