All for the Match Campaign Update!

Great news, Nebraska! We are pleased to share that we have received a $400,000 4:1 challenge grant from an anonymous donor that will help us reach our “All for the Match” campaign goal!

To meet the conditions of the grant, we need to raise $1.6M over the next three years to match the increase in the public fund that provides real time support of the arts and humanities across our great state.

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Coaching Young Voices Is My Livelihood

Sara Lihz’s Story
I went to my first poetry reading the year I learned to drive. The host, an enthusiastic if a bit awkward man, was the most energetic thing behind the mic. I was determined to outdo him, so I read my poem about how much I hated my parents (I was 16) with gusto. After the reading, the host came over, introducing himself as Matt Mason, and asking if I wanted to do a feature reading at the Bookworm with William Kleofkorn, a real, honest-to-god poet.

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Music Is My Livelihood

Joey’s Story
I had the good fortune of being raised around music. My dad played the trumpet and had a band. He’d often have a rehearsal at the house and it was fun to hear the music coming from all the different instruments, and fun to see all the guys having a genuinely good time.Mannheim_2012

My older brother started taking accordion lessons (a popular thing to do in South Omaha during the 50s), and he had quite a knack for it. Soon, my dad and brother started rehearsing the music and taught me to sing a few tunes. When I was six, I was pulled from the audience (by surprise) to sing the song “Just Because” with an 50-piece accordion band. I didn’t seem to know about getting nervous, and really ate up the smiles and applause. I believe I was getting hooked on entertaining.

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Teaching West African Cultures and Traditions Is My Livelihood

Charles’s StoryDSC02576 (1)
The guiding principal for me is, “Hwendo na bua” which in my language, Fon, means, “Our culture and origin will not disappear.” I grew up in Benin; a small country in West Africa. In order to maintain strong family ties, and pass on history, values and traditions, my mother would bring her children together for stories before bedtime. One important way in which West African traditions and cultures are being preserved is through the art of vivid and exciting storytelling. Furthermore, I was exposed to traditional ceremonies during frequent visits to my mother’s home village of Ouidah. I loved the drumming and dancing, and even as a child, I absorbed the significance of the rituals as well as their pageantry. I embody the spirit of the original intent of the dances and costumes.

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Blog Birthday Celebration Week!


Happy birthday to us!

Our blog turns 1 year old this Wednesday!

Each week for the past 52 weeks we have shared inspiring stories from real Nebraskans who are committed to ensuring a livelihood for the arts and humanities in our great state.

In celebration, we will be holding contests all week long for tickets to cultural events and more! Watch our tweets and Facebook posts for your chance to win.

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