(Washington, DC)—The Folger Shakespeare Library is pleased to announce the tour dates for all 52 stops on next year’s national tour of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.
From Shakespeare aficionados to students studying the Bard’s plays for the first time, this exhibit is a rare opportunity for people in the United States to experience one of the most influential and treasured books in history.
In partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will tour all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, beginning in January 2016 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, The Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma, and the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The locations include 23 museums, 20 universities, five public libraries, three historical societies, and a theater. A full list of host sites and tour dates is available at www.folger.edu.
“At the Folger Shakespeare Library, we’re looking forward to taking the books out of our vaults in 2016 and on the road,” said Michael Witmore, Director. “We’re excited to see the many different ways that communities across the country will be celebrating Shakespeare—in performances, poetry slams, lectures, family celebrations, and more.”
Each site will host the exhibition for three to four weeks, and the final Shakespeare First Folio will return to the Folger in January 2017. A total of 18 First Folios will be on display during the tour; six will travel at any one time.
The First Folio at each host site will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to be or not to be.” A multi-panel exhibition exploring Shakespeare’s impact, then and now, will be accompanied by digital content and interactive activities. Host sites will also offer educational programs and related events for the public and families.
The Folger, with the American Library Association and Cincinnati Museum Center, reviewed hundreds of potential applicant sites to host the First Folio before making the final selection. All were required to meet specific environmental and security requirements.
The Cincinnati Museum Center exhibits department is providing tour management and design expertise in building and preparing for travel the panels that will accompany the First Folios at each stop, as well as designing and constructing traveling cases for the 18 First Folios. Staff from Cincinnati Museum Center will also accompany the First Folios on each step of their national journey to coordinate and facilitate the transportation, installation, and de-installation of the exhibition at each stop of the tour.
The national tour of the Shakespeare First Folio is part of the Folger’s Wonder of Will initiative in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The Wonder of Will includes performances, lectures and readings, family programs, teacher workshops, scholarly programs, a new website, Shakespeare Documented, and exhibitions—at the Folger and on tour—including Shakespeare, Life of an Icon; America’s Shakespeare (Washington, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles); Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity; The Henry Plays: a special exhibition for the RSC residency at BAM (New York City); and First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare (all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico).
First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Google.org and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf. Opportunities are available to sponsor this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs. Learn more at www.folger.edu.
About Folger Shakespeare Library
Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs—theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. Learn more at www.folger.edu
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives. Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.