UNDRground Contemporary Arts, Grand Island
The Nebraska Arts Council champions the arts as basic to education and lifelong learning. NAC grant programs promote the arts for all pre-K-12 Nebraska students, support professional development opportunities for teachers and artists, encourage partnerships among arts and educational institutions, and nurture lifelong learning in the arts.
Nebraska's Fine Arts Learning Standards ensure that K-12 educators and students have clear benchmarks for learning in Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. Our young people deserve a comprehensive education, including the arts, that will help them navigate a complex world. At the other end of the spectrum, NAC’s Creative Aging in the Arts Program (CAAP) brings creativity and arts learning into the lives of older adults in our state.
The Nebraska Commissioner of Education, Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, announced in May of 2021 that over $491 million dollars will be distributed to Nebraska school districts. These funds, part of the American Rescue Plan for schools (ESSER III), can support the arts during the school day and in after-school and summer programs. These funds can be used for programs that accelerate learning through evidence-based practices during the school day, as well as extended-year, summer, afterschool, and other out-of-school programs.
NAC supports equitable education opportunities for learners throughout the state, along with efforts to actively address racial injustice. Educators seeking ways to promote tolerance and address racism will find useful tools in this list of resources. Likewise, the arts have a role in healing, as described by former NDE Fine Arts Specialist, Debra Wehrmann DeFrain, "Please remember that there are resources to deal with trauma, and the many emotions and physical and mental stressors that come with trauma. The arts are especially powerful in social-emotional learning".