NCE Participates in Give to Lincoln Day and Omaha Gives!

Each year, the community comes together to support its favorite causes on one day! NCE encourages you to support YOUR favorite cultural organizations in Lincoln and Omaha on May 23 for Omaha Gives and May 31 for Give to Lincoln Day!

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is participating in both days and is grateful for the tremendous support from our community. Thank YOU for supporting Nebraska’s cultural future on either Omaha Gives or Give to Lincoln Day!

Click the links below to support us!

Give to Lincoln Day, now until May 31: https://www.givetolincoln.com/nonprofits/nce

Omaha Gives, now until May 23: https://www.omahagives.org/NCE/overview

NCE Board Member Robert Nefsky Awarded Leonard Thiessen Award

Board Member Robert Nefsky, Recipient of the 2018 Leonard Thiessen Award

 

Earlier this month, our board member Robert Nefsky was awarded the Leonard Thiessen award at the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards. I had the privilege of asking Mr. Nefsky a few questions about the award, and his involvement in the arts.

JL: Congratulations on winning the Leonard Thiessen award! How does it feel to be recognized with this honor?

RN:I am honored to be in the same company as the past recipients of the Leonard Thiessen award, and in the company of those of who work every day to bring the arts to Nebraskans.

JL: The Thiessen is awarded “to an individual who…typifies the highest degree of commitment to the arts in Nebraska.” From helping found the NCE and serving as the founding director of the Friends of Sheldon Film theater, to serving on the boards of numerous arts and culture non-profit organizations, it’s clear that you are a fierce advocate for arts and culture in Nebraska. What motivates this passion?

RN: My interest in the arts and culture comes from a lot of sources. The arts and culture, particularly the arts and the humanities, are important parts of our life. I like being part of a team that builds things that serve the common good. Having decided to live in my hometown of Lincoln as an adult, I want access to the same kinds of things: arts, culture, education and history, that I might have if I lived in a larger place. The way to get these things is to work with others to bring them here, support them and enhance them.

JL: As someone whose main profession is relatively distanced from art, what advice do you have to people who aren’t necessarily artists themselves, but want to support the arts?

RN: Actually, that’s not as true as one might think. My initial work for nonprofit organizations has involved pro bono legal work or using my legal skills to help structure something. Just as in business, the success of a charitable venture depends on a strong base, attention to the details and a commitment to internal and external integrity. In my experience, a great idea needs to be executed well to succeed. That said, get involved.  It’s interesting and engenders passion.

JL: Thank you, Mr. Nefsky!

If you’d like to hear more, be sure to check out his video here. Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards!

Putting to practice my knowledge and skills is my livelihood

Josh’s Story:

Since completing my MFA in 2010, I have endeavored to make art the foundation of my livelihood. Though I am a practicing studio artist, I do not rely on the sale of my work for an income. A quick look at my website will demonstrate my lack of broad, commercial appeal… Instead, I derive a livelihood from the knowledge and skills accumulated from the pursuit of making my work.

Putting this philosophy to practice, I have taken on several roles; teaching art courses part-time at the university level, working as an on-call museum preparator, serving as an art department shop technician, and currently in a full-time capacity, as the Residency Arts Technician at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. My multifaceted employment history comes in handy at the Bemis, where all staff must wear multiple hats and possess a depth of utility. My primary responsibility is overseeing the Okada Sculpture and Ceramics Facility and providing technical support and process demonstrations to the artists-in- residence, though it’s not uncommon for me to be unclogging a drain, interviewing an intern candidate, or handling artwork for the exhibitions program. For the most part, my position is quite literally a collage of my past occupations, a synthesis of my experience as a teacher, an art handler, a fabricator, a technician, and an artist. That being said, I am still engaged in “the hustle”, as I teach a 3-D foundations course at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the evening.

Having a livelihood with many moving parts has its measure of challenges. Navigating museum practices, researching and maintaining shop equipment, instructing college art students and (now) professional artists in the operation of a multitude of power tools and fabrication techniques, presents an array of (related, but equally involved) subjects vying for my attention. At times, it’s easy for me to lose sight of the big picture, or in other words, undercut the career that prompted my vocational abilities – being an artist, and more specifically, a sculptor.

Through a healthy dose of self-reflection, reinforced by natural porosity, my stuttering (yet persistent) studio practice has evolved along side my livelihoods. Completing the circle, my years of exhibition fabrication, tool investigation, and building organizational, shop fixtures have found a ready home in my sculpture. Part bricoleur, part tradesman, I mine my immediate environments for construction materials and found objects to break down and reorganize with my growing aptitude for carpentry – a direct byproduct of my livelihood.

 

About Josh:

Sculptor Josh Johnson makes connections between two environments — one at hand, and the other remembered. His current series, Distance Learning, offers a sideways glance of Plains landscape and the creation of Mount Rushmore, softening the edges between the physicality of what is materially accessible

and the limited view offered by the mind’s eye. Drawing upon the rock formations of the South Dakota Badlands and their fabricated proxies dotting Lincoln’s Antelope Creek greenway, Johnson carves, constructs, and joins second hand materials into lonely vistas alluding to the slippages associated with memory’s shaky hold on place.

Josh Johnson earned a BFA at the University of North Dakota, and an MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has exhibited nationally, including shows at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, the Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis, Colorado State University, and Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Josh received a 2016 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and was twice selected as a finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Young Sculptor’s Competition at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Josh has taught sculpture at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the College of Visual Arts. He is currently the Residency Arts Technician at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE and teaches 3-D foundations at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

 

 

 

A Welcome Address from New Executive Director, Kyle Cartwright

Happy New Year to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment’s partners, friends, constituents and beneficiaries!

I am thrilled to be serving our cultural communities with you through the mission of the NCE and our partner organizations, Nebraska Arts Council and Humanities Nebraska. This year marks 20 years of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment creating sustainability funding for our state’s cultural resources. It is thanks to the vision and initiative of the Nebraska Legislature, and the community in response, that we have this truly unique asset in Nebraska.

Continue Reading…

A Farewell Message From Executive Director, Marian Fey

Today marks the start of my final week as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Together we have accomplished much, reaching record fundraising goals and growing the circle of supporters to the arts and humanities throughout the state. Thank you for your commitment to Nebraska’s artists, programs, and organizations! Continue Reading…

Omaha Gives 2017

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is honored to be participating in Omaha Gives 2017, Omaha’s 5th annual 24-hour charitable challenge which is set for this Wednesday, May 24. The giving begins at midnight with a minimum $10 donation and hourly drawings and prizes make your donations go further.

When you give to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, your gift is matched dollar-for-dollar by the state and will preserve the arts and humanities in Omaha and throughout the state of Nebraska both today and for future generations.

Please consider the Nebraska Cultural Endowment when making a gift on May 24th and use
www.omahagives.org/ArtsandCulture2017

Nebraska Cultural Endowment Call To Action

A year end message from Marian Fey, Executive Director of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment

Through the generosity of donors like you and our unique partnership with the state, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment is poised reach $10,000,000 at both the public and private funds by the end of the year. The earnings from this permanently endowed $20,000,000 are critical in supporting the grants and programs of Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council. The two councils have already sustained a 4% cut in state funds, and will face another 8% cut in next year’s state appropriations. Continue Reading…