Boston, MA, August 18, 2016 – The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity established by attorneys from the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP, has awarded a Community Grant to the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters in New York City to support a literature and performing arts program focused on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Specifically, the grant will help purchase costumes, props, theatrical accessories, and stagecraft.
The project will showcase students’ knowledge of Macbeth by building expertise about a scene and then presenting what they have learned to an audience. Students will first read the play, accompanied by a graphic novel version of the text (with the original Elizabethan English) to assist in visualizing the scenes. Students will learn to recognize theatrical conventions and stage directions, and they will be encouraged to consider multiple staging options for the play and how differences in performance can shape meaning, tone, and subtext. Upon completion of the play, students will be required to select one scene in the play to demonstrate their knowledge of the play’s complex themes.
John Farranto, a South Bronx 10th-grade English teacher and grant applicant, said, “The vast majority of my students will be the first in their family to attend college. Access to culturally significant texts is crucial, and it’s important to provide them with engaging entry points to intellectually challenging and meaningful work. This multi-modal project centered around Shakespeare’s Macbeth will connect a group of high schoolers in the South Bronx to language, literacy, and culture that will, undoubtedly, open up other doors in their minds and hearts.”
Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp, said, “We are pleased to support this innovative educational program, and we are excited to see how Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be used to enhance students’ literacy and language abilities, while promoting the arts.”
Created to support front-line educators who often do not have a voice in funding decisions, the Community Grants subsidize small, concrete projects, which will improve inner-city education within Boston, Hartford, London, Orange County, Providence, New York, or Washington DC within the coming year. The Foundation will generally consider grant applications monthly and award grants in an amount totaling not more than $2000 in any one month. The grant applications and an explanation of the program can be found here.
About Brown Rudnick LLP
Brown Rudnick, an international law firm with offices in the United States and Europe, represents clients from around the world in high-stakes litigation, international arbitration and complex business transactions. Clients include public and private corporations, multinational Fortune 100 businesses and start-up enterprises. The Firm also represents investors, as well as official and ad hoc creditors’ committees in today’s largest corporate restructurings, both domestically and abroad. Founded more than 60 years ago, Brown Rudnick has over 230 lawyers providing advice and services across key areas of the law. Beyond the United States, the Firm regularly serves clients in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. With its Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, the Firm has created an innovative model combining its pro bono, charitable giving and community volunteer efforts.