When the great author E.L. Doctorow passed away last summer, it was clear that our community needed to do something special to honor one of the most talented and accomplished individuals ever to reside within New Rochelle.
This weekend, organizers representing the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the Fund for Educational Excellence, and the New Rochelle Public Library formally unveiled the Doctorow Legacy Initiative.
The Initiative will recognize Doctorow in three ways: (1) a Heritage Award and plaque at his former home on Broadview Avenue – mentioned in the first line of his classic Ragtime; (2) a new educational program to encourage literacy in early years and creative free expression in high school; and (3) a work of public art – a “destination statue” of the highest quality in Huguenot Park that captures Doctorow’s image and spirit, selected through an international design competition.
Now our community has an opportunity to help make it happen. Please consider making a contribution to the Doctorow Legacy Initiative by visiting the Council on the Arts website. You can donate online or send a check.
The website contains more information about this entire effort. You can also read this press release or view this video.
I shared my own thoughts about E.L. Doctorow in this blog post shortly after his passing.
My sincere thanks go to Barbara Davis, Theresa Kump-Leghorn, Steve Silverman, Billie Tucker, Meri Hilton, Angela Taylor, and the other dedicated residents who have taken the lead role in spearheading this Initiative. And thanks also to Helen Doctorow, Ed’s beloved wife, without whose approval, support and encouragement none of this would be possible.