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!

NEBRASKA CULTURAL ENDOWMENT WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER

Katie Weitz, PhD

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment welcomes Katie Weitz, PhD, to its Board of Directors. Katie is currently the executive director of the Weitz Family Foundation in Omaha. She brings to the board extensive non-profit leadership and fundraising experience, as well as a strong background in the arts and education. Continue Reading…

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…

Omaha World Herald, 08/15/2016, Robert L. Nefsky: Crosby’s legacy: cultural endowment

Photo Credit to Jeffery Z. Carney / The Omaha World Herald

The writer, of Lincoln, is a founding director and a past president of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Recent days marked the passing of LaVon Crosby, a retired Nebraska state senator from Lincoln and widow of former Gov. Robert Crosby.

LaVon Crosby exhibited the personal qualities we should expect of our elected officials. She worked passionately and successfully on issues that were important to her and her constituents. She comported herself with dignity. She could disagree with her colleagues while remaining respectful and without demonizing them or their positions.

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Lincoln Journal Star, Letter, 8/9/2016 : Remembering Crosby

It was with sadness that we noted the passing of LaVon Crosby (“Crosby, beloved state senator, dies,” July 28). LaVon was a treasured legislator but she was much more than that. She will be remembered as an effective voice in the legislature but more so as a beloved lady and friend. She was the godmother of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, which she remembered as her proudest accomplishment. It was her primary bill and was ushered into fruition.

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LaVon’s Legacy

State Sen. LaVon Crosby of Lincoln, OMAHA WORLD-HERALD STAFF PHOTO BY JEFFREY Z. CARNEY. FOR USE WITH LESLIE REED FEATURE.

One of the synonyms for the word legacy is, gift; something given freely, no recompense. Another is endowment. As I pause in my hurried schedule to remember our Honorary Board Chair, LaVon Crosby, it is of significance to me that those words describe the legacy Sen. Crosby left to the State of Nebraska in the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Continue Reading…