Jack Kerouac is frequently referenced in radio programs, films, TV shows, and podcasts. Celebrated figures from former U.S. President Barack Obama to Bob Dylan, iconic fashion designer Kim Jones and so many more speak of his enduring work and unique style of writing he named “spontaneous prose.” And while there have been monuments built to Kerouac, there is no museum, performance venue, or education center to celebrate this singular author’s artistry. There’s a strong case to be made that no author in history has been more influential in the musical arts as Jack Kerouac and the performance center will celebrate that legacy.
The Jack Kerouac Foundation was formed in early 2022 to pursue funding for the establishment of a Jack Kerouac Museum, Performance, and Education Center in the magnificent former St Jean Baptiste Church, which was completed in 1896 to serve Lowell’s once-teeming Little Canada neighborhood. It is where Jack served as an altar boy and also the site of his funeral mass in 1969.
The still-stunning structure was for years empty—a fallow testament to the vibrant Franco-American neighborhood which was almost entirely razed by urban renewal in the mid twentieth century. The current owner, TMI Property Management & Development, had considered making the church living spaces but has expressed openness to selling the building to be used to honor Lowell’s native son.
THE JACK KEROUAC FOUNDATION officers comprise of CEO: Jim Sampas; Executive Director: Sylvia Cunha; Board President: Christopher Porter; Board Vice-President: Michael Millner; Board Secretary: Steve Edington; and Board Treasurer Michael P Flynn. The Executive Board members are Suzanne Beebe, Deborah Belanger, Judith Bessette, Dave Ouellette, David Perry, Ryan Rourke, Sean Thibodeau, and Clifford J Whalen.