Collection of letters addressed to Matthew Shepards’ family now on display at the Center for Education and Leadership

Washington, D.C.— Ford’s Theatre Society today announced the extension of the exhibition Not Alone: The Power of Response, through December 8, 2013. This world-premiere exhibition on display at the Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW) features a selection of the tens of thousands of letters addressed to Matthew Shepard’s family in the wake of his 1998 attack and death in Laramie, Wyoming. Not Alone pairs artist Jeff Sheng’s hauntingly beautiful photograph, Where Matthew Lay Dying, (Laramie Wyoming), 2007, with letters, drawings and personalized cards from school-age children, secular and religious groups, Coretta Scott King and political leaders including former President Clinton, to explore themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility.

The exhibition is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Oct. 26; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. October 27-December 8. Admission is included with regular daytime visit tickets to Ford's Theatre. Tickets may be reserved in person at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office, through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or online at Ticketmaster fees apply. Groups of 15 or more may reserve tickets by calling (202) 638-2367.

Not Alone: The Power of Response is presented as part of the Ford’s Theatre Society’s multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project—this year thematically connected with the Society’s production of the stage play The Laramie Project (through October 27, 2013), and recognizing the 15 years since Matthew Shepard was abducted and killed in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming. The Lincoln Legacy Project encourages people of differing viewpoints to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue about diversity and understanding through a range of programming including performances, panel discussions, special museum exhibitions, education programs and more.

Not Alone: The Power of Response
Letters of Support to the Parents of Matthew Shepard Following his Murder
Extended through December 8, 2013
Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW)

After midnight on October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student living in Laramie, Wyoming, was abducted, tied to a fence, beaten and left to die on the outskirts of town by two assailants. He died five days later with his family by his side. His murder claimed national and international attention and has become one of the most widely known anti-gay hate crimes in American history. Not Alone: The Power of Response pairs artist Jeff Sheng’s Where Matthew Lay Dying, (Laramie Wyoming), 2007 a hauntingly beautiful composite photograph of the fence outside Laramie—taken from Matthew’s perspective—with a selection of the letters sent to the Shepard family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility.

Ford’s Theatre Society
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.

The mission of Ford’s Theatre Society is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education. For its accomplishments, the organization was honored in 2008 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the U.S. government to artists, arts institutions and arts patrons.

Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatregoing public have recognized Ford’s Theatre Society for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the nationally acclaimed Big River to the world premieres of Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Liberty Smith and Necessary Sacrifices, Ford’s Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape.

In 2006, the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society expanded to include education as a central pillar. This expansion led to the creation and construction of the Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012. The new Center brings the values and ideals of Lincoln from the past into the present, examining Lincoln’s multi-faceted legacy through exhibits, workshops, seminars and speakers, as well as community outreach programs.

For more information on Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Society, please visit

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