National Endowment for the Arts Distances Itself from ‘Shakespeare in the Park’

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued a statement distancing itself from a free production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, after Fox News incorrectly reported that the NEA funded the production, in which the titular character bore some resemblance to President Donald Trump. “The National Endowment for the Arts makes grants to nonprofit organizations for specific projects,” the agency wrote in a statement on its website. “In the past, the New York Shakespeare Festival has received project-based NEA grants to support performances of Shakespeare in the Park by the Public Theater. However, no NEA funds have been awarded to support this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar and there are no NEA funds supporting the New York State Council on the Arts’ grant to Public Theater or its performances.” Trump has previously suggested eliminating the NEA altogether. The Julius Caesar production, a free event by New York City's Public Theater, has lost its funding from Delta and Bank of America since Fox News published its report on Saturday. In 2012, Delta sponsored a production of Julius Caesar that featured an Obama lookalike in the titular role.