Preview Cart Checkout

Become a Member

Join Today!

Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

Receive our Newsletter


Press Room

Press Room

We invite journalists, editors, bloggers, and the public to visit our virtual Press Room often for the latest newsworthy information about our activities, events, and announcements.

Please browse the sub-sections that follow for contact information, buzz about Cather, her ongoing relevance, links to our social media, and the work of the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska.

Contact Information & Images

Contact Information & Images
Contact Information & Images

Catherine Pond, Marketing Coordinator:

The National Willa Cather Center 
413 North Webster Street 
Red Cloud, NE 68970

To reach us during office hours, please call: (402) 746-2653 or email

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter & YouTube 

@WillaCatherFdn (National Willa Cather Center)


This selection of images is available to the the press, and others, with permission and proper crediting. Please contact Catherine Pond for additional information or other image needs that you may have.


Why Willa Cather, Why Now?

Why Willa Cather, Why Now?
Why Willa Cather, Why Now?

In 2022, Willa Cather, representing Nebraska, will join only a few other women sculptures in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) is an author of complex American stories, written from a perspective and in a style that literature had not been seen previously. When she was nine, Cather and her family traveled west from Virginia to Webster County, Nebraska. The region had been largely settled by the Kitkehahki band of the Pawnee tribe who had farmed and hunted buffalo along the Republican River for centuries—and where the displaced Pawnee Nation still considers to be the center of the universe. Moving to Red Cloud exposed Cather to new ethnic groups and childhood experiences. Through her lifelong learning and many interests, she would come to explore, shape, and write about these and other new worlds throughout her life.

A self-made woman, Cather told stories of homesteaders, the settlement and growth of middle America through the arrival of diverse immigrant groups during the late-nineteenth century, the legacies of slavery and the Civil War, the First World War, community, and the pursuit of artistic success. Decades after her death, her work remains popular, relevant, and loved by readers worldwide.

The following points are illustrative of her importance as an American writer active in the first part of the 20th Century, but whose work and influence resonate into the 21st Century:

  • Cather took regional stories—with universal themes—and elevated them to a national and international readership (while also elevating Nebraska in her love for it, and its people).
  • Cather’s writing details and explores the complication of precise historical moments.
  • Cather’s writing endures, and is still widely read and critiqued. It has been translated into over forty languages.
  • Cather, not an especially political writer, evoked the cultural and political times her characters know.
  • Cather’s career began with stunning success in journalism—several years as managing editor of the leading monthly magazine of the day, McClure’s—which she left to write fulltime in 1912.
  • Cather was a self-made woman who did not conform to societal norms; she was urbane and urban, ironically given her largely western subjects, for she made New York City her home from 1906-1947 for most of her life.
  • Cather was the first American writer to use the Great Plains as a detailed setting for fiction; she taught her readers how to see the prairie-plains. She built worlds.
  • Cather’s evocation of the American Southwest, with its mix of diverse cultures—Indigenous, Hispanic, and other Euroamerican—is singular in her work. She did the same with seventeenth-century New France in Shadows on the Rock.
  • Cather was above all a creator: of her own career, of her persona, and of literary worlds.
  • Cather was an unspoken ally and presence within the LGBTQ+ community of her day.

Since 1955, Cather’s legacy has been shared from Red Cloud through the ongoing efforts of the Willa Cather Foundation and their National Willa Cather Center.

About the National Willa Cather Center

About the National Willa Cather Center
About the National Willa Cather Center

Located in the heart of downtown Red Cloud, the National Willa Cather Center was completed in 2017 as a successful historic adaptive reuse project that also incorporates the Red Cloud Opera House (restored in 2003). It contains an archive, museum, gallery, and study center owned and operated by the Willa Cather Foundation.

Founded in 1955, the Willa Cather Foundation operates the National Willa Cather Center and promotes Willa Cather’s legacy through education, preservation, and the arts. It also maintains the largest collection of historic sites related to any American author, including the following places that featured in Cather’s life or literature:

Programs and services include regular guided historic site tours, conservation of the 612-acre Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, and organization of year-round cultural programs and exhibits at the restored Red Cloud Opera House. The Collections & Archives at the National Willa Cather Center are available for research and significant archival and digital collections related to the life, work, and family of Willa Cather. Programs include the annual Willa Cather Spring Conferences and biennial International Cather Seminars, which aim to foster appreciation and scholarship of Cather's life, time, and work. Several scholarship programs are available to educators and students and the Foundation also publishes the Willa Cather Review—a leading source for Cather-related news, features, and scholarship.

About Red Cloud

A rural and vibrant community of just over 1,000 people in south-central Nebraska on the Kansas border, Red Cloud is the place where Willa Cather lived from the age of nine to nineteen. Red Cloud appeared as a regular setting in Cather's work—in particular O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), My Ántonia (1918), One of Ours (1922), A Lost Lady (1923), and Lucy Gayheart (1935). Even though Cather lived on the east coast for decades, and New York for most of her life, she often returned to Red Cloud to visit friends and family. 

After several years of fundraising and planning, the Hotel Garber will begin construction in 2022 in downtown Red Cloud. Conceived to accommodate more visitors while bolstering downtown growth and revitalization, it will be a 26-room boutique hotel with a luxury apartment on the top floor and other amenities.

For more information about Red Cloud, the future Hotel Garber, and heritage tourism initiatives, contact Jarrod McCartney, Director, Red Cloud Heritage Tourism Development at Visit Red Cloud •

Notable News Articles & Press Releases

Notable News Articles & Press Releases
Notable News Articles & Press Releases

Thursday, October 13, 2022
There was standing-room only at the Hotel Garber ceremonial groundbreaking in Red Cloud on October 7!
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Unexpected bequests to the organization always make our day!
Monday, September 26, 2022
The Willa Cather Childhood Home closed August 15 to facilitate the first comprehensive restoration in over fifty years. Restoration is now underway and will be completed in 2023.
Monday, July 25, 2022
A cover story featuring Red Cloud's unique literary sites and landscapes, and Tim Youd's 100 Novels Project.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
The Willa Cather Childhood Home will experience its first major restoration in over fifty years and will reopen in 2023.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Plans to rehabilitate the historic Potter Block in Red Cloud into a charming boutique hotel and event space are becoming reality!
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Own your own cast bronze sculpture of Willa Cather by sculptor, Littleton Alston!
Friday, April 29, 2022
Artist Tim Youd on his artistic process and time in Red Cloud retyping The Song of the Lark.
Friday, April 29, 2022
A magnificent legacy gift that will assist with the creation of Hotel Garber.
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Join us on National Prairie Day, June 4, for a Guided Prairie Walk and Readings — and immerse yourself in our prairie realm.


Media Coverage of the Willa Cather Sculpture

Media Coverage of the Willa Cather Sculpture
Media Coverage of the Willa Cather Sculpture

Other Notable Media Coverage

Other Notable Media Coverage
Other Notable Media Coverage

Willa Cather & the National Willa Cather Center

Red Cloud