National Endowment for the Arts awards grant to Wayne College


The University of Akron Wayne College has been approved for a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support its annual Shakespeare Festival. Wayne College was recommended to receive one of 162 Challenge America Fast-Track grants, which support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.  

Actors from the American Shakespeare Center perform annually at Wayne College.

The 2012 Shakespeare Festival at Wayne College is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 and will be the 14th year the college has brought the professional performing troupe, American Shakespeare Center on Tour, to Orrville. Its 2012-13 "Tempt Me Further Tour" features the timeless classics "Twelfth Night" on Friday and "Love’s Labour’s Lost" on Saturday. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the J.M. Smucker Room of the Student Life Building.

The schedule includes a Friday matinee for area high school students, followed by workshops that teach staging conditions and other elements that are specific to Shakespeare. With the NEA grant and support of other donors, the college is able to offer these workshops free of charge to area students.

Theatre for all ages              

“We’re pleased to once again provide this wonderful opportunity to experience live Shakespearean theatre to Wayne, Holmes and Medina Counties as part of our 2012 Community Connections Series,” says Neil Sapienza, interim dean of Wayne College. “It is through the support of the NEA and our generous local sponsors that we are able to make professional theatre accessible close to home.”

“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” says National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts online.

Wayne College also has received $2,688 for the Shakespeare Festival from the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, which engages people in meaningful experiences with the fine arts of dance, music, theatre and other performing arts forms. The Touring Fund is a program of Arts Midwest, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council.

About Wayne College

Wayne College is a regional campus of The University of Akron and offers the first two years of general bachelor’s degree courses for students who plan to complete their degrees at the Akron campus or other colleges and universities.

Media contacts: Kevin Engle, 330-684-8948 or kengle, or Debbie Muniak, 330-684-8729 or