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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)

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Kids Build the Future! A Play about Place and Possibility

Kids Build the Future! A Play about Place and Possibility

Friday, July 16, 2021 - 6:00pm
Red Cloud Opera House
413 N. Webster Street
Red Cloud, NE 68970

Join us for a very special performance featuring area children in this exciting and innovative collaboration with Blixt Locally Grown and The Valley Child Development Center! Children will spend the week of July 12–16 at the child development center working with theater artists from Blixt, and they will share what they learned with the community at the Red Cloud Opera House on Friday, July 16 at 6:00 p.m. during a special performance. This summer camp is ideal for children in kindergarten through 5th grade, and parents can enroll their child(ren) in the summer camp by contacting TVCDC director Meggan Messersmith at 402-746-5110 or Meggan can also answer questions about the cost of the camp during the week as well as scholarships available to eligible families.The Friday evening performance is FREE to the public, but freewill donations are welcome.

Thank you to our sponsors, Dennis and Sally Hansen, Robert Olsen, and Englund & Lindsteadt Financial Advisors for supporting this unique program! We are also grateful to the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment for their continued support.

About Blixt Locally Grown

Established in 2015, Blixt Locally Grown provides innovative programming, education, and high quality arts experiences to communities across Nebraska. Past projects include Winter Without Mama, The Dream Switch, and Captain Soapman. This is the second visit to Red Cloud for Blixt artists, who led a play in a day theater workshop at the Red Cloud Opera House in August 2020. 

Becky Boesen is a Nebraska-based playwright, lyricist, theatre artist, cultural consultant, speaker, coach, and community builder. Whether developing new work for the stage or working alongside communities to leverage local creative assets to build vibrant places, Boesen specializes in unleashing potential and possibilities through arts-based innovation. She is the author of the book and lyrics for three original musicals written alongside composer David von Kampen: Catherland, The Dream Switch, and Puddin' and the Grumble. She has also penned several plays which have seen multiple productions in Nebraska and beyond. Boesen also creates curricula and engagement programming in response to original artistic works that maximizes the impact of theatre as a catalyst for good. She is the co-founder of a nonprofit, Blixt Locally Grown, and a consultant for Nebraska Community Foundation. Boesen was recognized by Lincoln Journal Star as a “Top 20 Under 40” business leader for her work in arts entrepreneurism and was recently honored nationally as a Chime Changemaker, is an NEA award recipient, and is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Petra Wahlqvist is a co-founder of Blixt Locally Grown, with Becky Boesen, and currently serves as Executive Director for the organization. She has over 20 years of experience as a project creator, educator, producer and grant writer. She previously served as the Education Director at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, where she co-created projects with artists such as the Actors’ Gang, STREB, and Pilobolus, and curated and coordinated statewide performance tours. She teaches in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film at UNL and at Nebraska Wesleyan. She holds postgraduate diplomas from Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and London Center for Theatre Studies. Before moving to Lincoln in 2008, Petra worked as a theatre maker on multiple international tours, and as a Performing Arts Specialist and Mentor with Artis, a performing arts education company in London. For Blixt Locally Grown, she has been a Teaching Artist in three after-school clubs in Lincoln Elementary and Middle Schools in Spring 2021.

About the Valley Child Development Center

Opened in 2018, the Valley Child Development Center offers first class childcare and education to families in Red Cloud and surrounding areas. The center cares children ages six weeks to 12 years old, and their services are guided by a philosophy that promotes each child’s positive self-image, independence, learning and development while supporting families’ diverse needs and interests. Each summer the Valley Child Development Center hosts week-long summer camps for children's educational and social enrichment while school is not in session.

Meggan Messersmith has been the executive director of the Valley Child Development Center since July of 2020. An elementary school teacher with a Master's degree in Administration, Meggan has been an asset to the center and the Red Cloud community, and she knows how to make learning fun for the children who attend the center.