One of our June Jeans BeCause recipients was Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Inspired by R. Crosby Kemper, III, the idea of a free Shakespeare festival began in 1997, and with broad civic support Shakespeare Festival St. Louis received 501(c)3 status in December 1999. In 2001 Chairman of the Board Marvin Moskowitz, first Managing Director Lana Pepper, and a visionary Board of community leaders produced the first annual free Shakespeare festival in Forest Park. Since the initial two-week run that attracted 33,000 audience members, the Festival has grown into a year-round institution producing over 250 public performances annually for nearly 100,000 patrons and students.
Today the Festival is recognized as an arts and culture leader and has received numerous awards including “Best Theatre Company,” “Most Innovative Arts Organization,” and Exemplary Community Achievement from the Missouri Humanities Council. In January 2015, the Festival received the Arts and Education Council’s Excellence in the Arts Award.
To learn more about Shakespeare Festival St. Louise and how to get involved and provide support, click here.