In January 2000, Christina M. Hixson and the Lied Foundation Trust announced a gift of $18 million to the University of Nebraska Foundation to support the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Fine and Performing Arts. The endowment, named the Christina M. Hixson-Lied Foundation Trust Endowment for the College of Fine and Performing Arts, benefits all areas of the college.
Half of the fund's income provides supports for programs in the college and the college's affiliated organizations, which include the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, the Lentz Center for Asian Culture, and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre.
Since 2002, the Hixson-Lied Endowment has distributed nearly $5 million in grants to our programs, faculty and students, with a total impact of more than $10 million.
A small sampling of projects funded through the Programs portion of the Endowment include:
- Chiara String Quartet
Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Julie Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; and Gregory Beaver, cello) has enhanced significantly the national reputation of the College, the School of Music and UNL since their residency began in the Fall of 2005. Through a wide variety of activities, both local and national in scope, that included performances in traditional and non-traditional venues, recordings, outreach initiatives, musical recordings, and reviews in local and national media, the Quartet has established themselves competitively with chamber groups in similar positions in research universities with a national profile. In 2007, the Chiara embarked on a statewide tour of Nebraska to bring their unique chamber music experience to communities across the Nebraska. The tour was filmed by students in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film for a DVD produced by NET entitled "Chiara Across Nebraska."
- Digital Arts Initiative
Funding from the Hixson-Lied Endowment matched a Program of Excellence seed grant from the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to support the development of an interdisciplinary program in Digital Arts. The Digital Arts Initiative is a collaborative effort among faculty from the Department of Art and Art History, School of Music, and Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film to provide interested students from all majors hands-on experience applying current technology to the arts.
- Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium
Funding from the Hixson-Lied Endowment supports the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium (IAS), a theme-based public performance series with artists in residence, a free public lecture series to complement the performances, a seminar for UNL students devoted to the season's theme, and a book series. IAS places the performing arts in a broader, more meaningful context, creates a diverse audience for performances and brings world-class performance and scholarship to UNL and to Lincoln.
- Carson Film Series
The Hixson-Lied Endowment funded the first two films in the Carson Film Series, which involves a select number of industry professionals teaming with students and faculty from the University and NET to create a short film. The first film, Vipers in the Grass, was completed in 2010. Industry professionals included writer and producer Jorge Zamacona, Academy Award-winning editor Mike Hill, actors Dean Winters and Harley Jane Kozak, Director Alex Zakrzewski, Producer Mel Efros, Director of Photography Sidney Sidell and Supervising 1st Assistant Camera Bob Heine.
- Sheldon Museum of Art
Support for various major exhibitions, which provide numerous opportunities for interaction between artists and UNL students, particularly in the Department of Art and Art History.
The remaining funds are divided equally to support Faculty/Staff and Students. Some of the projects funded in these two categories include:
- Student Grants
The Hixson-Lied Endowment funds a number of annual grants for graduate and undergraduate students that provide opportunities for Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts students selected to study in the U.S. or abroad, as well as to present scholarly/creative work and create work that would otherwise be difficult to produce due to cost. These annual grants are awarded competitively based on peer-review by the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisory Boards.
- Sheldon Graduate Fellowship
Funding supports a continued collaborative program between the Sheldon Museum of Art and the Department of Art and Art History to place a graduate Master of Fine Arts candidate at the Sheldon for a three-year period. The Sheldon Graduate Fellow is trained by and works with the Sheldon Curator of Education to develop and increase University audiences for the Museum and its programs.
- Hixson-Lied Graduate Fellowships
These prestigious awards are given to a select number of new graduate students in each academic unit in the College. Funding for up to 32 fellowships has been allocated by the Hixson-Lied Advisory Board. Applications for these fellowships undergo rigorous evaluation by members of the graduate faculty, who look for evidence of outstanding past achievement and the potential for excellence in scholarship and creative activity at the highest level. Awards range from $3,500 to $4,500, in addition to the graduate assistant stipends already provided by the University.
- Hixson-Lied Undergraduate Scholarships
The Hixson-Lied Undergraduate Scholarships are non-renewable, one-year, merit/talent-based scholarship awards for incoming in-state or out-of-state Freshman students, as well as for transfer students new to UNL. Up to 30 scholarships, equal to up to 25 percent of in-state or out-of-state tuition, are awarded each year. Applications are being accepted for the first time in 2010 for awarding in the Fall of 2011.
- Faculty Grants
The Hixson-Lied Endowment also funds several annual grants for faculty who are creating or presenting work that brings national and/or international attention to the College and the creative and scholarly work of the faculty. Annual grants include: Faculty Research/Creative Activity Grants, Faculty Presentation of Scholarly and Creative Activity Grants and Faculty Development Travel Grants.
- Hixson-Lied Professorships
The Hixson-Lied Professorship program recognizes the work of our most outstanding faculty. Eligibility for consideration of these professorships is limited to tenured faculty at the rank of Associate or Full Professor who do not already hold a named professorship, who have demonstrated exceptional overall performance over an extended time frame, and whose accomplishments have gained significant recognition beyond the University. These professorships carry a $3,000 annual award.
- Faculty and Staff Awards
The Hixson-Lied Endowment funds nine annual faculty and staff awards to recognize outstanding performance and accomplishments in the areas of teaching, research and creative activity, faculty service, outreach and engagement, and staff service to the College and University.
Hixson-Lied Advisory Board
The Hixson-Lied Advisory Board was created to review and react to proposals for funding support from the Hixson-Lied Endowment to benefit the College and its affiliated organizations. The board encourages proposals that will truly advance excellence in the College and enhance its national reputation. Additionally, the board is involved in overseeing the investment of the endowed funds in cooperation with the University of Nebraska Foundation's Finance Committee.
- Hixson-Lied Board Reports
- Three Year Report 2008-2011
- Three Year Report 2005-2008
- Three Year Report 2002-2005