Doctorow Legacy Initiative
New Rochelle Remembers E.L. Doctorow
Edgar Lawrence “E. L.” Doctorow (Jan. 6, 1931 – July 21, 2015) was an author, editor, and professor, known internationally for his works of historical fiction. Described as one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century, Doctorow’s works included the award-winning novel Ragtime (1975), which was inspired by Doctorow’s house on Broadview Avenue in New Rochelle.
Ragtime was adapted for a 1981 film and became a Tony Award winning Broadway musical in 1988. In 1998 Ragtime was named one of the 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. Doctorow was the recipient of numerous writing awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Ragtime, National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Bathgate, National Book Critics Circle Award for The March, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. President Barack Obama called him “one of America’s greatest novelists.”
E.L. Doctorow was also a beloved New Rochelle resident, and to pay tribute to his memory The Doctorow Legacy Initiative proposes to create a permanent memorial to him in New Rochelle, a public art work that will be complemented by the creation of educational programs in his name and by a Heritage Award for his former home on Broadview Avenue.
The proposed permanent monument will gracefully promote reading and literacy in our community — twin passions for Doctorow — and become a destination for those who admire Doctorow and his work, inspiring civic pride as well as providing an aspirational model for our young people.
The proposed site is Huguenot Park, in the geographic center of New Rochelle: We believe this is the ideal location because of its proximity to Broadview Avenue — where the Doctorow family lived and which served as the inspiration for Ragtime.
As part of the Doctorow Legacy Initiative the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence will create a reading and writing initiative that builds on the foundation of its successful enrichment programs in our public schools. The E.L. Doctorow Living Legacy Initiative will be comprised of two parts: One will focus on enriching efforts to ensure young people can read by the beginning of third grade; the second will engage high school students in creative workshops and panel discussions with authors and artists, focusing on developing students’ sense of self-expression. Building on the NR Fund’s poetry and arts programs in the elementary and middle schools, Poetry Out Loud and Arts Out Loud, the new high school component, Authors Out Loud, will kick off in Spring 2016.
The New Rochelle Council on the Arts, a 501(c)3 organization established in 1975, is acting as the lead agency for this project. NRCA will act as a fiscal agent, allowing donors to make tax deductible contributions. Installation of the work is to be completed in 2017.
Request for Proposals published.
Deadline for artists’ proposals.
Finalists submitted detailed Design Proposals.
Fabrication of statue.
Installation of statue at site.
You can make your tax deductible contribution with a credit card here by using the secure form above or mail your check to NRCA (with Doctorow Legacy written on the notes line) to:
NRCA, P.O. Box 211, New Rochelle, NY 10804.
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