Shakespeare San Francisco Festival

For General Support

  • Amount
  • Program
  • Date Awarded
  • Term
    36 Months
  • Type of Support
    General Support/Organization
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
Grantee Website 
Post Office Box 460937, San Francisco, CA, 94146-0937, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for general operating support  
Shakespeare San Francisco Festival, also known San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and SF Shakes, provides live communal theater experiences and educational programs that invite broad participation in the performing arts and live theater, prioritizing inclusion of those who have never before witnessed a live Shakespeare performance. Its free Shakespeare in the Park series reaches over 30,000 people in multiple Bay Area locations each summer. The organization’s statewide Shakespeare on Tour programs, in-school presentations, and summer camps reach an additional 100,000 people each year. Support for San Francisco Shakespeare Festival contributes to the Performing Arts Program’s Communities strategy.

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