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Kurt Vonnegut library starts raising money for new home in Indy

Julia Whitehead admires one of her favorite images of Kurt Vonnegut at the museum. USA Today Network

INDIANAPOLIS — Staffers at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library have set their sights on a new permanent home in downtown Indianapolis.

The library has begun a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise at least $99,999 in donations for the relocation. The library hopes to collect $750,000 to cover the costs of the move and expansion.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library sought to memorialize the late Indianapolis-born author’s literary and general impact when it opened five years ago. Before becoming a novelist famed for such books as “Slaugherhouse 5,” Vonnegut was a reporter for the old City News Bureau of Chicago.

Because the library’s current building is for sale, it’s looking to move into a 5,400-square-foot location, which is four times its existing space.

Kurt Vonnegut.

Kurt Vonnegut.

Once a new building is secured, the nonprofit plans to change its name to the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.
Administrators of the library hope to reopen at its new location in the spring of 2017, 10 years after Vonnegut’s death.

Chris Gahl, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Visit Indy, said the library’s move to its intended location in downtown Indianapolis would “enhance the ability to showcase this unique attraction and drive more visitors into its doors.”

Julia Whitehead, who founded the library seven years ago before it had a permanent location, said she’s confident that she and her staff will accomplish their goal of raising $750,000 by July, when they must sign the lease at the location they hope to secure.

“Vonnegut is a movement, not just some boring museum,” she said. “I feel very comfortable that the city recognizes the value we bring.”