National Partners

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; and First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. The most popular motivation letter writing available for our new clients can be easily found at

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, and other generous donors.


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.


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.


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.

Missouri Partners

SHOW ME SHAKESPEARE 2016 events are made possible by a generous contribution from the David W. Newcomer IV and Gene Ann Newcomer Family Foundation Fund, in memory of Gene Ann's brother, Professor John Klier.

  "Remembering our brother, Professor John Doyle Klier, through sponsorship of the events surrounding Show Me Shakespeare 2016 presented by the Kansas City Public Library, is a fitting tribute to a man who had a lifelong relationship with books. Many of the early photos of John showed him perched on my dad's lap with a book, and were among his favorites.

"We, the many younger siblings, were filled with creative ways to annoy our older brother during childhood. One space, however, sacred and left alone, was the library that ran ceiling to floor in our home that my parents provided for John. Was this because even then it was so obvious to us that one day our brother would become a renowned Jewish scholar and Russian historian? Or was it the simple fact that my dad had the presence of mind to make sure that John's books, his treasures, were safely under lock and key?

"As parents, John and his wife Helen shared their love of reading with their twins, Sophia and Sebastian, names of which I am sure Shakespeare would have approved.

"Through this gift in honor of our brother, John, my family would like to promote one of the greatest legacies that can be offered to a community, the chance to fall in love with literature through our library system."

- Annie Newcomer, January 2016


The mission of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is: To make Shakespeare's works accessible to a diverse audience through free professional theater and educational programs.

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1991 by Tony-Award-winning Broadway producer Marilyn Strauss, and it launched its first season in 1993 in Southmoreland Park. Since then, more than 550,000 theatergoers from 42 states and 14 countries have enjoyed the Festival's professional productions.

The Festival produces an annual production of a Shakespeare play or plays, presented free to the public at Southmoreland Park and continues to introduce Kansas City audiences to the broad range of Shakespeare's works. HASF education programs offers year-round weekend classes to students aged 5-18, in-school workshops and performances, nine metro-area camps for kids ages 8-18 and acting intensives for adults.


The English-Speaking Union of the United States was created to fulfill a mission. It was formally organized in the United States in 1920 and arose from the conviction of its founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench and a group of like-minded American and British friends, that maintenance of the close personal and national ties forged during World War I was necessary for the preservation of peace. He imagined the ESU as an inclusive organization "founded in no narrow attitude of race pride, in no spirit of hostility to any people." Its educational mission would be carried out by a host of activities allowing for personal contact between peoples at every level.

The Kansas City Branch of the English-Speaking Union was organized in 1920, the same year the National organization was formed. Colonel Marvin H. Gates was the first president of the Branch, which had an original membership of about 20. Over the years, the Branch has had many notable leaders and members, including George L. Gordon, William T. Kemper, Miller Nichols, and Charles H. Price II.


The Missouri Humanities Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Missouri, and through grants and donations. The MHC promotes a thoughtful, informed, civil society through early childhood literacy programming, nationally recognized veteran writing workshops, funding humanities scholars and their work, and collaborating with libraries, historical societies, universities, and other cultural partners.


UMKC's English department is home to a vibrant community of award-winning faculty and students, and offers programs of study that lead to the BA, MA, MFA, and PhD degrees. Department faculty has published more than 50 books (ranging from poetry and fiction to literary history and linguistic theory) and won Guggenheim, Fulbright, NEA, NEH, and other prestigious fellowships and honors. The department is also home to the literary journal New Letters and BkMk Press.


UMKC Theatre boasts a faculty team of educators who also work nationally in professional theatre. Undergraduate and graduate students are exposed to a wide range of theatre traditions and practices with opportunities to participate in the cultural life of Kansas City. On a foundation of liberal arts education, graduate students pursue their creative goals through MFA programs in acting, design, stage management, and technology. In the MA program students get a solid foundation of theatre history with opportunities in dramaturgy and playwriting. A vast network of alums work in theatre and related fields in cities all across the USA.


KCUR-FM began broadcasting October 21, 1957 from the third floor of Scofield Hall (on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City) with a signal range of 4 miles, 2 full-time employees and a budget of $15,000 from the University. It was the first university licensed educational FM station in Missouri and the second FM station in Kansas City. KCUR continues to provide the Kansas City region with access to independent fact-based and unbiased media that informs, inspires, entertains and enriches our community through conversations on-air, online, social media and community engagement.

The McMeel Family Foundation
Meet the Past with Shakespeare is made possible, in part, by a generous contribution from Joan M. Bruderer, in memory of her father Albert, her mother Anne, and her brother Bob.