Will Rogers Memorial Museums Executive Director Tad Jones has been named to a steering committee formed to represent 50 author homes-museums. The panel, representing American Writers Museum, will help guide museum’s exhibits and exchange creative ideas for celebrating America’s literary legacy.
For the first time, 50 historical sites that preserve the works and lives of American authors have affiliated with the AWM, a new national museum opening in Chicago in late 2016.
“Will Rogers was well known in many fields, including radio, movies and public speaking, but he also wrote more than two million words in his daily and weekly columns as well as several books,” said Jones.
“I am excited to be on the Steering Committee of this wonderful organization that will be promoting American writers from all around the country,” he said.
Will produced six books, scores of magazine articles and almost 4,000 newspaper writings. His syndicated columns reached 40 million readers a week. His daily column, known commonly as the “Daily Telegram”, because he sent it daily by wire, was his signature piece.
The collaborative forum of author homes and museums will support the new museum’s mission with writer-specific knowledge and expertise and foster a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and experiences, according to Malcolm O’Hagan, AWM president.
“Like the museum itself, this is an important ‘first’, a collaboration that will help us tell the American literary story. We are proud to bring together these resources throughout the nation for the first time,” he said.
Other steering committee members are Mariam Farris, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, Flat Rock, N.C.; William Griffith of William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, Oxford, Miss.; Kara McLaughlin, House of Seven Gables, Salem, Mass.; Janet Mintzer, Pearl S. Buck International, Perkasie, Pa.; Ashley Olson, Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud, Neb.; Allison Sansone, The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Oak Park, Ill.; and Julia Whitehead, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Indianapolis, Ind.
The mission of the new museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and daily lives.