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Willa Cather Foundation launches effort to boost Red Cloud as a literary tourism destination

Willa Cather Foundation launches effort to boost Red Cloud as a literary tourism destination

January 28, 2020

by Paul Hammel at the Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — The Willa Cather Foundation is making a final push for donations to enhance Cather’s hometown of Red Cloud as a literary landmark and destination for “heritage” tourists.

The nonprofit foundation will announce Tuesday that it is seeking to raise $6.5 million to restore and upgrade eight historic buildings related to Cather’s novels in Red Cloud, develop a boutique hotel there and amass an endowment to maintain structures owned by the organization.

The Cather Campaign for the Future has already quietly raised 72% of its goal, and Tuesday’s announcement launches the public portion of its campaign, to gather the remaining $1.8 million by the annual spring Cather conference in June.

One of the projects will restore the Pavelka Farmstead, which played a central role in “My Ántonia,” one of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s most famous works. The farmhouse will be returned to its original 1916 floor plan and be opened for public tours, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the homestead as Ántonia Shimerda herself would have.