Quality Family Time is My Livelihood


A Christmas Story: The Musical  Based on the motion picture, A Christmas Story now playing at The Rose through December 28, 2014.

Matthew’s Story

I remember seeing my grandmother and mother laughing so hard that tears spilled from their eyes.  We were witnessing a production of an obscure satire called The Hot Mikado.  I was seven years old and that is the only lingering image from my first experience attending professional theatre.  Years after my grandmother’s passing, that joyous mental picture is still one of my most cherished- seeing the people I love happy spending time together.  Giving others that same opportunity is my livelihood.

Linking that particular experience and my chosen vocation took years.  Like many people in the theatre field, I acted onstage.  I also wrote plays.  I also directed plays.  Eventually, I studied theater management at the graduate level in the belief that shepherding institutions to stability produced a certain guarantee of permanence to the endeavor of making live performing art.  The increasing tally of opera, symphony, and theater closures in recent years all but shatters the illusion of permanence in this field.  The very nature of our work is ephemeral, and that is what makes it so special.

At The Rose Theater, we acknowledge the impermanence of an art experience while aiming to make it stand outside the boundaries of time.

At The Rose Theater, we acknowledge the impermanence of an art experience while aiming to make it stand outside the boundaries of time.  We make art for children and their families, so like childhood itself, we believe a permanent and positive mark can be made on the world by holding steadfast to the belief that love is the only reality that matters- far more than commerce, politics, or even death itself.  That image of my grandmother and mother has the power to guide me at any moment in my adult life- at the grocery store, in traffic, and even at work.  It represents a choice to be gentle, silly, and powerful.  Art of all kinds has the potential to help us achieve such a reality.  For me, a desire to make art for families arose out of a serious search for something real, something that heals, something that makes us laugh.  All I did to find that was return home to what made me, not the theatre, but the people.

About Matthew IFM Panel 3 (Matt G)

Matthew Gutschick’s recent directing credits at The Rose include last season’s Robin Hood and Ramona Quimby.  Other directing credits include The Sparrow, Twelfth Night, and Anon(ymous) at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Wuthering Heights at the Mint Theatre in New York, and Whacked Fairy Tales at Twin City Stage.  His plays have been workshopped/produced by Wordsmyth Theatre Company, Horse Trade Theater Group (NYC), Reverie Productions (NYC), Tri Sate Actors’ Theatre, and Magic Chicago.  Matthew’s work for MagicMouth Theatre won a New Horizons Playwriting Award and the company premiered a new magic-theatre piece, A Christmas Carol In Prose with Parallel 45 in Traverse City, MI.  He is the former artistic director of the Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem and completed a fellowship with the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis under the mentorship of Peter Brosius.  Matthew assisted Peter Brosius on productions of 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins and A Christmas Story.  He is a former Managing Director of the Yale Cabaret where he produced over 14 world premieres.  Matthew is also the recipient of a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.  He holds a BA in Theater from Wake Forest University and received an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama.  He is in his third season as artistic director of the The Rose.

For more information about The Rose and current productions: http://www.rosetheater.org/





An Artist and a Business Man Are My Livelihoods

picture (2)

Bob’s Story

All through my life, whether I was painting, creating advertising, or facilitating leadership groups, I’ve always identified as an artist and always seeking to integrate my thoughts, feelings and ideas with others to demonstrate how the arts helps us to live life fully.  I will always believe that art is what holds society together.

This philosophy was rooted in my early childhood. In school, art activities were my favorite classes. Fortunately my teachers and my parents noticed and encouraged me. I grew up in various communities in Southeast Nebraska. In first grade, living in Sutton, I remember my mother introducing me to two older women who gave watercolor lessons in their attic on Saturday mornings. I loved it and from that point on I always knew that I wanted to be an artist. As a junior at Hebron High School, I was fortunate enough to attend the Allstate program at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. It was a defining moment and from that point the arts have defined who I am. I worked as an artist in New York in the 60s and early 70s then came back to Nebraska and began my career in advertising while continuing my studio art at home. I founded Culver & Associates in 1983 and it grew to be the largest ad agency in Nebraska and was recognized as a regional INC Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994.

My artistic interest has also motivated me to be involved with various arts organizations across the state including Nebraska Arts Council, Museum of Nebraska Art and recently the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. A healthy community needs a healthy arts infrastructure. We also need to increase our focus and support for the arts from preschool through high school. Research has shown the importance of creativity in every walk of life as well as preparing our young Nebraskans to be at the forefront of innovation, critical to the success in the business world.

I feel fortunate that I had the opportunities to be an artist, think artistically and apply my artistic notions and ideas to everyday life. I encourage others to do the same by bringing the arts into their family activities, their businesses by attending arts events, going to museums and finding their own artistic gifts.

About BobBob corporate pic (2)

Bob Culver is both a successful artist and businessman. As an artist, Bob is an accomplished painter, studied with nationally known artists and is an active member of the Arts Community. As a businessman he is the Senior Consultant at Culver Consulting specializing in strategic business consulting and leadership development programming. Also, he was vice president of Leadership Learning Transformation for Lincoln Financial Group. Before his career at Lincoln Financial, he built one of the largest advertising agencies in Nebraska and was an INC. Magazine Entrepreneur-of-the-Year.

Bob has a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska. Twice, he received residency scholarships to Kent State University’s Blossom Center Program. He has studied with internationally known artists including Wayne Thiebaud, Phillip Pearlstein, Frank Gallo, Richard Whitney and Alex Katz. Upon graduation from the University of Nebraska he moved to New York City to apprentice with Red Grooms, a leader in the Pop Art movement of the 60’s and 70’s. He assisted Red with many installations as well as starring in one of Red’s Ruckus Films called Hippodrome Hardware. While in New York, he also taught drawing at the Educational Alliance. Returning to Nebraska, Bob created the Culver Marketing Group. The Culver Marketing Group grew to be the largest Nebraska based advertising agency and was chosen by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, as one of Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. He received the Chamber’s Small Businessperson of the Year in 1992. Bob was also honored as the Outstanding Alumni of the University of Nebraska Lincoln Fine Arts College.

While at Lincoln Financial, he co-created the curriculum and was on the faculty of ICAN’s “Defining Leadership for Men” program. He partnered on a marketing case study with members of the faculty at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and taught marketing theory in the Omaha Small Business Network’s FastTrac Program. Bob is certified in Emergenetics, Essi Systems EQ Map, Center for Creative Leadership 360 tools and Edward de Bono’s “Six Hats Thinking”. Bob is a LIMRA Leadership Institute Fellow (LLIF), conferred jointly by the LIMRA Leadership Institute and The Wharton School of Business

He serves and has served on many community boards including Opera Omaha, Omaha Symphony, Public Arts Commission, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha Creative Institute, Museum of Nebraska Art, Nebraska Special Olympics, Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Theater Company for Young People, Friends of Joslyn Castle, Girls Inc. and co-founded the MEDICI group, a fund-raising organization for the department of Art and Art History, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.



Poetry Is My Livelihood

Nebraska Cultural Endowment:

Twyla Hansen, Nebraska State Poet, accepted the Word Sender Award from the John G. Neihardt Foundation November 9, 2014 at the Laureate’s Feast. . Read about Twyla Hansen in this re-blogging of “Poetry Is My Livelihood”.

Originally posted on What's Your Livelihood?:

Twyla’s Story
I did not attempt creative writing when I was young because I had no notion I could. My unlikely path to poetry—to creativity, really—was detoured by everyday life: growing up, marrying, starting a family, working, attending college as a non-traditional student. By the time I graduated with a degree in horticulture, I thought I knew what I wished to do and where I was headed. Not exactly.

I grew up on a small farm with three older brothers and without television. At an impressionable age, I lived and breathed hay bales and clover blossoms and topsoil. Because there were few distractions, I looked at things closely and let my imagination run wild. We listened to radio programs like Perry Mason, Lone Ranger and a creepy sci fi show that gave me nightmares. We attended a one-room country school K-8th. Saturdays, we drove to town for groceries and supplies…

View original 469 more words

Bridging Cultures Is My Livelihood

Sovereign Youth Leadership camp

Sovereign Youth Leadership camp

Nancy’s story:
“You will wear two dresses” my great-grandmother told me, referring to my mixed heritage of Cherokee/Choctaw/Scots Irish and the challenges to be faced.

But, thankfully from an early age I had a great-grandmother who taught me about tribal traditions, and a grandfather who wanted me assured of a western education and willing to indulge me with trips to natural history museums, art galleries, historical sites; anywhere to feed my insatiable curiosity about the world both “out there now” and “long ago,” which led eventually to a career teaching college level history, anthropology, and sociology.

Nancy at Genoa 2014

Nancy – “Wearing Two Dresses”

Teaching was the obvious choice for such broad interests but two remarkable opportunities arose here in Nebraska melding avocations and vocation. In 1987 beginning work with a church on the Winnebago Reservation propelled me into public speaking across the country on its behalf seeking potential supporters; then in 1997 being hired by the Neihardt State Historic Site creating educational programming on Neihardt and related topics. Neihardt’s literary and journalistic career and his inextricable link to Native Americans (think Black Elk Speaks) broadened the topics covered both in what was offered on site and what could be taken out to schools and other groups across the state.

For a mixed blood Native woman, these presentations expanded finding a perfect niche market. Using my own life experiences (i.e. being told in 3rd grade “You can’t be Indian, there are no Indians left” when I went home to a whole household of them) combined with what I taught in the classroom, was an excellent way to bridge gaps between cultures. Putting it bluntly, utilizing the combination of my European coloring and Native upbringing made me the “safe” Native person to answer potentially uncomfortable questions from non-Natives and allow for opening dialogue using factual information, informal manner, and often humor. And it works; for adults and school children alike, and hopefully leaves a lasting impression and appreciation for our shared history.

So, my great-grandmother would not be surprised at all to see me in a variety of settings wearing either a business suit or regalia – wearing two dresses.

About Nancy:
Nancy Gillis is the former Director of the Neihardt Historic Site, retiring in 2014; teachingNancy 2008 at Wayne State College, NECC, N.I.C.C. and Little Priest Colleges in Native American, U.S. and World History, Sociology, and Cultural Anthropology.

Gillis served the Nebraska Historic Preservation Office and NE Folk Life Network; NE Arts Council Multi-Cultural Grant panel; reviewer for Nebraska History Magazine; trained museum docents; coordinated writers’ workshops for Native youth; consulted for a 3-year Teaching American History grant; and as counselor for the 2014 Sovereign Youth Leadership camp. She is the 2014 Addison Sheldon Honoree for “service to the history of Nebraska” and for Humanities Nebraska she presents a variety of programs on both Native Americans and Neihardt.

To read more about Nancy’s speaking topics http://humanitiesnebraska.org/speakers/speakers-index

The LUX Is My Livelihood

LUX Pottery Wheel

Jo Ann’s Story
My Livelihood is making art accessible to lots of different people.

The question most frequently asked is what medium I work in. Because I think I’m funny, I tell people I’m the chief bureaucrat of LUX Center for the Arts.   I’ve worked for a variety of non-profit organizations prior the LUX.  The commonality for me is trying to make the world around me just a little bit better. Somewhere along the road, that led me to art.

Making art is a perfect conduit for expression. It is a way to communicate that transcends language, age, or ability.  Just recently, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with my husband’s 101-year-old uncle.  We planned a day that would easily tire someone half his age!  On our list was a tour through the LUX and the Sheldon.

LUX Saturdays mean many children coming in for art class. Art (that’s his name!) and the rest of the family toured the center, but when we came to the studios, Art just stood there—barely needing his cane—and smiling–watching the children working on paintings around the table.  As we left the room, Art said that he has hope for our future.

The man has seen a lot in his years, but watching youngsters making art gives him hope. His words stuck with me–an “aha” moment.

In a world where there is hunger, disease, war, and poverty, it is sometimes difficult to IMG_4891justify why funding for the arts is important. While we provide those vital things that make the present better, we also have to plant the seeds that make tomorrow worthwhile.

Opportunities to create are few for today’s children. School principals, especially those with high needs populations, make tough decisions about how to spend their resources.  While art classes are mandated, they are underfunded.

This is why my livelihood is the LUX. I get to work with trained artists every day.  They use their talents to teach—to make tomorrow worthwhile.  We take on the responsibility of teaching art classes for children in our community—especially for kids who live in low-income households. We work to level the playing field so all children have the chance to become tomorrow’s innovators and creative problem-solvers. That gives me hope.

About Jo AnnDSC_5165
Jo Ann Emerson has called Nebraska home for the past 12 years. She is passionate about building community through shared arts experiences.  When not working she can be found in her kitchen either cooking or reading about cooking.  She considers cooking her art.

Jo Ann loves warm and beachy vacations with her husband and friends. She loves hanging out with her daughters and five grandchildren. Lloyd, the Golden Retriever, is her biggest fan.


To learn more about The LUX http://luxcenter.org/