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

 

 

Former NCE ED to receive 2018 Sower Award

Humanities Nebraska announced that Pamela Hilton Snow of Ashland will receive the 2018 Sower Award in the Humanities. Mrs. Snow will be honored on Tuesday, October 9 at a benefit reception and dinner held at Lincoln’s Embassy Suites hotel. The 23rd Annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham will follow at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The Sower Award is presented annually to an individual who has made “a significant contribution to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska.” This contribution can be through any combination of time, expertise, or resources, and the selection committee examines how the nominee has helped inspire and enrich personal and public life in our state through the humanities.

Born and raised in Lincoln, Pamela Hilton Snow is known for her passion and commitment to the humanities in Nebraska. In his nomination letter, Robert Nefsky referred to Mrs. Snow as “among those Nebraskans whose contributions to the humanities have made a real difference.”

A founding board member (1999-2006) and former executive director (2006-2014) of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Mrs. Snow’s long history of serving the humanities includes being a board member (1996-2006) and chair (1999-2000) of Nebraska Humanities Council, and board member (1999-2006) of the Nebraska Foundation for the Humanities. She was also instrumental in bringing the Great Plains Chautauqua to Grand Island, planning and consulting for the Nebraska Book Festival, and recruiting Humanities Nebraska board members.

Mrs. Snow has served on several other boards and is a current board member of the Cooper Foundation.  She travelled to other state humanities councils as a National Endowment for the Humanities site visitor and consultant, and helped strengthen many other Nebraska institutions.

Edythe Manza, retired director of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Federal-State Partnership Division, wrote from Maryland, “During my time at NEH, I worked with dozens of site visitors. Pamela Hilton Snow was one of the best…[She] understands the importance of collaboration. She represented NEH in the highest professional way while also bringing distinction to Nebraska, its cultural institutions generally, and Humanities Nebraska in particular.”

According to Kim West Dinsdale, Mrs. Snow is known for her talent to create successful teams through her incredible leadership skills. “Her name is synonymous with the Humanities,” Dinsdale wrote. “It is out of respect for Pam and all that she has done that people are eager to say, ‘Yes!’”

Mrs. Snow is credited for her leadership, organization, philanthropy, knowledge and love for the arts and humanities. She is also a talented writer and photographer. Her hard work in Nebraska, specifically the Grand Island area, led to the creation and enhancement of many institutions of the humanities that have benefitted countless communities.

The 2018 Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities is presented by Humanities Nebraska, along with co-sponsors E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues and the University of Nebraska. The free public lecture by Jon Meacham is titled, “Tumult, Tragedy and Hope: America in 1968 from a Half Century’s Perspective.”

The 7:30 p.m. lecture is free and open to the public. Table sponsorships and tickets for the pre-lecture benefit reception and dinner are now available for purchase. For more details visit www.HumanitiesNebraska.org.

From the board and staff of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, congratulations to Pamela Hilton Snow for being awarded the 2018 Sower Award in the Humanities. This award recognizes Mrs. Snow’s tremendous leadership, commitment and dedication to furthering the humanities in Nebraska. She has, and continues to, cultivate a legacy which has empowered communities and inspired many.

Please consider joining the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Humanities Nebraska, along with the Nebraska Arts Council, as we, too, cultivate a legacy for the arts and humanities in Nebraska.

NCE Participates in Give to Lincoln Day and Omaha Gives!

Each year, the community comes together to support its favorite causes on one day! NCE encourages you to support YOUR favorite cultural organizations in Lincoln and Omaha on May 23 for Omaha Gives and May 31 for Give to Lincoln Day!

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is participating in both days and is grateful for the tremendous support from our community. Thank YOU for supporting Nebraska’s cultural future on either Omaha Gives or Give to Lincoln Day!

Click the links below to support us!

Give to Lincoln Day, now until May 31: https://www.givetolincoln.com/nonprofits/nce

Omaha Gives, now until May 23: https://www.omahagives.org/NCE/overview

A Welcome Address from New Executive Director, Kyle Cartwright

Happy New Year to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment’s partners, friends, constituents and beneficiaries!

I am thrilled to be serving our cultural communities with you through the mission of the NCE and our partner organizations, Nebraska Arts Council and Humanities Nebraska. This year marks 20 years of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment creating sustainability funding for our state’s cultural resources. It is thanks to the vision and initiative of the Nebraska Legislature, and the community in response, that we have this truly unique asset in Nebraska.

Continue Reading…

Omaha Gives 2017

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is honored to be participating in Omaha Gives 2017, Omaha’s 5th annual 24-hour charitable challenge which is set for this Wednesday, May 24. The giving begins at midnight with a minimum $10 donation and hourly drawings and prizes make your donations go further.

When you give to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, your gift is matched dollar-for-dollar by the state and will preserve the arts and humanities in Omaha and throughout the state of Nebraska both today and for future generations.

Please consider the Nebraska Cultural Endowment when making a gift on May 24th and use
www.omahagives.org/ArtsandCulture2017

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…