CrossTalk DC: Events

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for future events.


Past Events

CrossTalk DC Kick-off Forum: Folger Shakespeare Library

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC  20003

Cave Canem: Drops the Mic

An open-mic reading of Cave Canem fellows past and present, including Joel Dias-Porter, Robin Coste Lewis (winner of the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry), Kamilah Aisha Moon, host Derrick Weston Brown, and more. Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC  20003

CrossTalk DC Conversations: "A History of Housing Covenants"

Associate Professor Maurice Jackson, of Georgetown University’s History Department and African American Studies Program, and historian Mara Cherkasky, co-founder of Prologue DC and Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, discuss the historic use of racially restrictive housing covenants in DC. Tours of the Folger's America's Shakespeare exhibition are available after the program.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

CrossTalk DC Conversations"Jewish Life in Washington, DC During and After the Civil War"

Samantha Abramson, Program & Outreach Manager for the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, will explore Jewish life and key personalities during the Civil War, and the changes the war brought for the city's newly expanded Jewish community. Tours of the Folger's America's Shakespeare exhibition are available after the program.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series presented by Folger Institute

Join Dr. Kim Hall, Lucyle Hook Chair and Professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, for a special lecture.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Hall holds a doctorate in sixteenth and seventeenth century English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.   Her research and teaching cover Renaissance/Early Modern Literature and Culture, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Studies, Slavery Studies, Visual Culture, Food Studies, and Digital Humanities.

Her book, Things of Darkness, published in 1996 by Cornell University Press, used a black feminist approach to interpret Renaissance literature. This groundbreaking work on racial discourses in sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain helped generate a new wave of scholarship on race in Shakespeare and Renaissance/Early Modern texts. Her second book, Othello: Texts and Contexts (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2006) offers readers visual and verbal textual materials that illuminate themes in Shakespeare’s play Othello: The Moor of Venice. She is currently working on two book projects: Sweet Taste of Empire, which examines the roles of race, aesthetics and gender in the Anglo-Caribbean sugar trade during the seventeenth century and a new project, "Othello was My Grandfather": Shakespeare and the African Diaspora, which discusses Afrodiasporic appropriations of Othello.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

CrossTalk DC Conversations"A.C.T.O.R.  (A Continuing Talk on Race)"

A.C.T.O.R. is a recurring open discussion series hosted by Busboys and Poets as a community service. The acronym stands for “A Continuing Talk On Race." It provides the opportunity for people to come together and speak openly and honestly about issues of race. The intent is that each person walks away from the discussion feeling something: challenged, educated, uncomfortable, enlightened, refreshed, reassured and hopefully inspired and moved to action! 

Speakers at the CrossTalk DC Conversation include:

Fahima Patricia Seck is a Producer At-large with Pacifica Radio and an adjunct university professor where she has taught a class on Race and Ethnic Relations for nearly 15 years. Fahima is also a member of the working group for Busboys and Poets A.C.T.O.R.'s ongoing series.

Mimi Michado-Luces is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, producer, writer and director. Mimi is also the founder and CEO of TVA Media and is working on a series documenting the history of Afro Latinos in the Americas, La Vida en Black, beginning with her own families' sojourn from Trinidad and Venezuela, Trinivini Tribe.

Netfa Freeman is with the Institute for Policy studies (IPS). For a decade Netfa served as the director of the Institute's Social Action and Leadership School for Activist, SALSA. He is also the executive producer and co-host of Voices With Vision, which airs on Pacifica Radio WPFW 89.3fm on Tuesday's at 9:00 am. Netfa's writings have appeared in Black Star News; The Black Commentator; Black Agenda Report and other publications.

Jay Winter Nightwolf (Jay Gola Waya Sunoyi) is an Elder of the Echota Cherokee Nation of Alabama. He is also Tieno, Shoshone and Black. Nightwolf is a writer, producer and poet. He is also the executive producer of "The American Indian's Truth" "Nightwolf: The Most Dangerous Show on the Radio," which airs on Pacifica Radio WPFW 89.3fm on Friday's at 2:00pm.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

CrossTalk DC Conversations"Muslim American Identity in the US"

Besheer Mohamed, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, will explore place of Muslims in the U.S. He will discuss survey data that attempts to quantify how Muslim are perceived by the larger US public and how that perception has shifted over the years. He will also present data on size and attitudes of American Muslim communities in the US. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

CrossTalk DC Conversations: "DC Public Library's Peabody Room"

Jerry A. McCoy, special collections librarian at the DC Public Library's Washingtonian and Peabody Room, offers a brief history of the Peabody Room (nearly destroyed by fire in 2007) and highlights artifacts of African-American history from its collections. The DC Public Library's Washingtoniana holds more than 25,000 books and other printed materials, covering all subjects related to the District of Columbia. The Peabody Room is a special collection of Georgetown neighborhood history that offers information about the community's homes, businesses, past residents, genealogy, and social history. Additional information is available at Tours of the Folger's America's Shakespeare exhibition are available after the program.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

CrossTalk DC Forum: Metropolitian AME Church - "Embracing the Beloved Community"

Metropolitan has partnered with the Folger Shakespeare Library on the National Endowment for the Humanities initiative, Humanities in the Public Square, for an intergenerational conversation about race and religion in America and building together in the 21st century.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
5:30-6:35pm: Dinner
6:45-6:55pm: Devotions
7:00-9:00pm: Discussion

Metropolitan AME Church
1518 M St., NW
Washington, DC  20005


CrossTalk DC Forum: DC Public Library - "District of Change"

The latest DCPL District of Change conversation, in collaboration with Folger Shakespeare Library, is inspired by the new play District Merchants - Aaron Posner's adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, The Merchant of Venice. The conversation will include a panel of old and new small-business leaders in D.C., and explore the experience of starting and running a local business as the city continues to undergo dramatic change. Join moderator Hanna Rosin in conversation with: Morgan H. West, Program Director for Made in DC and founder/creator of the A Creative DC project; Ted K. Gong, Executive Director of the 1882 Foundation and President of Washington, DC's Lodge for the Chinese American Citizens Alliance; and Stacie Lee Banks, co-owner of Lee's Flower Shop on U Street, a family owned and operated business established in 1945.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library
901 G St. NW
Washington,  DC  20001

CrossTalk DC Forum: Anacostia Community Museum - "District Merchants: Reflections on Identity and Difference"

A joint program of the Anacostia Community Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library, actors will read scenes from District Merchants a world premiere commissioned retelling of The Merchant of Venice (probably written in 1596) set in post-Civil War DC. This adaptation juxtaposes the experiences of two DC merchants: a newly emancipated Black man and an immigrant Jew. The reading will be followed by a response from student poets from Split This Rock examining the themes explored in both plays. Q & A followed by an open mic will be available for the audience to participate to and share their poems based on these themes.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Pl., SE
Washington, DC  20020

CrossTalk DC Forum: Trinity Washington University 

Trinity is partnering with the Folger Shakespeare Library to host a special interactive program that will feature roundtable discussions and Folger actors performing excerpts from The Merchant of Venice and District Merchants.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Trinity Washington University
O’Connor Auditorium, Main Hall
125 Michigan Ave., NE
Washington, DC  20017

CrossTalk DC Forum: District of Columbia Public Schools

“What does it mean to be the other?”
District of Columbia Public Schools
December 8, 2016

DCPS Office of Family and Public Engagement, in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Anacostia Community Museum, invite students, parents, staff and community to a facilitated discussion exploring, “What does it mean to be the other?”

A small collection of DCPS student photography and selected passages from the play District Merchants will serve as a catalyst for conversation. District Merchants by Aaron Posner, an adaptation of Merchants of Venice, set in post-Civil War DC juxtaposes the experience of two DC merchants: a newly emancipated black man and an immigrant Jew. The play explores themes regarding gender, race, religion, and power. The evening will end with a call for student photography entries to be featured in a Spring DCPS Student Exhibition at the Anacostia Community Museum.

The event is free but space is limited, so register now. For more information, please contact Cassandra Sanchez, DCPS Community Action Team Coordinator,  at

Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Pl, SE
Washington, DC 20018

Reading James Baldwin
Second Annual Symposium

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Allen Chapel AME Church
Multipurpose Room
2498 Alabama Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20020

Join Pat Bradford, CrossTalk community partner and educator, for a conversation following presentations from Dr. Keith Clark, Professor of English and African American Studies, George Mason University and Dr. Angelo Robinson, Associate Professor of English, Goucher College.

You are also invited to enter a poem or work of art in the Reading Baldwin Creative Reflection Contest that expresses your interpretation of some aspect of the life and works of James Baldwin. The deadline for submissions is April 14, 2017.

For more information and to reserve your seat at the table, please contact, Pat Bradford by phone at (202) 679-4819 or email

CrossTalk DC: August Wilson and William Shakespeare - Two playwrights, both alike in dignity

May 15, 2017

Folger Shakespeare Library
Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St., SE
Washington, DC 20003

The catalysts: Shakespeare’s The Tempest and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean.
Caleen Sinnette-Jennings, Folger Teaching Shakespeare Institute faculty and American University professor, will lead this discussion.

Refreshments to follow in the lobby. This program is free and open to the public. To ensure enough materials and refreshments, please register your seat at our virtual table before Friday, May 12. To register or if you have questions, please email Danielle Drakes at