The Symphony Is My Livelihood

Thomas Conducting

Thomas’s Story
My “aha moment” came very early. I was eight years old and went to an orchestra concert with my third grade class. I had never heard an orchestra before, and was fascinated by the sound and the person in front, who seemed to be shaping the sound from the middle of it all. And I thought in that moment that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It’s remarkable to know that from such a young age, and it really speaks to the power of music.

Continue Reading…

Singing Is My Livelihood

Mary Carrick album cover for "Let's Fly"

Hooton Images

Mary’s Story
I grew up in a small Iowa town. My mother is a pianist, and my great grandmother, who lived with us for a time, was too. Piano filled the house. My parents were in the restaurant business and when I was very small we lived in an apartment upstairs. I’d sit on top of the bar while live music played in the lounge. I began Suzuki violin in kindergarten and later added other instruments. I discovered my voice in my teens and I knew I just had to sing.

Continue Reading…

Living History Is My Livelihood

Kay’s Storycooking
When asked by someone what I do for a living it usually ends up being an educational opportunity for the person who has asked me that question. You see I am a living historian. A statement like that will usually be followed with a quizzical look or a plethora of questions wanting a deeper explanation. It is simple really. My job is to help people understand the past through interpretation. Through my work, I have met people from all over the world and have exchanged many thoughts and ideas about the past, in particular the everyday past of a small town community.

Continue Reading…

The Lens Is Our Livelihood


Molly and Aaron’s Story
We’ve always loved video and film. Both of us. One of us loved to make films instead of handing in papers in school (Aaron) and the other grew up with a video camera always filming home movies (Molly). And we’ve always loved storytelling. One of us would act out movie plots in his room (Aaron) and the other would make her family act out plays (Molly). So it’s no surprise that together we found that we shared something artistically in common: video storytelling.

Continue Reading…

Textiles Are My Livelihood

Mary Zicafoose’s StoryOrange Dots Detail
I grew up in the 1950s in Niles, Michigan. I went to the neighborhood catholic grade school and it was there that I was first initiated into the rituals of color, symbols and cloth. My mentor, a catholic nun named Mother Padua, suggested I give up my recess time and spend it, instead, in church, dusting statues, cleaning holy water fountains, and laying out the liturgical vestments for daily mass. I routinely tore through my daily church chores so I could linger in front of the massive wooden armoire full of liturgical garments, arranged by color and ancient code, long, flowing, magnificent robes, covered with symbols and embroidery, gilded as if angels had made them. What was cloth this magical doing in my little church in my little town?

Continue Reading…

Marian Fey profile photo

Press Release: New Executive Director named for Nebraska Cultural Endowment

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is pleased to announce Marian Fey as its new Executive Director. Marian comes to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment after serving as the Director of Nebraskans for the Arts and she brings to the position extensive non-profit leadership experience and a strong background in the arts and education. She will be responsible for continuing to build the endowment, enhancing statewide relationships and administering the organization.

Continue Reading…