Beaufort’s new Pat Conroy Literary Center has received a $25,000 grant from the Barbara Streisand Foundation and the Center plans to put it to very good use. In a news release on Tuesday on the Literaey Center’s Facebook page, the grant awarding was announced in support of its commitment to preserve, honor and advance Pat Conroy’s literary legacy.
“The grant project will expand our understanding of Pat’s year teaching 18 students on the isolated Sea Island of Daufuskie, an experience which became the impetus for his iconic book The Water Is Wide and what Pat described in October 2015 as ‘the magical year I discovered the man I was meant to be’,” the release said.
“On behalf of the Conroy Center and the Conroy family, thank you to Ms. Streisand and her foundation for this extraordinary generosity and heartfelt support of our mission.”
The Barbara Streisand Foundation was set up by the famous actress to support a variety of charities across the U.S. and it gives out grants on invitation only.
The Pat Conroy Literary Center was created in 2016 after Conroy’s passing, and is a community-building gathering place located at 308 Charles Street in downtown Beaufort. It’s part classroom, part museum and a nonprofit organization that is fully committed to creating an inclusive reading and writing community that will honor Pat Conroy’s memory and extend his love of teaching, language and literature to future generations.
Streisand spent some time in Beaufort 1991 while directing and starring in the screen adaptation of Conroy’s book The Prince of Tides, with actor Nick Nolte. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Conroy and Streisand became close friends and grew closer in the years since.
The day after Pat Conroy passed away in March of 2016, Streisand said, “First, I fell in love with Pat Conroy’s book, The Prince of Tides, and then I fell in love with him. He was generous and kind, humble and loving…such a joy to work with. I was so honored that he entrusted his beautiful book to me. Pat’s natural language was poetry…he wrote sentences that are like an incantation. He observed every nuance of human behavior and dug deep down to the truth…presenting it in all its glorious and stubborn complexity. I am so sad today. I lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a great writer.”