hudson-valley-shakespeare-festival.bmpHVSF one of only 40 organizations to receive honor Cold Spring, N.Y. - Maggie Whitlum, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival  (HVSF), recently announced that Arts Midwest has awarded the company a $25,000 grant for the 2013/2014 HVSF Education tour of Much Ado About Nothing, as part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). HVSF was one of only 40 organizations nationwide to receive the honor. This is the second consecutive year that HVSF has been awarded the grant. Shakespeare in American Communities introduces middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. Since the program's inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has benefitted more than 2.25 million individuals, including 1.9 million students, with live performances and educational activities. The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has brought the works of William Shakespeare into classrooms and communities for 20 years. During the 2012-13 school year the education tour of Othello, directed by Associate Artistic Director/Director of Education, Christopher V. Edwards, reached 40,000 students and teachers in 22 schools throughout the Hudson Valley and tri-state region, as well as over 150 people who enjoyed a free performance in the new amphitheater at the Hudson River Museum earlier this month.  In 2013-2014, the education program will present a production of Much Ado About Nothing, to be directed by Christopher V. Edwards.  In addition, HVSF teaching artists will provide interactive workshops that offer students the opportunity to experience the language and stories of Shakespeare with a fresh perspective.  Alongside this work, HVSF has developed two specially created two-day Teachers' Institutes, to support teachers as they work on Shakespeare in their classrooms.  "We are extremely honored to receive this grant, which allows us to expand our efforts to bring Shakespeare to students and schools that otherwise might not have the opportunity," said Maggie Whitlum. "Arts Midwest is thrilled to partner once again with the national Endowment for the Arts for Shakespeare in American Communities," says David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. "Now in our 11th year, we continue to support worthy organizations across the country by providing the opportunity to reach young and diverse audiences and increase their appreciation of the incomparable works of Shakespeare." About the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival For 27 years, HVSF has been the only resident Shakespeare company in the Hudson Valley region. HVSF's productions and education programs reach 70,000 people of all ages each year, and its performances are consistently acclaimed for their spontaneous, spare, freewheeling and distinctive playing style. HVSF makes its home under a specially designed, open-air theater tent, perched high above the Hudson River on the grounds of historic Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York. Using the dramatic views of the Hudson Highlands as near-perfect stage scenery, HVSF presents unparalleled productions in a perfect marriage of theater Contact:  Marcia Clark 845.528.6647 /