Art center endowment

HELPING TO provide arts opportunities in the Norfolk area are staff members of the Norfolk Arts Center, which is working on a $1 million endowment project. The staff members include (from left) June Guerra, David Gaster, Cheyenne Allen, Sara Putters and Denice Hansen.

The arts are alive and well in Northeast Nebraska thanks, at least in part, to the Norfolk Arts Center.

With the desire to see the arts climate continue to thrive and expand, the center’s board of directors is pursuing a $1 million endowment campaign to ensure that artistic experiences and opportunities will continue to be offered in the Norfolk area for years to come.

“For the last 40 years, the Norfolk Arts Center has championed its mission of ‘bringing people and the arts together.’ We want to make sure we are equipped to fulfill that mission for future generations,” said Diane Becker, president of the center’s board of directors.

The arts offerings made possible the center are plentiful and varied, said Denice Hansen, the center’s executive director.

For example, more than 7,000 area K-12 students experience theater each year through the center’s Theater for Kids and Norfolk Children’s Theater programs. Norfolk area citizens also are exposed to regional and national artists through exhibit space at the arts center and special events such as the Soup ‘R Art Event, Riverpoint and Fork Fest.

What’s more, artists take the stage at the arts center each month to perform poetry, music and short stories. Teens and young adults have monthly events to play games, enjoy music and experience art there, too.

And at least 60 art classes are held for all ages at the center each year.

Part of the need for the endowment is because the center has experienced cuts in state and federal funding recently, Hansen said.

“We are looking to partially make up for those cuts through the endowment. It’s important that we have adequate funding to provide art experiences for Northeast Nebraska, to show our young people the importance of art in a community and to maintain our beautiful building,” she said.

Hansen said the Norfolk Arts Center Endowment Committee has already raised $500,000 toward the goal of a $1 million endowment.

“Many times, the arts community is overlooked when it comes to donation dollars. We’re asking people to consider how art enriches their lives and that of the community and help us reach our endowment goal,” Hansen said.

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Want to help or learn more?

For more information or to donate to the endowment, go to or call 402-371-7199.

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