Willa Cather

Cather Sesquicentennial

Commemorating 150 Years

The National Willa Cather Center is pleased to announce that it will commemorate acclaimed novelist Willa Cather’s 150th birthday with a host of special events. This monumental year is also the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, as well as the publication centenaries for A Lost Lady and April Twilights and Other Poems.

Willa Cather’s prolific writing career and contributions to American letters has been honored nationally in 2023 when her statue was unveiled as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol. Cather is the first Pulitzer Prize-winner and the twelfth woman represented in the collection. Sculptor Littleton Alston is the first African American artist to be represented in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Another significant initiative underway is the restoration of the Willa Cather Childhood Home. This National Historic Landmark was Cather’s residence between the ages of ten to sixteen. Notable for its preserved vernacular style and original wallpaper in Cather’s attic bedroom, the site will reopen to visitors in the latter half of 2023. The restoration is made possible in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, with matching funds provided by the Willa Cather Foundation’s Campaign for the Future

Book clubs and teachers around the country are encouraged to explore discussion questions and curriculum support resources at or to download the National Willa Cather Center app for virtual tours. Communities throughout the United States who would like to request a speaker or are interested in hosting a Cather event should contact the National Willa Cather Center at 402-746-2653 or

Cather 150 — 2023 Schedule of Events

  • Through November 4 — Cather and Material Culture—a Sesquicentennial Reflectionan exhibition by Betty Kort, on display at the National Willa Cather Center's Red Cloud Opera House • FREE
  • Sept 27 — Symphony Space — Selected Shorts: Ken Burns Presents Willa Cather's America, 7:00 p.m. ET • In-person and live stream ticket options available • Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025. • With performances by Patricia Clarkson, David Strathairn, and Sonia Manzano. [Co-sponsored by the Willa Cather Foundation and an official 2023 Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event.]
  • Oct 14–15 — Celebrate Willa Cather's 150th birthday at Old Time Autumn • Brownville Historical Society, Brownville, NE
  • Oct 15–29 — Inaugural Willa Cather Residency in Red Cloud, NE
  • Oct 21 — Willa Cather Sesquicentennial Celebration: A semi-theatrical hour with the work of Willa Cather, 7:00 p.m. ET • Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, 120 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583
  • Oct 24 — Willa Cather Sesquicentennial Celebration: An hour of readings from Willa Cather's work and Truman Capote's description of his chance meeting with his favorite author, 6:00 p.m. ET • New York Society Library, 53 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075
  • Oct 28 — Citizen Willa Cather: Life and Times of Willa Cather: with readings by Boston-area actors, 1:00 p.m. ET • FREE • Tufts Library, Weymouth Public Libraries, 46 Broad Street, Weymouth, MA 02188
  • Oct 29 — Exhibit Opening Reception & Sculpture Reveal • Willa Cather: A Sesquicentennial Reflection, featuring photographs by Betty Kort, FREE, 2:00 p.m. • Featuring reveal of artist Littleton Alston's statuette of Willa Cather, a recent gift to the library where it will be permanently displayed in the rotunda •  Grand Island Public Library, 1124 W 2nd St, Grand Island, NE 68801
  • Nov 1–30 — Willa Cather: A Sesquicentennial Reflection, featuring photographs by Betty Kort, FREE • Grand Island Public Library, 1124 W 2nd St, Grand Island, NE 68801
  • Nov 9 — Willa Cather's Achievements with Robert Thacker, Pourde River Public Library • FREE, 7:00 p.m. MT • Harmony Library, 4616 South Shields Street, Fort Collins, CO 80526
  • Nov 9-12 — Willa Cather and the Counterculture: An Immersive Weekend in Taos, New Mexico. An immersive program back by popular demand and sponsored by the National Willa Cather Center
  • Nov 14 — An Evening Celebrating Willa Cather 150 with the Ames Writers Collective • FREE, 7:00 p.m. CT • Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Avenue, Ames, IA 50010
  • Nov 26 — A Pittsburgh Playlist: Celebrating Willa Cather at 150 • FREE, 7:00-8:30 p.m. ET • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 • Scholars from regional universities will read selections from Cather's fiction, journalism, and letters written or set in Pittsburgh between 1896 and 1929 • Birthday cookies will be served! 
  • Dec 7 — O Pie-and-Beers!, The Beer Hall, Zipline Brewing Company, Lincoln, NE • Sponsored by the Cather Archive (time TBD)
  • Dec 7 — Virtual Book Launch for Benjamin Taylor’s Chasing Bright Medusas: A Life of Willa Cather
  • Dec 12 — Willa Cather Sesquicentennial Celebration: Readings of the works of Willa Cather, 7:00 p.m. • Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
Past Events