Topics: Arts and Culture, Community Engagement, Muncie

June 28, 2023

The Hoosier Shakespeare Festival is the 2023 recipient of the Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant.

The annual competitive grant was created in 2022 to demonstrate Ball State’s commitment beyond our campus to community engagement through the arts.

Hoosier Shakespeare Festival, headquartered in Marion, Ind., takes live performances of classic Shakespeare plays on the road to communities in Grant, Wabash, Howard, and Delaware counties. Since 2015, this festival has delighted audiences each Summer, performing as many as 16 live shows each June. The theatrical performances are presented outdoors or in open-air buildings, Renaissance-style, with little lighting and props and much audience participation and interaction.

“We are so grateful for this grant,” said Dennis Henry, the festival’s artistic director. “This funding will allow us to reach a broader audience by providing programming all year round, such as First Fridays or at community libraries, as well as promote the events more widely.”

The Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant awards up to $35,000 over 12 months to an East Central Indiana community arts-focused organization or program. The funding is intended to assist initiatives across all creative fields that promote public awareness and appreciation of the arts and diversity within the local arts community. The grant committee particularly looks at the scope of impact a project can have in the local community, including those that might not get the chance to participate otherwise due to physical or financial barriers.

“The Hoosier Shakespeare Festival brings professional theater to the public for free,” said Bianca Sulanke, project assistant in the Office of Community Engagement.

“Anyone can come and enjoy the magic of The Bard right in their own community,” Ms. Sulanke continued. “I’m thankful that [the grant committee] can play a part in bringing next year’s Hoosier Shakespeare Festival Season to a modern audience in many areas throughout the East Central Indiana region.”

Arts Place, Inc., in Portland. Ind., was the first Community Engagement for the Arts Grant recipient in 2022.