June 6, 2005
Congressman Farr lauds NEA grant for Shakespeare
By Scott Rappaport
Congressman Sam Farr praised the National Endowment for the
Arts for providing support to Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) at
last Fridays final 2005 performance by Shakespeare To
Go at UCSC's Second Stage Theater.
Congressman Sam Farr (top row, middle with red tie), surrounded
by Arts Division faculty and cast members of Shakespeare
To Go, after the final 2005 performance of The Winters
Photo: Steve DiBartolomeo
Farr spoke after a 50-minute performance of The Winters
Tale, in front of an audience made up of schoolchildren
from Boulder Creek, faculty, staff, and students.
It marked the conclusion of a two-month tour of the play that
included 48 performances in 37 venues before more than 8,000
middle and high school students from Santa Clara to Monterey.
This years tour was significantly augmented due to the
NEAs Shakespeare for a New-Generation initiative--the
largest Shakespeare project in American history--designed to
provide students in all 50 states with the opportunity to experience
professional theater productions of Shakespeares plays.
The program also provides free educational materials to thousands
of classrooms to enhance the educational impact. SSC received
a grant of $25,000.
I congratulate everyone at Shakespeare Santa Cruz who
has invested time and effort into this wonderful production,
said Farr. This NEA funding is essential to ensuring that
high quality programs like Shakespeare To Go are able to continue
bringing art to schools and communities, so that everyone in
our country has the opportunity to learn and appreciate the
rich cultural and artistic history of our world.
Shakespeare To Go was established by SSC 16 years ago in collaboration
with the Theater Arts Department. Each year, a member of the
theater arts faculty directs a 50-minute version of a play that
will be presented at the next SSC summer festival. The play
is rehearsed during winter quarter, and performances take place
in the schools during the months of April and May in Santa Cruz,
Monterey, and Santa Clara Counties.
This has been the biggest tour weve ever done because
grant money has allowed us to go places weve never gone
before, noted Sara Wilbourne, tour manager for Shakespeare
To Go. For example, because of the NEA grant, we were
able to go to Salinas this year. And with the help of a grant
from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Youth Fund, we
were able to go to additional schools in the Monterey area.
Wilbourne added that SSC also received an additional grant
from the Community Foundation Silicon Valley to enable performances
in Santa Clara County.
SSC is one of 22 theater companies across the country that
received the NEA grants. After noting that the United States
spends more on advertising national agricultural products than
it does on the National Endowment for the Arts, Farr said he
is working hard to dispel the notion that there is not a role
for the government in promoting the arts.
Im proud that the NEA brought $25,000 to this program,
Farr said. And Im going to work like mad to see
that we get more next year.
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