How in the world do I find a funder for a Spanish adaptation of Shakespeare?

I have been given the task of researching funding for a specialized project our theatre will be undertaking next seasona Spanish adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. A limited number of funders will be interested in this project and I need advice on how best to search for those that may be interested. I have tried the obvious method of checking the "Hispanic" box in your search engine, but that only brings up a very small number of results and none seem applicable. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

First, check out the National Endowment for the Arts ( and the National Endowment for the Humanities ( They may have grant programs relevant to your need.

You'll also want to check out companies that do business in your community and that have an interest in the arts, the Hispanic population, or both. Companies may support your work through their corporate giving programs.

Contact your local community foundation. It may be willing to help, but even if it can't make a grant, it is likely to be a great source for ideas and information. For a project such as this, individuals may be a primary source of support. Look for people of means in your community who are of Spanish descent and ask them for help and for ideas.

Do some research, ask around. Try to locate other theatre groups that have received funding for similar work. Once you find them, contact them and ask for advice.

When you use The Grantsmanship Center’s funder databases, or any other database, be sure to think broadly about the key words you’ll use in the search. Don’t focus entirely on one key word, such as "Hispanic," but branch out and also use words such as drama, theatre, accessibility, under-served, literature, Shakespeare, etc. When we limit our search to just one specific term we are less likely to bring up all the possibilities.

How can I document the economic benefits of the arts?

I am working on a proposal for the local community college to gain support to build a professional theatre complex. I need statistical data demonstrating the impact of professional theatre to the economic growth of the city. I know that arts and culture bring in business, but I need evidence beyond my own experiences. Any idea where I can look?

Be sure to do thorough internet research, there is a ton of available data. Large organizations like The National Endowment for the Arts can steer you towards more specific information. For example, Americans for the Arts did an economic prospectus about the impact of the arts in America. One could use this type of data to support claims about how theater or dance programs raise a community's economic standing.

I work for a symphony and have a hard time writing measurable program outcomes

I work for a symphony and writing measurable objectives for grant proposals is difficult. One foundation asks for three objectives. Were giving away 500 tickets to community service organizations, so one objective is to increase participation by youth and disadvantaged community members by 500 for the season. What else can I measure? The conductor explains every piece prior to playing it, so I could address education. I included one objective stating that 10% (50) of those who use the 500 free tickets will continue to attend long-term, but that seems high to me. And how can I measure it?

Check out The Grantsmanship Center's publication on adapting the Program Planning & Proposal Writing model for the arts. That will provide some guidance.

Outcomes (or what you call objectives here) are measurable changes in conditions, behaviors, or attitudes. The first outcome you propose is specific and measurable.

You might also propose that following the performance, 75% (375) of those who use the tickets will increase their understanding of symphonic music; and that 75% will indicate that they would attend again if possible. To determine the degree to which these proposed outcomes are met, you might consider offering each person who uses a free ticket some small bonus or gift if they’ll complete a very simple survey (only 3 questions) after the performance.

The survey could ask questions such as:

1) Did your attendance result in increased understanding and knowledge about classical music?

2) Did you enjoy the performance?

3) If you had the opportunity to attend another performance, would you?

Talk to the funders to which you plan to submit grant requests. They may have ideas for reasonable and meaningful outcomes. Check out the National Endowment for the Arts website. The Endowment is very tuned into the issue of measurable outcomes.