Outreach Programs

Looking for a fun and informative virtual event for your library, book club, or historical society?

The Mark Twain House & Museum can bring you distinctive, entertaining, and interactive virtual presentations on Mark Twain’s life, work, interests, and era. If you are looking for a program on literature, history, culture and/or social justice, we can provide a presentation that is sure to delight and educate. Depending on resources and topic, we can also develop new programs specifically for your group.

Currently all of our programs are delivered safely and securely using interactive video conferencing; the fees listed are for bookings up to 100 connections (including the presenter), though up to 200 can be accommodated for an additional fee. Book your program today by calling 860-280-3130 or emailing Grace Belanger.

Email Grace Belanger

Free Preview Sessions!

Are you in charge of scheduling events for a library, historical society, church, or other community organization and want to know more about how our outreach programs work before booking? Join us in our series of free preview sessions. In each one, we give you a short preview of one of our virtual programs, talk you through how to schedule a program and market it to your members, and give you a chance to tell us what programs you’d like to see us develop in the future.

Our next preview session will introduce you to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story. Join us Monday, November 16 from 2-2:30 ET. Reserve your spot today!

Spots for each session are limited. If you’d like your local community organization to consider virtual programming from The Mark Twain House & Museum, please share this event with them.

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Outreach Programs

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story – $150

Mark Twain described Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as “a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.” This hour-long program considers how Twain came to recognize the way his own conscience was “deformed” with regards to racism and white supremacy, and explores the ways he successfully – and not-so-successfully – worked to reform it. While this program is an excellent companion to reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, participants do not need to have read the book to fully engage with and learn from this program.

60 minutes


The Character of the Place – $150

When Sam Clemens first visited Hartford in 1868, he deemed it “the best built and the handsomest town I have ever seen.” But Hartford was more than just a pretty place–it was the richest city in the United States at the time. “Hartford dollars have a place in half the great moneyed enterprises of the Union,” Clemens noted, and his neighbor Harriet Beecher Stowe called it “fat, rich, and cosy.” This program explores the social, cultural, and economic dynamics of the Gilded Age through the city where Clemens helped coin the term itself, as well as the ways the city shaped his career and personal life.

60 minutes


Seventeen Summers in a Garden – $150

Although his most famous works were set along the Mississippi River of his childhood, Mark Twain composed those novels while living in Nook Farm, a neighborhood of Hartford full of celebrated literary figures. This program explores what it was like in this vibrant community of authors and activists, whose residents included not only Twain, but also novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, travel writer and journalist Charles Dudley Warner, Civil War hero and senator Joseph Hawley, and female suffrage campaigner Isabella Beecher Hooker. It also considers the ways Twain’s decades in Connecticut shaped his writing, family, and social life.

60 minutes


Mark Twain in the Margins – $150

Mark Twain had a lifelong habit of writing in the margins of the books he read – and it did not always matter whether the book actually belonged to him. He commented acerbically on the authors and their work – “by an ass” was a favorite phrase – and made other, longer comments that tell us about the man and his thoughts. His marginalia are his “conversations” with the books he was reading, and there are many examples of this in the library collection of The Mark Twain House & Museum.

60 minutes


Mark Twain, World Traveler – $150

At 17, Samuel Clemens told his mother “I want to move, move, MOVE!” Move he did, with travel serving as a central feature of his personal life and the driving engine for much of his writing career. From mining towns in Nevada and California to dispatches sent from Hawaii and the Holy Land, Twain built a solid career as a journalist and travel writer before achieving success as a fiction writer, but he never left travel behind. Themes of travel, mobility, and cultural contact pervade his fiction, and its success was driven by Twain’s repeated national and global speaking tours. This program explores Twain’s experience with and relationship to travel, including its effect on his social views.

60 minutes


Mark Twain and the American Presidents – $200

Mark Twain’s frank observations about American culture in the Gilded Age often ring true today. Corruption, national identity, the power of big business, and America’s global role were just as contested then as they are now. His funny, insightful observations about the presidents of his day apply readily to the modern presidency.

60 Minutes


We will also develop new programs to match your community’s interests.

Are you interested in Twain, or nineteenth-century American history or literature more broadly, but want to learn about something not on the list? Custom programs are potentially available. Depending on the amount of research needed, it may be possible to develop a new program for you. The fee is on the amount of time needed for preparation.

 

Book your program today!

To reserve a Mark Twain House & Museum educational program, call Grace Belanger at 860- 280-3130 or email grace.belanger@marktwainhouse.org. We will schedule these programs on a mutually agreeable date. They are generally available year-round during the day or early evening (Eastern Time).