Paper Mill Playhouse Granted $40,000 from NEA to Support ‘Theatre for Everyone’ Programs

More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide

[Millburn, NJ]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $40,000 to Paper Mill Playhouse to support the institution’s Theatre for Everyone programs. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations.”
–NEA Chairman Jane Chu

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Paper Mill Playhouse, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.

“Paper Mill Playhouse is honored to receive this major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.”
–Todd Schmidt, Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director

“Theatre for Everyone is core to Paper Mill’s mission of creating innovative initiatives that meet our New Jersey community’s needs while helping arts organizations across the country,” commented Todd Schmidt, Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director.

“Theatre for Everyone has served more than 12,000 children and families since Paper Mill Playhouse pioneered the country’s first comprehensive autism-friendly performance in 2011,” remarked Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “We are honored by NEA’s continued major support. These vital grants have made it possible for Paper Mill to achieve decades of innovation in accessibility and to diversify participation in live theater.”

Paper Mill Playhouse’s Theatre for Everyone project is a series of programs that serves the needs of families of children with autism and other social and cognitive disabilities. Project activities include: autism-friendly performances; outreach performances at local schools and centers for children with disabilities; a year-long creative drama class for children with disabilities; and the inclusion of a school for children with disabilities in the Adopt-A-School Project, Paper Mill’s highly-regarded theater arts education initiative for underserved New Jersey schools. Paper Mill’s award-winning Autism Advisory team provides ongoing expertise for these programs.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

Major funding for Theatre For Everyone is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, PSEG Foundation, and Summit Area Public Foundation.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country’s leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.