Building a Regional Shakespeare Alliance

In 2010, a $85,000 grant from WA Women’s Foundation helped Seattle Shakespeare Company expand its statewide touring program and double attendance. “We were motivated to bring Shakespeare to schools and communities across the state, recognizing that Shakespeare is taught in curriculum from Walla Walla to Aberdeen – and that these phenomenal plays are best experienced in live performance,” notes John Bradshaw, Managing Director. Grant funds also helped Seattle Shakes develop a Regional Shakespeare Alliance, which created networks of community partnerships in many regions of the state.

Seattle Shakespeare Company did not receive a grant the first time the organization applied to the Foundation for funding. Instead, Seattle Shakes worked its way through our grant making process year-by-year. Says Bradshaw of the experience, “The thorough vetting by WA Women’s Foundation was invaluable; that process provided a discipline that, frankly, most funders do not require. It benefitted us to strategically review what we were doing, evaluate, and in some cases, adapt to improve the program.” Participation in the process at WA Women’s Foundation is part of the transformation.

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