The Renée Watson Cottage at The Highlights Foundation

Sign saying: The Renée Watson Cottage

In Honor of New York Times Bestselling Author Renée Watson

It’s important for writers to have uninterrupted time to think, process, and generate work—and I hope this space feels calming and nurturing. The inclusion of artwork that honors Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou, and Audre Lorde are meant to remind guests of the perseverance, boldness, and grace it takes to make art. These creatives made work during perilous times. They understood the power of storytelling and not only documented their world as it was, but they imagined what the world could be. The books, the writing prompts, the vinyl records are all here as reminders, as encouragement, and as a call to action to keep going, keep creating, and keep on and on.–Renée Watson

A Continuation of Renée Watson’s Partnership with Us

Renée Watson
Watson worked with the staff of the Highlights Foundation to bring in art, photos, writing prompts, memorabilia, and books to accomplish her goals, including a painting of Langston Hughes by renowned artist and illustrator Frank Morrison.

The Cottage is a continuation of Watson’s work and ongoing partnership with the Highlights Foundation.

The Renée Watson Scholarship

She first established a scholarship for Black women writers to attend a Highlights Foundation workshop via the I, Too Arts Collective, an organization she founded in 2016 to nurture voices from underrepresented communities in the creative arts.

In 2022, she established The Renée Watson Scholarship, which annually supports a week-long independent writing retreat for a Black woman writer.

The Highlights Foundation is honored to count Watson among its most fervent supporters.

“Renée’s prolific career and generous spirit have impacted her young readers, and her fellow creatives.  It’s such a beautiful example of our mission in action—a community dedicated to inspiring kids through story,” said George Brown, Executive Director of the Highlights Foundation.

Our Mission in Action

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.