Beginning with a production of The Tempest in Golden Gate Park in 1983 as a complement to New York’s Free Shakespeare in the Park, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (SF Shakes) performs free shows to 29,000 theater goers throughout the Bay Area each summer. SF Shakes also presents hour-long versions of Shakespeare’s plays to 50,000 kids in California schools and 900 young people attend SF Shakes’ summer camp each year too. The organization, which provides part-time and contract work for 150 young actors and technicians as part of its $900,000 annual budget, also runs a "Midnight Shakespeare" program engaging 100 at-risk youth in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland neighborhoods. Over 60% of respondents to audience surveys at SF Shakes free summer shows indicate that their first professional theater experience was with SF Shakes, and almost half the patrons are under the age of 36. While the organization has struggled in recent years to reduce a significant debt owed to its board members, continued operating support will enable the group to follow through on strategic planning goals to grow its board, cultivate individual donors, and retain current staff who have helped to stabilize the organization and enable it to continue providing opportunities for increased access and participation in the arts throughout the Bay Area.
About the Grantee
Post Office Box 460937, San Francisco, CA, 94146-0937, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for general operating support
Shakespeare San Francisco produces free performances in parks throughout the Bay Area for 30,000 people each summer. In addition, it provides free or low-cost year-round education programs for youth, an internship program for aspiring theater professionals, and a statewide Shakespeare on Tour program that reaches another 100,000 people annually. Renewed funding will support its continued commitment to cast actors that are reflective of the communities that it serves, increase compensation for its teaching artists and actors, and implement a new strategic plan.