Bronte Parsonage Donation/Roethke Mural – Poetry News Roundup September 7th

We begin the week with an article about a donation received by the Bronte Parsonage. We also look at the artist painting a Roethke inspired mural on a bus.

TS Eliot Estate Gives Bronte Parsonage £20,000

Like many museums, The Bronte Parsonage has felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of funds that has occurred due to a lengthy shutdown. Their future was at risk, with discussion to be held over redundancies, however, the estate of the poet TS Eliot stepped in with a donation of £20,000.

Speaking on behalf of the estate, one of the trustees confirmed that the donation had been made possible due to the success that had been enjoyed by the musical Cats.

The museum, which is in Haworth, West Yorkshire, is run by The Bronte Society who say that there is a little-known link to TS Eliot.  It is believed that the “Bradford millionaire” who Eliot mentions in The Waste Land may well have been a customer in the bank where he worked, Sir James Roberts. Sir James was a philanthropist and industrialist who purchased Haworth Parsonage and gave it as a gift to The Bronte Society in 1928.

The Parsonage was the family home of the Bronte Sisters, Emily, Anne, and Charlotte and usually opens its doors to over 70,000 visitors every year. Like everything else in England, it was forced to close at the end of March and was only able to open to the public again over the Bank Holiday weekend in August. However, due to social distancing requirements and the cramped nature of the interior of the house, the number of visitors that they can currently accept is small.

To raise funds, and hopefully stave off redundancies a crowdfunding appeal has been launched with a target of £100,000. #Bronte2020, an online festival, took place at the end of last week and raised a further £6,500 for the cause.

The estate of TS Eliot said that making the donation had been a very simple reaction and that they were fortunate to be in a position to have access to the funds due to the success of Cats which was based on The Old Possums Book of Practical Cats.

Theodore Roethke Themed Mural Painted on Transit Bus

A Flint artist was hired by the Saginaw Transit Authority and Regional Services to paint a mural inspired by Theodore Roethke on the side of one of their public transport buses for passengers to enjoy on their daily commute as the service resumes its normal timetable.

Pauly Everett was able to work on the mural in the Saginaw Art Museum parking lot with local stopping by to watch him work.

The mural is a part of the Theodore Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival, which it is hoped will take place in March 2021. The bus will be available to see on the night of 17th September at the Saginaw Art Museum.

Everett was awarded the contract to paint the bus after he had submitted his Roethke-inspired mural designs. This is the first time that he will have tackled a project of this nature.

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