Announcing the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative

Books & Literature  •  History

In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in April 1616, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), Washington and Lee University (W&L), and the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) announce the launch of the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative, a statewide celebration of Shakespeare that will take place from September 2015 until December 2016.


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The goals of the initiative are:

  • To inspire and promote Shakespeare programs among Virginia educational and cultural institutions,
  • To collect information about the many Shakespeare-related events planned across the state, and
  • To publicize those events through a variety of media, including a website and online calendar.

To be developed by VFH, the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative website and online calendar will launch in late summer 2015 and serve as a portal for information about Shakespeare programming throughout the initiative.

Organizations and individuals across the state are enthusiastically invited to participate by developing programs occurring between September 2015 and December 2016 that will explore and commemorate Shakespeare’s genius and impact. Schools and colleges, libraries, museums, and professional and amateur theater and music groups are especially encouraged to participate. Among the notable events already planned are an exhibition of a Shakespeare First Folio at the University of Virginia, the Blackfriars Conference at the American Shakespeare Center, and a weeklong residency by Actors from the London Stage at W&L.

How to participate

Tell us about your planned Shakespeare programs

As exhibits, performances, lectures, publications, readings, and other programs are developed, please tell the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative about your ideas and plans. Event details, even preliminary or tentative, can be submitted. VFH will use this to gather information in preparation for the launch of the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative website and calendar. VFH staff may contact your for more details about your plans.

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Sign up

Sign up to receive email announcements about the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative and stay informed about the initiative, including the launch of the website and calendar.


If you have questions about the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative, please contact Maggie Guggenheimer, VFH assistant to the president and communications officer, at [email protected] or 434-924-6562.