Joe Starita to receive 2019 Sower Award

Joe Starita will receive the 2019 Sower Award in the Humanities as announced by Humanities Nebraska.  Starita will be presented with the award on Thursday, October 24 at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center.  The presentation will immediately precede the 24th Annual Governor’s Lecture.

 

Starita is currently a journalism professor at University of Nebraska, Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass communications.  Before joining the faculty in 2000 Sarita was an investigative reporter at the Miami Herald where he specialized in exposing unethical practices in the medical community.  One of his stories of extortion of insurance companies with bogus claims was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in the category of local reporting.

Starita is also an author of three books that have been recognized for exploring the role of Native Americans in history.  “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge – A Lakota Odyssey” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  Proceeds from “I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice and “A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor” fund scholarships that enable Nebraska Native American students to attend college.  Starita earned the national civil right award, Leo Reano Award in July of 2011, for his work with the Native American Community.

 

Starita’s ability to deeply probe these subjects that have shaped the past and the lives of many secures him as one of Nebraska’s treasures.  The Nebraska Cultural Endowment would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Starita for this well-deserved honor.

 

Start the year with a story…

Happy New Year and a big THANK YOU for an amazing 2018!

I’d like to start this year with gratitude and a reflection…

 

20 years ago, Nebraska looked much different. We’ve had tremendous shifts in our economic and community landscapes from Scottsbluff to Omaha, Norfolk to McCook. And while MY perspective of things may have been from about 2 feet closer to the ground and sitting in an elementary school classroom in Lincoln, I can appreciate the amazing changes that have come about. In fact, these changes have shaped my own upbringing – indeed I am, in many ways and like many others, the product of these significant shifts – including the one brought on by the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

In Memory of State Sen. LaVon Crosby of Lincoln, who, along with Sen. Don Pederson of North Platte, first championed this unique and powerful legislation.

In the years leading up to the formation of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, public funding for the arts and humanities at the federal level was under significant threat. Because of this mounting uncertainty, a visionary group of policy-makers and passionate citizens sought a solution to sustain our state’s treasured cultural resources, to be shielded from shifts in the political or economic landscape. It was a solution other states have tried with varying degrees of success – to create a publicly-funded Cultural Trust. However, Nebraska being Nebraska, we wanted to do things just a bit differently… just a bit better.

Instead of an entirely publicly-funded trust, we would create a public-private Endowment, where private investments in the arts and humanities of tomorrow would be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by a public investment in the same vision, and vice versa. Early aspirations for this initiative were to hold $25 million in order to sustain the arts and humanities by directing the earnings from investments to the Nebraska Arts Council and Humanities Nebraska.

 

Fast-Forward –

I am thrilled to share that the Nebraska Cultural Endowment… the product of the tireless work of these visionary policy-makers and community members… is currently responsible for investments of $21 million. What’s more, starting in 2019, we have the legislative mechanism to grow to a combined $30 million by 2028. However, we can’t do it without the support of our community.

WeBop workshop at Omaha Performing Arts

The impact of this nationally-unique, public-private partnership is exceptional and perpetual. Without decreasing the principal of $21 million, the NCE grants over $1 million per year back into the cultural sector of Nebraska, and we currently account for about 20% of each of the state councils’ budgets. As we grow to $30 million, we expect that to increase to 30% or greater, further sustaining the rich and vibrant cultural resources of Nebraska.

Together, we will rise to this challenge – to ensure that future generations will have access to the same or better arts and humanities education, and that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will know a Nebraska that fosters creativity and free thought. With your support, Nebraska will remain informed, creative, and civically engaged. We all know Nebraska is a special place to live; and we have the opportunity today, to make sure that remains true tomorrow.

 

So, in this time of celebration and renewal, I would like to thank our community for making Nebraska’s cultural landscape what it is today by embracing and supporting this powerful initiative; and I invite you to join us as we continue to cultivate a legacy for the arts and humanities in Nebraska.

 

Happy New Year!

-Kyle

Kyle Cartwright
Executive Director
Nebraska Cultural Endowment

 

 

Theatre is my livelihood

 

Pippa’s Story:

Theatre is my livelihood

                                                      My “Know I Should”                                                  

                                                     My “Always Would.”                                              

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Arts Facilitation is My Livelihood

Lisa’s Story:

My parents were teachers, and our home was always filled with music. My mom has a master’s degree in music, my father’s bands always practiced in our house, my brother is a musician, my aunt and uncle were musicians, and my cousin played with Yo-Yo Ma.

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Painting, Curating and Educating are my Livelihoods

Inheritance, acrylic on panel, 40″ x 30″, 2016

Jordan’s Story:

I wasn’t particularly good at drawing and painting through childhood, though I loved the activity, as many children do.  My energies were focused elsewhere, mostly singing in the choir, making mixed tapes and reading romance and mystery novels.  In high school all of that changed- I took a painting class and the messy world of representation and imagery opened up to me.  I’ve been engaged with it ever since. Continue Reading…

LAWYERING IS MY LIVELIHOOD

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln sculpted by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931). 

Located at the State Capitol Building, Lincoln, NE

David’s Story

Did you know that a Nebraska lawyer, Frank M. Hall, played a role in the design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.? I thought of Hall as I pondered how my life as a lawyer has intersected with the arts and humanities.

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Conversation Is My Livelihood

Mike, Russell, and John – Dannebrog – 8.17.15
copyright Stuart Chittenden

Stuart’s Story

As an expat Brit new to Omaha ten years ago, I wanted to crack open the rigid carapace of “Nebraska nice” and reveal the intimacy of a people’s truer characters. In 2010 my wife and I began hosting conversation salons in our home reminiscent of those from Enlightenment France. Since then, spurred on by a spirit of curiosity, my belief in conversation’s benefits has motivated an active artistic and humanities practice centered around conversation-based interactions. I develop and deliver a variety of conversational programs and engagements for individuals and organizations. Continue Reading…

Stories Are My Livelihood

Amy’s Story

As my mother tells it, there was never a time in my life when I didn’t love stories. From the time I was born until I turned two, my parents and I lived in the apartment on the second floor of my grandfather’s house. Continue Reading…