Folger Education

Folger Education Creating the next generation of readers, writers, thinkers, and doers. Teaching and learning at Shakespeare’s home in America, Folger Shakespeare Library.
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Operating as usual

In honor of Juneteenth tomorrow, a video celebration with poetry, song, historical reflection, and an important part of ...
06/18/2021
Juneteenth 2021 Celebration

In honor of Juneteenth tomorrow, a video celebration with poetry, song, historical reflection, and an important part of any Juneteenth celebration: food! https://youtu.be/u5ysrT8g2WY

In this special video celebration, Folger Director Michael Witmore welcomes us to enjoy the poetry of Frances E.W. Harper (“Bury Me in a Free Land”) and Folg...

Miss last week's 2021 Folger Gala? Watch it now for free and enjoy sonnets read by Sir Derek Jacobi, Richard Clifford, a...
06/01/2021
Watch our 2021 Folger Gala

Miss last week's 2021 Folger Gala? Watch it now for free and enjoy sonnets read by Sir Derek Jacobi, Richard Clifford, and Terrance Hayes and performances from Cyrus Chestnut and artists from GALA Hispanic Theatre. Plus, learn the latest about the Folger's renovation.

The Folger Shakespeare Library's annual gala is our largest and most significant fundraiser of the year.

Teachers! Join our amazing faculty for a virtual summer workshop (July 19 - 23, 2021) unlike any other. Explore trailbla...
05/24/2021

Teachers! Join our amazing faculty for a virtual summer workshop (July 19 - 23, 2021) unlike any other. Explore trailblazing #ShakeRace scholarship and how it relates to your classrooms today. Learn practical strategies to get ALL students interrogating texts. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3hKu9Ts

Teachers! Join our amazing faculty for a virtual summer workshop (July 19 - 23, 2021) unlike any other. Explore trailblazing #ShakeRace scholarship and how it relates to your classrooms today. Learn practical strategies to get ALL students interrogating texts. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3hKu9Ts

The Folger's renovation will add thousands of feet of new public spaces underneath our front lawn. That means digging 11...
05/12/2021
Excavating the Folger's Future | A Renovation Progress Update

The Folger's renovation will add thousands of feet of new public spaces underneath our front lawn. That means digging 11 feet below street level, moving thousand-pound marble stones, and opening a foundation wall that hasn't seen daylight in over 90 years. Learn more at https://bit.ly/3w3X88W. #FolgerRenovation

From lifting marble slabs weighing thousands of pounds to digging out the excavation site, the Folger building renovation project is well underway—and laying the groundwork for its next steps, too.

Teacher Members, don't miss out on what is sure to be a lively lecture TODAY (4/15) at 8PM with @AdamLZucker! It's all h...
04/15/2021

Teacher Members, don't miss out on what is sure to be a lively lecture TODAY (4/15) at 8PM with @AdamLZucker! It's all happening here: https://bit.ly/3fVjq82

Teacher Members, don't miss out on what is sure to be a lively lecture TODAY (4/15) at 8PM with @AdamLZucker! It's all happening here: https://bit.ly/3fVjq82

Honored to be named this week's Share My Lesson "Partner of the Week." Yesterday's #Shakespeare to #MalcolmX: Helping Al...
03/26/2021
Shakespeare to Malcolm X: Helping ALL Students Grapple with Race and Complex Texts

Honored to be named this week's Share My Lesson
"Partner of the Week." Yesterday's #Shakespeare to #MalcolmX: Helping All Students Grapple with Race and Complex Texts webinar is now available ON-DEMAND: https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/shakespeare-malcolm-x-helping-all-students-grapple-race-and-complex-texts-329637

Shakespeare to Malcolm X: Helping ALL Students Grapple with Race and Complex Texts lesson plan template and teaching resources. Dr. Peggy O'Brien, Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library Corinne Viglietta, Associate Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library Maryam Trowell, Manager....

03/26/2021

Registered for #Shax2021? Don’t forget to watch the 2018 production of American Moor - A Play by Keith Hamilton Cobb Shakespeare's Globe, available today via emailed access link! Then join #FolgerInstitute, Folger Education, & Shakespeare Association of America for a session featuring playwright Keith Hamilton Cobb Authentically on April 2 at 6pm EDT. #ShakeRace

Teacher Members, join Teri Cross Davis and Maryam T this Thursday, March 18 at 8PM ET for our second #blackwomenpoets wo...
03/16/2021
Here's to Black Women Poets, Part II. May We Know Them. May We Read Them. May We Teach Them. | Folger Shakespeare Library

Teacher Members, join Teri Cross Davis and Maryam T this Thursday, March 18 at 8PM ET for our second #blackwomenpoets workshop.

Register today: bit.ly/3bGbAwk

Folger Teaching is where English teachers expand their knowledge and improve their practice. Learn how to transform student learning. Find lesson plans and professional development for teaching Shakespeare and literature. Explore the wide world of Folger, including scholars, artists, and a world-ren...

03/16/2021
Feb 18, 2021_Here's To Black Women Poets! with Teri Cross Davis

Check out Teri Cross Davis, living poet and Folger's Poetry Coordinator, sharing her wisdom eat last month's Here's To Black Women Poets workshop. Don't miss the second workshop this Thursday (3/18) at 8PM ET. Exclusively for Teacher Members: bit.ly/3bGbAwk

Teachers, register today for one of our FOUR March workshops. This month we're talking #ShakeRace, #Shakespeare and gend...
03/04/2021

Teachers, register today for one of our FOUR March workshops. This month we're talking #ShakeRace, #Shakespeare and gender, Black women poets, and #MalcolmX

Teachers, register today for one of our FOUR March workshops. This month we're talking #ShakeRace, #Shakespeare and gender, Black women poets, and #MalcolmX

Update! Life business has caused us to have to postpone tomorrow's (2/11) conversation about Shakespeare and Race. #Shak...
02/10/2021

Update! Life business has caused us to have to postpone tomorrow's (2/11) conversation about Shakespeare and Race. #ShakeRace conversations are important to us. Please stay tuned for our next planned Shakespeare and Race conversation.

"It’s been a joy to join with a wide audience for varied events and to give a stage to new imaginings of old and meaning...
01/29/2021
Janet Alexander Griffin, Director of Programming and Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre, to Retire

"It’s been a joy to join with a wide audience for varied events and to give a stage to new imaginings of old and meaningful ideas.” Janet Alexander Griffin, the Folger's longtime Director of Programming and Folger Theatre Artistic Producer, will retire this spring. Revisit some highlights from her incredible tenure.

Janet Alexander Griffin, Director of Programming and Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre, will retire in Spring 2021, after four decades of leading the Folger Shakespeare Library's diverse array of programs for the public.

"Like so many who are privileged to work on Capitol Hill, we at the Folger are saddened and shaken by what happened in o...
01/11/2021
Director's Statement on the Breach of the US Capitol

"Like so many who are privileged to work on Capitol Hill, we at the Folger are saddened and shaken by what happened in our neighborhood yesterday."

Read a statement from Folger Director Michael Witmore on the breach of the US Capitol: https://bit.ly/3sldRTO

Statement from Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare LibraryJanuary 7, 2021Like so many who are privileged to work on Capitol Hill, we at the Folger are saddened and shaken by what happened in our neighborhood yesterday. The violent breach of the US Capitol to thwart the election and p...

01/07/2021
www.folger.edu

We cannot go back to business as usual. Our young people deserve more. https://bit.ly/2MKr60f Our lesson plan which asks students to analyze how three political speeches (Pres. Trump's address to the crowd on the National Mall, Antony's funeral speech in Julius Caesar, and the St. Crispin's Day speech in Henry V) incite collective, often violent, action.

12/16/2020
www.folger.edu

Teaching Colleagues,

A note from Peggy and Folger Education. Happy holidays! Wishing you rest and good health.

https://www.folger.edu/sites/default/files/12.15_BardNote.pdf

30 minutes of Ma Rainey + Beatrice with HS teacher extraordinaire Amber Phelps and Folger ED's Maryam Trowell. Join us W...
12/11/2020

30 minutes of Ma Rainey + Beatrice with HS teacher extraordinaire Amber Phelps and Folger ED's Maryam Trowell. Join us Wednesday, December 16th at 8PM for this juicy lesson. http://teaching.folger.edu

Planned for #NCTE20, but in light of the times we are making these available to ALL #elateachers. Join us for these two ...
11/06/2020

Planned for #NCTE20, but in light of the times we are making these available to ALL #elateachers. Join us for these two FREE 30 minute sessions.

Teacher friends, we've missed you! Won't you join us for a Folger Teacher Community Conversation THIS Wednesday at 8PM E...
10/26/2020

Teacher friends, we've missed you! Won't you join us for a Folger Teacher Community Conversation THIS Wednesday at 8PM ET?

Tell us how you're doing, find out what we've been up to, and take away a "spooky" good lesson for your class on Friday. #macbeth

Register for FREE and invite all your ELA teacher friends!! teaching.folger.edu/upcoming-professional-development

Did you catch the recent episode of Shakespeare Lightning Round with Director of Folger Education Peggy O'Brien? Watch i...
09/20/2020
Shakespeare Lightning Round: Peggy O'Brien

Did you catch the recent episode of Shakespeare Lightning Round with Director of Folger Education Peggy O'Brien? Watch it now at https://bit.ly/2DLdf5K.

Peggy O'Brien, the Folger's Director of Education, joins us for a new episode of the Shakespeare Lightning Round on Instagram Live.

Today, July 1 at 5 pm ET, tune into our new Shakespeare Lightning Round on the Folger's Instagram! Who's your favorite S...
07/01/2020

Today, July 1 at 5 pm ET, tune into our new Shakespeare Lightning Round on the Folger's Instagram! Who's your favorite Shakespeare character? Best disguise in Shakespeare? Most overrated Shakespeare play? On the Shakespeare Lightning Round, we ask our guests 30 lightning-fast questions about their favorite—and least favorite—things about the Bard.

Today's guest: Shakespeare In Detroit Founding Artistic & Executive Director Sam White! Learn more: https://bit.ly/2AgXLo8.

Teachers, join the Folger Shakespeare Library on July 9th for a "Critical Race Conversation: Cultivating an Anti-Racist ...
06/24/2020
Critical Race Conversations

Teachers, join the Folger Shakespeare Library on July 9th for a "Critical Race Conversation: Cultivating an Anti-Racist Pedagogy" 3 - 4:15PM EDT.

https://www.folger.edu/critical-race-conversations

Across the 2020-2021 academic year, the Folger Institute will host a series of online sessions to address an expansive range of topics in the field of early modern critical race studies. The Institute is providing the framework and platform, but, as is our practice, we turn to scholars across discip...

06/20/2020

Yesterday’s Bard Note:

Teaching Colleagues,

Today—Friday, June 19, 2020--we join many across the nation and around the world in honoring Freedom Day or Juneteenth. We commemorate the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War had ended and the last remaining enslaved persons in the Confederacy were now free. This was more than two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth got the FolgerED team thinking about the fact that Emancipation Day is celebrated in our own city of Washington, DC on April 16th . . . because President Lincoln freed enslaved people in the District of Columbia on that date in 1862.

And that got us thinking about a couple of related stories in the Folger’s own neighborhood.

So . . . come with us on a little tour: We're walking from the Folger eight blocks up East Capitol Street to Lincoln Park. It’s a regular city park named for President Lincoln, and for years, President Lincoln presided alone over the kids and dogs, runners and cyclists. The statue--called the Emancipation Memorial--was installed and dedicated in 1876. A seated Lincoln has his hand on the head of an emancipated man. Frederick Douglass attended the dedication as did President Grant. In his speech, Douglass praised emancipation but rightly criticized the statue's defeated depiction of the emancipated man.

Nearly 100 years later in 1974, Mr. Lincoln was joined in the park by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1879-1955), an African American educator and civil rights activist. She is an energized woman handing off a scroll to two lively children; the scroll is labeled My Last Will and Testament. The power of her sculpture is such that when it was installed, the direction of Lincoln's statue was reversed so that he and Dr. Bethune would face each other from opposite ends of the park. We like to think that they have been in dialogue ever since.

In this week of Juneteenth 2020, as the nation presses forward to confront our history of racial injustice, it is Mary McLeod Bethune who speaks to us so powerfully. Her Last Will and Testament is mighty, and—though it was written 65 years ago and some elements feel dated—much of it feels right on time. It is l-o-n-g. Her voice was meant to be heard, however, so you will find it below in its entirely, starting with a section of her preamble.

We know we need to do the work. We are honored to do the work. Together. With you. "Knowledge is the prime need of the hour," said Dr. Bethune, and we say, “Amen.”

Black Lives Matter.

Love from the FolgerED Team: Peggy O’Brien, Corinne Viglietta, Katie Dvorak, Maryam Trowell, and Shanta Bryant

MY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

“. . . Sometimes I ask myself if I have any other legacy to leave. Truly, my worldly possessions are few. Yet, my experiences have been rich. From them, I have distilled principles and policies in which I believe firmly, for they represent the meaning of my life's work. They are the products of much sweat and sorrow.

Perhaps in them there is something of value. So, as my life draws to a close, I will pass them on to Negroes everywhere in the hope that an old woman's philosophy may give them inspiration. Here, then is my legacy.

I LEAVE YOU LOVE. Love builds. It is positive and helpful. It is more beneficial than hate. Injuries quickly forgotten quickly pass away. Personally and racially, our enemies must be forgiven. Our aim must be to create a world of fellowship and justice where no man's skin, color or religion, is held against him. "Love thy neighbor" is a precept which could transform the world if it were universally practiced. It connotes brotherhood and, to me, brotherhood of man is the noblest concept in all human relations. Loving your neighbor means being in*******al, interreligious and international.

I LEAVE YOU THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE IN ONE ANOTHER. As long as Negroes are hemmed into racial blocks by prejudice and pressure, it will be necessary for them to band together for economic betterment. Negro banks, insurance companies and other businesses are examples of successful, racial economic enterprises. These institutions were made possible by vision and mutual aid. Confidence was vital in getting them started and keeping them going. Negroes have got to demonstrate still more confidence in each other in business. This kind of confidence will aid the economic rise of the race by bringing together the pennies and dollars of our people and ploughing them into useful channels. Economic separatism cannot be tolerated in this enlightened age, and it is not practicable. We must spread out as far and as fast as we can, but we must also help each other as we go.

I LEAVE YOU A THIRST FOR EDUCATION. Knowledge is the prime need of the hour. More and more, Negroes are taking full advantage of hard-won opportunities for learning, and the educational level of the Negro population is at its highest point in history. We are making greater use of the privileges inherent in living in a democracy. If we continue in this trend, we will be able to rear increasing numbers of strong, purposeful men and women, equipped with vision, mental clarity, health and education.

I LEAVE YOU RESPECT FOR THE USES OF POWER. We live in a world which respects power above all things. Power, intelligently directed, can lead to more freedom. Unwisely directed, it can be a dreadful, destructive force. During my lifetime I have seen the power of the Negro grow enormously. It has always been my first concern that this power should be placed on the side of human justice.

Now that the barriers are crumbling everywhere, the Negro in America must be ever vigilant lest his forces be marshalled behind wrong causes and undemocratic movements. He must not lend his support to any group that seeks to subvert democracy. That is why we must select leaders who are wise, courageous, and of great moral stature and ability. We have great leaders among us today: Ralph Bunche, Channing Tobias, Mordecai Johnson, Walter White, and Mary Church Terrell. [The latter now deceased]. We have had other great men and women in the past: Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. We must produce more qualified people like them, who will work not for themselves, but for others.

I LEAVE YOU FAITH. Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. Faith in God is the greatest power, but great, too, is faith in oneself. In 50 years the faith of the American Negro in himself has grown immensely and is still increasing. The measure of our progress as a race is in precise relation to the depth of the faith in our people held by our leaders. Frederick Douglass, genius though he was, was spurred by a deep conviction that his people would heed his counsel and follow him to freedom. Our greatest Negro figures have been imbued with faith. Our forefathers struggled for liberty in conditions far more onerous than those we now face, but they never lost the faith. Their perseverance paid rich dividends. We must never forget their sufferings and their sacrifices, for they were the foundations of the progress of our people.

I LEAVE YOU RACIAL DIGNITY. I want Negroes to maintain their human dignity at all costs. We, as Negroes, must recognize that we are the custodians as well as the heirs of a great civilization. We have given something to the world as a race and for this we are proud and fully conscious of our place in the total picture of mankind's development. We must learn also to share and mix with all men. We must make an effort to be less race conscious and more conscious of individual and human values. I have never been sensitive about my complexion. My color has never destroyed my self-respect nor has it ever caused me to conduct myself in such a manner as to merit the disrespect of any person. I have not let my color handicap me. Despite many crushing burdens and handicaps, I have risen from the cotton fields of South Carolina to found a college, administer it during its years of growth, become a public servant in the government of our country and a leader of women. I would not exchange my color for all the wealth in the world, for had I been born white I might not have been able to do all that I have done or yet hope to do.

I LEAVE YOU A DESIRE TO LIVE HARMONIOUSLY WITH YOUR FELLOW MEN. The problem of color is worldwide. It is found in Africa and Asia, Europe and South America. I appeal to American Negroes -- North, South, East and West -- to recognize their common problems and unite to solve them.

I pray that we will learn to live harmoniously with the white race. So often, our difficulties have made us hypersensitive and truculent. I want to see my people conduct themselves naturally in all relationships -- fully conscious of their manly responsibilities and deeply aware of their heritage. I want them to learn to understand whites and influence them for good, for it is advisable and sensible for us to do so. We are a minority of 15 million living side by side with a white majority. We must learn to deal with these people positively and on an individual basis.

I LEAVE YOU FINALLY A RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. The world around us really belongs to youth for youth will take over its future management. Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world. They must not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow. Nor must they forget that the masses of our people are still underprivileged, ill-housed, impoverished and victimized by discrimination. We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.
Faith, courage, brotherhood, dignity, ambition, responsibility -- these are needed today as never before. We must cultivate them and use them as tools for our task of completing the establishment of equality for the Negro. We must sharpen these tools in the struggle that faces us and find new ways of using them. The Freedom Gates are half-ajar. We must pry them fully open.

If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving. As I face tomorrow, I am content, for I think I have spent my life well. I pray now that my philosophy may be helpful to those who share my vision of a world of Peace, Progress, Brotherhood, and Love.”

I LEAVE YOU HOPE. The Negro's growth will be great in the years to come. Yesterday, our ancestors endured the degradation of slavery, yet they retained their dignity. Today, we direct our economic and political strength toward winning a more abundant and secure life. Tomorrow, a new Negro, unhindered by race taboos and shackles, will benefit from more than 330 years of ceaseless striving and struggle. Theirs will be a better world. This I believe with all my heart.

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