We’re very pleased and proud to have founded a brand new non-profit group to support and promote the work of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the USA.
For more than two centuries, successive generations of Americans have beaten a path to Shakespeare’s Birthplace in ever growing numbers; today they account for one in eight of the 800,000 visitors we welcome each year to the Shakespeare family homes. We are founding Shakespeare’s Birthplace America as a way to celebrate and build on the tremendous support we already enjoy in the United States, so that we can do even more to enable the people worldwide to discover more about William Shakespeare and his life.
As a charity we receive no regular direct government funding or public subsidy, so we rely on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, grant funders, volunteers and Friends. This enables us to fulfil our remit under a British Act of Parliament to promote the worldwide enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace America will enable American supporters to make a crucial contribution to the conservation of the five Shakespeare family homes and the Trust’s unique collections, which are designated as internationally important.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace America is now inviting supporters to join a special Patron scheme. There are four levels of subscription, named for different chapters in Shakespeare’s extraordinary life story and the growth of his reputation from ‘Upstart Crow’ - an actor turned playwright getting above his station - ($1,000), to the ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’ ($10,000) immortalised by Ben Jonson in his eulogy to Shakespeare. Patrons will have the opportunity to attend a variety of exclusive events, including an annual reception and special talks by visiting experts from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the USA, and the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon.
We hope that the foundation of the new non-profit organisation will also enable us to increase our event programmes for supporters in America, to build on our established educational and outreach activity and to develop more partnerships with organisations across the US. Last year American education groups accounted for half of the residential educational courses that we hosted here in Stratford-upon-Avon. More than 50 US universities and schools have joined the Trusts’ residential education programmes.
Visit our website to find out more about Shakespeare's Birthplace America.