- Custer in Nebraska, March 9, 2014
At 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 9th, author and historian Jeff Barnes will present his newest presentation, "Custer in Nebraska: The Royal Buffalo Hunt of 1872." Lt. Colonel George A. Custer was one of the best-known so-called Indian fighters of the 19th century, but four years before the epic Battle at the Little Big Horn (June 1876), he conducted a group of other stellar names on one of the last large-scale buffalo hunts on the Great Plains. In that group were the notorious Gen. Phil Sheridan, legendary William F. Cody, and Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. Using newspaper accounts and photographs, Barnes will narrate the trip across Nebraska, beginning with the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha.
Jeff Barnes is a former newspaper reporter and editor, now a freelance writer of historical focus. His other books include: "Forts of the Northern Plains" and "The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill." Barnes is a popular speaker for Humanities Nebraska; another presentation is "Buffalo Bill's Nebraska."
The program is free and open to the public, and a reception follows the program. Barnes' books will be available for sale and signing.
- Desmond Egan, Irish Poet, March 16, 2014
The Neihardt State Historic Site is pleased to announce an extra Sunday Afternoon at the Museum featuring poet Desmond Egan. Egan lives in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland and visits the United States annually for a tour of readings and workshops. He appeared at the Neihardt Site in 2003, 2005 and 2008 and we are pleased to have him return to share some of his new works. Egan is recognized as one of Ireland's most distinguished poets, teaching literature and serving as poet-in-residence at University College in Dublin and creative director of the annual Gerard Manley Hopkins International Summer School. He certainly has universal appeal, with over twenty collections of poetry and prose translated into a more than a dozen languages; one example is an anti-apartheid poem which graces Desmond Tutu's bedroom wall. His most recent publication September Dandelion is a dual-language (English/Chinese) collection of poems published in China this past March. His work has been the subject of two documentary films, he holds an honorary doctorate from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and he continues to garner awards, such as the 2004 Macedonian Poetry Award. His poetry is often humorous but more likely to be observations on the painful realities of poverty and war, such as his poem "Peace." American author Studs Terkel said of Egan: "His poems touch every aspect of our life. Egan is a remarkable poet." Greatly influenced by American Jazz music, in the 1970s he used to come to New York to "starve about the place," while absorbing the rhythms and nuances which color many of his works. Of his lighter pieces, among the most popular is his set of "Hokums," an Irish blarney parody of Japanese Haiku poetry, a style he greatly admires for its simplicity and deep feeling.
The program begins at 2 p.m. with a reception following; both are free and open to the public. Copies of Egan's work will be available for purchase and signing.
- Tom May, Afternoon of Folk Music, April 13, 2014
On Sunday, April 13th, a special Sunday Afternoon at the Museum program will highlight the exceptional talents of world renowned and acclaimed folksinger Tom May a dual program at 2:00 pm at the Neihardt State Historic Site in Bancroft, NE. It has been a few years since this fine performer has graced the Neihardt Center stage. May has always been staunch supporters of all things Neihardt; often garnering inspiration from his early works. Tom May, creator and host of River City Folk radio and television programs, is a singer, songwriter, and author originally from western Nebraska, who toured with Gordon Lightfoot and has headlined a special series of concerts with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. His fine baritone voice is supported by twelve string guitar, and occasionally an Irish pennywhistle harkens back to the time period settings of many of his songs. He is the author of Promoting Your Music: The Lovin' of the Game. Check out his website at www.tommayfolk.com>.
The program is free and open to the public. A reception will be held after the program and performer CDs will be available for sale and signing.
- 33rd Annual Spring Conference, April 26, 2014
The theme of the 33rd Annual Neihardt Spring Conference on Saturday, April 26, 2014 is "Oral History: Stories for the Generations." Oral history is a unique and rapidly disappearing method of transmitting historical and cultural information. Museums across the country, such as the Smithsonian and the Nebraska State Historical Society, have long recognized the importance of preserving what we have recorded to this time and making sure the process continues into the future, particularly as it pertains to Native Americans of the Great Plains. This conference will focus on using today's skills with the traditional ways of story, song, and dance to preserve this priceless heritage. The lineup of presentations and performances is remarkable. Barbara Sommer, a professional oral historian, will introduce the topic and its importance to both cultural and historical traditions. Dr. Delphine Redshirt (Lakota) teaches Native literature at Stanford University and will talk about oral tradition inherent in Black Elk Speaks. Bobby Bridger, singer/songwriter and one of the participants in the first production of Chris Sergel's adaptation of Black Elk Speaks in 1984, will discuss that production as well as perform the "Lakota" portion of his "Ballad of the West" biographical depictions of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and Black Elk. Taylor Keen (Cherokee/Omaha) will present the life of Ponca Chief Standing Bear as a first person Chautauqua-style performance, and the Many Moccasins Dance Troupe from Winnebago will explain the cultural content of the various styles of Native American dance as they perform. Moderator will be Walter Duda, Nebraska Historical Society and Neihardt Foundation board member; outside evaluator will be Dr. Gretchen Ronnow of Wayne State College.
Registration for the conference can be made by mail, phone, or e-mail. Cost is $20 per person; $15 for students. Reservations for lunch ($9) must be made by April 20th. The conference day begins at 8:30 AM with the first presentation at 9:00 AM. Lunch will be provided at the Bancroft Community Center by Grandma's Attic. Presenters' books will be available for purchase and signing. Funding for the conference has been provided by the Neihardt Foundation, Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Arts Council, and Wayne State College School of Arts and Humanities. For registration information, call 402-648-3388 or toll free at 1-888-777-4667; on-line at Neihardt@gpcom.net; by mail at PO Box 344, Bancroft, NE 68004.
For more information, please contact the Neihardt State Historic Site at 1-402-648-3388 or 1-888-777-4667 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the site at 306 W. Elm Street, Bancroft, NE.