Our Town Norfolk: Arts Center

The Norfolk Arts Center was founded in 1978. With the purpose of enriching the lives of people in Northeast Nebraska.

There is much more than meets the eye here at the Arts Center. There are many impressive paintings on the walls, but the administration here makes a point of getting out and bringing the arts to the people. This impressive non-profit organization is currently reaching out to the 7th & 8th graders a the Norfolk Jr. High.

Thanks to the Arts Center, the youth of Norfolk now have a voice.

Elise Ehlers is and 8th grader who is embracing the opportunity to help transform an old, neglected park into a vibrant new meeting place, "It is a great piece of Norfolk's history and it should be used by people because it's a great use of space and it's in a great position to be a place where people can come together."

Talyn Meyer is getting the chance to redesign this historic property that's located in the center of town across the street from the Jr. High, "It's been pretty fun, gettin' to work with all of the ipads and learning all of the technology and stuff."

Beth Gentrup is Norfolk Jr. High's digital media coach, "I wanted them to come out and work with ipads, to be on the computer making imovies and putting it all together and then we're going to be making an ibook so it'll be shown on the ipad."

Melinda Kozel is the program coordinator at the Arts Center and she's been wanting to work with the Jr. High students for a long time, "These are kids that have a lot to say and a lot to offer and I think they're underutilized. I've found that working with them they've had tons of great ideas, a lot of great motivation and they've put as much effort into this project as I have.

Kara Weaner-Gaster is the executive director at the Arts Center and she hopes projects like this one pay dividends now and down the road, "We're really engaging the students, we didn't just say go and do this we said what do you want to do. By engaging the kids in the Central Park project we're helping them get invested in our community. We're hoping that in 20 years, 30 years if they're living in town or their just visiting back they can say i helped make that happen."

The Arts Center has a great partnership with the schools in Norfolk. A perfect example, a couple of years ago, budget cuts were going to strip away the summer art programs in the schools until the Arts Center jumped in to help and the programs were preserved for the betterment of all..