Glass Blowing Is My Livelihood

Kathy’s Story
As an analytical person who loves numbers, I never thought of myself as an artist until I attended a retreat hosted by NASAA at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina several years ago.

As part of the retreat we had to sign up for two art classes. I chose glass blowing and paper making, and was immediately hooked on the glass blowing. My goal was to create two matching beads to make a pair of earrings. I worked all day to create nine intricate beads, and despite several mishaps,  I was very proud of the fruits of my labor.Beaded Bracelet

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Modern Dance Is My Livelihood

Kathy’s Story
I was a shy student who enjoyed playing in the band, being a small part of the whole sound. I didn’t want to stand out by playing the wrong note or by playing a solo. I was afraid of speaking up in class or bringing attention to myself. The modern dance curriculum at my public high school changed that.

Modern dance was offered as a P.E. elective. I had studied ballet, but knew that I did not have the body to be a ballerina. I longed for opportunities to dance and modern dance appealed to me for the freedom of expression it offered. My freshman year, I took the elective and fell in love.

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Music Is My Livelihood

Verna’s Story
When my grandfather moved our family from South Dakota to Missouri, it was a piano that separated the horses from the cattle in the stock car of the train. I think that’s symbolic; music has always been a part of my family’s heritage.

Growing up, our house was always full of music. My talented mother could play the piano both by music and “by ear,” and my father played the harmonica. We only had one TV in the house, and would either watch whatever our father watched—which would frequently be Leonard Bernstein—or be sent off to read. My brothers and I learned how to play the piano (with varying degrees of success), so I grew up with an appreciation for all sorts of music, from classical to country to rock ‘n roll.

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What does “livelihood” mean to Nebraskans?

We created this blog to help answer that question. Nebraskans from all walks of life join us in embracing culture by sharing how the arts and humanities have played an essential role in inspiring their livelihoods.

At the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, our mission is to cultivate a legacy of stability, advocacy and leadership for the arts and humanities in Nebraska. Learn more.