The Folger Shakespeare Library is excited to continue CrossTalk DC, a community engagement initiative through NEH’s Humanities in the Public Square project. And though many of you reading this blog live and teach outside of the DC area, we wanted you to know about our local work since it (a) uses literature as a lens and (b) gathers all kinds of people to explore big, timely questions that we cannot afford not to ask.
Here’s where this initiative has been:
May 15 – Folger Kick-off Forum
July 20 – Our Beloved Community, an intergenerational conversation coordinated by Metropolitan AME Church
July 21 – Changing Merchant Class in DC, a panel discussion with District of Columbia Public Library
August 8 – Spoken word response to Aaron Posner’s new play District Merchants, a reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and an open mic by Anacostia Community Museum
October 5 – A Campus Community Conversation at Trinity Washington University
December 8 – “What does it mean to be an other?” A Student Photography Exhibition on display at Anacostia Community Museum from District of Columbia Public Schools. DCPS is continuing the student photography project into this spring. In April, twenty-five students will have their artwork on display at the Anacostia Community Museum.
And here’s where CrossTalk is headed:
The Folger will continue to support our partner organizations efforts in community conversations. We are also looking forward to having two events in the coming months at the Folger, in addition to supporting Metropolitan AME Church, Trinity Washington University, and DCPS this spring!
CrossTalk in your classroom, YES please!
We are currently working with a group of middle and high school teachers to develop a whole wave of classroom materials that will engage literature and the humanities to facilitate student conversations about race, religion, and “otherness” in the classroom. Using the plays The Merchant of Venice and District Merchants, we are creating lesson plans and an extensive list of supplemental readings for use in your classrooms. Stay tuned!