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More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide Includes $10,000 awarded to Arkansas Shak

Conway, AR—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $10,000 to Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre to support the "pay what you can" comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream and to expand its touring show to underserved and rural areas the state in an effort to bring live, professional theatre to those who may not otherwise have the chance to experience it. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

"We are thrilled and delighted that the NEA is recognizing the work that we do, that they have confidence in Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre to enrich the lives of all Arkansans through live, professional performances of Shakespeare's works. Certainly bringing our touring show to underserved populations is part of our mission, and we appreciate the NEA's support in aiding us in this important outreach," said Mary Ruth Marotte, Executive Director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

This NEA grant will support "Shakespeare Across Arkansas," the touring component of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre's summer festival season. It includes an outdoor "pay what you can" production of a A Midsummer Night's Dream on the lawn of McAlister Hall on the campus of University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas this summer from June 10th-July 9th and a family friendly one-hour adaptation of Twelfth Night that will tour across the state from June through August. These professional productions will be fun and accessible with the goal of engaging low-income and rural populations.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre makes its home on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas and is housed in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. AST's summer season starts June 10th and concludes July 9th. In addition to A Midsummer Night's Dream, AST will produce Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, and Twelfth Night in Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA. For more information, contact or call 501-269-9428. Tickets are available at the Reynolds box office by calling 501-450-3265 or 866-810-0012. Visit for more information.

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