Lincoln Arts

The Sheldon Museum of Art
I've recently become very interested in arts management and the business required of a successful arts company.  I've been lucky enough to spend a year working with the amazing Abraham.In.Motion, and this summer started helping out with OmniArts Nebraska.  But before coming back to Lincoln for the summer I was really worried about the arts scene being lesser than I remembered.  Throughout middle school and high school I was very involved in the Lincoln theatre community-- I started acting at the Haymarket Theatre and the Lincoln Community Playhouse and then transitioned to learning the arts business and how to direct through the Nebraska Girls Shakespeare Company.  High school interested me more in the dance scene and I spent one holiday season in the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company's Nutcracker.  With a boyfriend who plays cello in every musical style and venue Lincoln has to offer and a father who loved the visual arts, I grew up well versed in the arts scene here, and when I moved to New York I would brag about how we had seven theatre companies for a city with a population of only 300,000 people.  

But returning back to this small city worried me-- I spoke so highly of the arts, but what if they weren't as wonderful as I had remembered?  The pool of actors was smaller, and people don't necessarily think of Lincoln first when they first graduate with an acting degree.  

But you know what?  I've realized the quality doesn't necessarily matter.  Lincoln doesn't have to be on par with New York, and it shouldn't be.  The arts in Lincoln take a much different route-- it's about community and collaboration.  Shows aren't seen here because it's a legendary cast, but because you can see the cast of Much Ado About Nothing rehearsing in the Community Garden and want to go see the full production.  People in Lincoln see theatre because they're friend's daughter's boyfriend composed the music for the show and they want to support him.  The arts in Lincoln are not about making high art that will challenge the audience, but it is primarily about supporting the community.  Of course good theatre or good music are greatly appreciated-- I'm not trying to say that people of Lincoln don't know good art, because they do!  But when people choose to go see a show, the review doesn't factor in as much because going to the show is about supporting members of the community in what they love to do the most-- make art.

That being said, I want to spend my summer supporting the arts community as much as possible.  Most of my life I would refrain from going to shows because I didn't want to spend the money or I didn't want to go alone.  But that didn't stop me from seeing shows in New York, so why should that stop me here?  

Hopefully you'll have many reviews of Lincoln theatre to look forward to on this blog in the coming months!


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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