First-ever Virginia Shakespeare Initiative (VSI) Launches Website


Featuring event information for Shakespeare programming across the state, is a destination website for The Bard in Virginia.

vsi-tabletCharlottesville, VA – The Virginia Shakespeare Initiative (VSI), a statewide commemoration of the upcoming 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23, 2016, has officially launched a website to share and promote Shakespeare programming in Virginia occurring from August 2015 through December 2016.

The new website,, includes a calendar of events for all ages celebrating the Bard and a blog on the connections to and interpretations of Shakespeare across Virginia. With the goal to encourage broad public awareness, accessibility, and participation, the website allows users to filter through events by date or region and learn more about the genius and impact of Shakespeare.

The events, which will continue to be added to the site throughout the initiative, are diverse and creative, ranging from an artists’ book production of Hamlet by the Virginia Arts of the Book Center to an all-ages time-travel Shakespeare adventure hosted by Henrico County Public Libraries. The Virginia Festival of the Arts has planned a flower show inspired by the flora described in Shakespeare’s works. also features a News section in blog format. Contributor Dr. Imtiaz Habib of Old Dominion University, who is hosting a series of Shakespeare programs at ODU throughout the anniversary year, notes that “the material traces of Shakespeare’s world linger especially in Virginia, a commonwealth that began in his lifetime as an economic undertaking by people he knew well.” The blog will continue to make connections between Shakespeare and Virginia, including a forthcoming interview with Shakespeare scholar Dr. Hank Dobin of Washington and Lee University, whose ideas sparked the development of the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative.

All are encouraged to explore the site, submit planned Shakespeare programming, or subscribe to the VSI newsletter at

To receive updates about upcoming events and to remain continuously engaged in this anniversary, join the initiative on Facebook and invite Shakespeare into your online conversation with #VAShakespeare.

About VSI

The Virginia Shakespeare Initiative (VSI) is a statewide celebration of William Shakespeare’s work in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of his death on April 23, 2016. This initiative began through the partnership of the American Shakespeare Center (ASC), Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), and Washington and Lee University(W&L). Together, this Planning Committee coordinated a larger partner network with more than 18 organizations across the state, including arts and tourism councils, school and college systems, and library and museum associations.

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.