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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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An Important Message Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

An Important Message Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

The National Willa Cather Center will be closed to the public until further notice and at least through April 30—with all programming cancelled through May. In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we believe the most responsible thing we can do is practice social distancing in an effort to protect the well-being of our volunteers, staff, and the broader community. Most of our staff will be working remotely and will continue to be accessible by email. Our phone line will remain open and we will direct your calls as we are able to do so.

We continue to monitor the disease prevention guidance from the CDC, which has recommended for the next 8 weeks that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

Because of this we are cancelling or postponing the following Red Cloud Opera House events and other educational programs:

  • April 3 - "Strange Voices": Migration in Life and Literature
  • April 11 - Mesner Puppet Theater
  • April 17 - African Culture Connection

Previously purchased tickets will be honored at our postponed events (show dates TBD) or may be allocated toward the ticket price of another event during the 2020 calendar year. Here are several options for current ticket holders:

  1. Convert the value of your previously purchased tickets toward a rescheduled or future Red Cloud Opera House performance;
  2. Donate the value of your tickets back to the National Willa Cather Center as a tax-deductible charitable gift;
  3. Request a refund for the value of your tickets via credit card or check. [Please note that we do not keep credit card information on file so you need to call our office and speak with Administrative Assistant LauraLea Johnson at 402-746-2653.]

We will not be taking lodging reservations at the Cather Second Home Guest House through April 30. We will be waiving cancellation fees and will refund any lodging that has been prepaid. Prescheduled group tours and meetings will also be cancelled and group organizers will be contacted individually.

As of this date, we are still proceeding with plans for our annual Spring Conference in early June. Our Spring Conference registration window will extend until May 25 and we hope this will allow our conference guests to wait and assess for themselves the advisability of traveling to join us in Red Cloud. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to update you regarding our plans for Spring Conference.

In this uncertain time ahead for the nation and the world, be assured that our staff will be working diligently in the coming weeks to bring you new means of remote programming, educational outreach, and, as always, regular contact via our social media channels and newsletters. We also encourage you to engage with our existing digital resources:

  • Take a virtual tour of Willa Cather’s Red Cloud, including the Willa Cather Childhood Home, Red Cloud Opera House, Burlington Depot, and Willa Cather Memorial Prairie.
  • Read recent and past issues of the Willa Cather Review, a leading source for Cather-related features, scholarship, and news.
  • Listen to or watch a marathon reading of Willa Cather’s My Ántonia.
  • Get to know Anna Sadilek Pavelka through the tender memories of her descendants in our “Remembering Ántonia” video series.
  • Keep your home library well stocked with books from our online store.

If you have any questions on any aspect of our revised planning, here is some specific contact information:

We appreciate and thank you for your support. Nonprofits and cultural organizations will depend even more on supporters like you in the coming months, and we will continue to provide a needed refuge and reaffirming sustenance in a changing world.

Thank you and take good care.


Ashley Olson
Executive Director