Nebraska Organizations Receive NEA Funding

The National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC, recently awarded four Art Works grants and one Challenge America grant to Nebraska arts organizations. Art Works recipients include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, El Museo Latino, Film Streams and Omaha Theater Company, all of Omaha. LUX Center for the Arts, based in Lincoln, received a Challenge America grant. These grants are among the $27.7 million awarded by the NEA to support 1,126 projects in 49 states plus American Samoa, the District of Columbia and Guam in the first round of fiscal year 2016 funding.

Art Works grants focus on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. Challenge America grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.

Details for Nebraska recipients are listed below. For a full list NEA grant recipients, click here.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (aka Bemis Center)
Grant Award: $25,000
Field/Discipline: Art Works – Artist Communities
To support international and local artist-in-residence programs and related activities. Invited through an open call and selected through a rigorous jury process, artists in residence will receive a three-month residency experience, a monthly stipend, public engagement opportunities, and full-time technical and administrative support.

El Museo Latino
Grant Award: $20,000
Field/Discipline: Art Works – Museum
To support an exhibition series featuring the work of emerging Latino artists. The series will include photography and an installation, featuring artists Lizette Abraham, Ygnacio Jose Rivero and the collaborative work of Humberto Chavez Mayol and Gabriel Gonzalez. The artists were selected by Omaha-based curator Magdalena Garcia in consultation with curators at the Esmerelda School of Art at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, the Merida Center for the Arts, and CONACULTA (Mexico's National Center for Culture and Arts). Each artist will present a gallery talk to complement his or her exhibition.

Film Streams, Inc. (aka Film Streams)
Grant Award: $25,000
Field/Discipline: Art Works – Media Arts
To support a series of curated films. The series will include the presentation of repertory programs, special programs, and film events in collaboration with arts and social service organizations such as Opera Omaha, the Autism Action Partnership, and the Middle East Cultural and Educational Services of Omaha. Recent programs include a series devoted to Katharine Hepburn and a retrospective of Alfred Hitchcock's silent films accompanied by live musicians.

LUX Center for the Arts
Grant Award: $10,000
Field/Discipline: Challenge America
To support workshops for teens with visual artist Kim Reid Kuhn and an exhibition of participant art works. Guest artist Kuhn will lead workshops for low-income youth that explore the concept of personal iconography and provide technical assistance as the students create their own art works. The culminating exhibition will feature the students' and artist's individual and collaborative works.

Omaha Theater Company (aka The Rose Theater)
Grant Award: $15,000
Field/Discipline: Art Works – Theater & Musical Theater
To support the commission and development of "Standing Bear" by Mary Kathryn Nagle at the Rose Theater. The work will tell the story of Standing Bear, a Ponca Native American chief arrested for leaving the Quapaw Reservation to return his son's remains to the Niobrara River. The ensuing court case, Standing Bear v. Crook, established the legal principle that a Native American is a person under U.S. law. The theater will partner with the Omaha Public Schools' Native Indigenous Centered Education Program and the Ponca Council to conduct developmental workshops to connect personal narratives to the historical story dramatized in the work.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.