An Open Letter from Dan McCleary                                                                          

Tennessee Shakespeare Company founder and producing artistic director                                                                                               

July 15, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Dear Shakespeare Friend,Romeo  Juliet for Open Letter

It is my pleasure to let you know about two wonderful contributions to our Education Program - and one that I hope you will consider making:                                                

NEA/Arts Midwest Grant:
The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest announced that Tennessee Shakespeare Company is one of just 40 theatre companies in the United States to receive a prestigious Shakespeare in American Communities grant for our innovative Romeo and Juliet Project. This is the second consecutive year TSC (the youngest organization recognized) has been awarded the grant.

The grant is for $25,000, which TSC must match through contributions. It will help us continue our life-changing, grade-raising Romeo and Juliet Project in five high schools in the Memphis area, four of which are Title One schools: Bartlett, Booker T. Washington, Carver, Kirby, and Ridgeway.

The Project will visit entire ninth-grade classes in all five schools a total of four times, including three progressive playshops culminating in an interactive, in-school performance of Romeo and Juliet.

Even more important than falling in love with Shakespeare, live theatre, or making better grades - the Project's impact, as was the original function of theatre, is humanitarian. Students realize that they have the ability to improve each others' lives. This is what gives The Romeo and Juliet Project profound meaning in our community.

FedEx Corporation:
Our friends at FedEx Corporation, headquartered in Memphis, have already pledged $15,000 toward this $25,000 grant.

Isn't that terrific news?!

FedEx generously has supported TSC's performance season for the past several years, and this is their inaugural gift to our Memphis-based education program. I consider this a great endorsement. Their generosity will have an immediate and profound impact on our community.

Will you help us raise the balance of $10,000 by the end of this month to match the NEA grant?

Your gift, of any amount, will go directly to our Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, which provides up to 50% of our matching education needs in the year.

You can click here to make a tax-deductible gift on-line, or you can contact me at [email protected] and 901-759-0620. I am glad to answer any questions you might have and to speak more about how the Romeo and Juliet Project is changing lives for the better in Memphis.

On behalf of our Board, staff, teachers, students, FedEx, Arts Midwest, and the National Endowment for the Arts: thank you for your kind consideration.

Lots of love,