SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — After almost being lost to a residential sale, the Katherine Anne Porter home now has its security established as a museum and residence for visiting writers. Curt and Heidi Engelhorn of Kyle have chosen to support the new Katherine Anne Porter Home/Museum.
The Anita Schlimmer Engelhorn Endowment, honoring Curt’s mother, calls for $60,000 a year to be donated each year for 10 years. Funds from the endowment will support the operating activities of the home/museum and Southwest Texas State University’s Writer in Residence program. The Porter Home/Museum and Writer in Residence program are expected to be operational in August 2000.
The endowment will bring nationally recognized writers to Kyle and SWT. The writers will live in the house and work under the guidance of SWT’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.
During their residency, each writer will teach in local schools, community centers, libraries and at SWT. Writers will be asked to contribute public lectures on Porter’s work. The lectures will be taped and added to the Porter Home/Museum archives.
Anita Schlimmer Engelhorn and Katherine Anne Porter were childhood friends in Kyle. The Engelhorns’ commitment to the project denotes completion of the third phase of the Katherine Anne Porter Restoration Committee’s efforts to establish the home/museum and Writer in Residence program. A grass-roots effort, begun by the committee, raised funds to buy and secure the home during the first phase of the committee’s plan. Money raised during phase two of the committee’s efforts allowed for the restoration of the home/museum.
In addition to the funds donated by the Englehorns, Barnes and Noble bookstore has pledged to help build a classical literature library in the house. The initial shipment of books is scheduled to arrive when the house opens.
The committee is currently overseeing the restoration of the home/museum as a cooperative effort between SWT and the Kyle Preservation Association. The group’s vision is to have the house function as a place for people to gather and explore the evolving nature of American literature.