Foundry Magazine | Spring 2018

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Spring 2018

Featuring: Stories from Cause Camp 2018, Jazz in June Spotlight, Leading the Good Life Series.


Randy The feeling continues to swell inside me to near overwhelming proportions with more frequency than ever. Don’t worry, I’m talking about my sense of pride for Lincoln.

Spring 2018


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We’re pretty special.

One Lincoln by Spencer Creal

I’m most reminded of how special we are when out-of-town guests tell me how impressed they are by Lincoln. That was once again evidenced by our attendees from 35 U.S. states and four countries at Cause Camp in March. They just raved about our community.

Member Spotlight: Jazz in June by Hannah Trull Heard From Camp Give to Lincoln Day 2018 by Molly Bretz Leading The Good Life by Hana Muslic


And they raved about Cause Camp. Once again our small but mighty team outdid themselves, hosting one of the best conferences in the nonprofit sector. And it’s not us just saying that. Forbes magazine bestowed us this unsolicited designation. Turns out, we’re building quite a community of our own. You’ll read more about our plans to expand our facility to better accommodate The Foundry’s ever-growing community. And you’ll also read that we’d like you to consider becoming a Founder, and what that means. I’m humbled by the people who have invested in The Foundry and believe in the work we’re doing. I promise we’ll make the most of your investment and continue to make a difference in the lives of our members and those they serve. One of the ways you can support us, or any of your favorite nonprofits, is Give to Lincoln Day, which celebrates its seventh year on May 31. With your help this event has grown considerably each year. Let’s keep this trend going. Please give to your favorite nonprofits. And my hope is The Foundry makes your list. As always, thank you for supporting Lincoln and the causes that make it a place unlike any other.


2 | Nonprofit Hub Magazine | Spring 2018 | One Lincoln

Staff gathered outside the CAC to release 12 blue balloons, one for every child who disclosed abuse that week at the CAC.

ONE LINCOLN Supporting Each Other Today and Every Day by Spencer Creal It isn’t without justification that publications across the country have continually declared Lincoln one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. The evidence is all around us: the stable economy, the variety of job opportunities, the affordable cost of living. But what is perhaps more remarkable about Lincoln can’t be measured by dollar signs and jobs reports. What makes Lincoln special is the sincere, lasting care its citizens have for each other. You can see it in the smiles and greetings we give each other on the street, the excitement we share about things happening in our city and, above all else, the social impact organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those who call Lincoln home. It’s our purpose to tell the stories of these organizations and the people behind them. And while I couldn’t dream of covering the plethora of amazing things happening in this city in one article—or even one magazine—I found a few examples of ways Lincolnites are fighting, helping and standing up for one another each and every day.

its children are immune to the horrors of abuse and neglect. It’s the Child Advocacy Center’s (CAC) mission to help these children, and they ramped things up in the month of April to bring awareness and education to the Lincoln public. The statistics behind child abuse are staggering: one in four children will suffer from child abuse before they graduate high school, and for every child that comes forward, nine more are suffering in silence. “Think about that. We’re sitting among child abuse victims right now, I guarantee it,” said Paige Piper, CAC’s Development Director, as we sat in a semi-crowded coffee shop. The CAC provides forensic interviews (“information gathering sessions,” Piper called them), medical evaluations, advocacy services and community training and prevention, the last of which was a focal point during the month of April.

Child Advocacy Center

“It’s not enough to just treat the symptoms,” Piper said. “We need to create an environment where kids can come forward and know that someone will believe them and help them.”

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and while Lincoln is surely a great place to raise a family, that doesn’t mean that

Twenty years ago, before CAC started in Lincoln, the reporting process for children was riddled with stigma: kids would often

This desk is part of the CAC’s interactive public art display, representing child victims of abuse. The painted words are quotes from children who disclosed abuse and received therapy at the CAC.

Some of the 100 assembled Easter baskets collected by TLGT.

disclose abuse at school, leading to conversations in the principal’s office, which could indicate to others that the child is in trouble. In this model, children would likely be required to retell their story to the school nurse, the police, hospital staff, social workers, special investigators and county attorneys, causing them to relive their trauma several times over. The CAC has helped minimize the trauma of children by streamlining the process with law enforcement and Health and Human Services officials.

The Lincoln Giving Tree is a Facebook group dedicated to providing goods—clothing items, food products, appliances, accessories—to those who need them in Lincoln and surrounding areas. The process is simple: request items if you need them, offer items others may need and pay it forward. If you can’t afford to donate items, you can pay it forward in other ways, like volunteering your time, performing a random act of kindness or even smiling at a stranger on the street— anything that keeps the spirit of kindness and generosity alive.

In 2017, the CAC saw more than 1,200 child victims of abuse and neglect from Southeast Nebraska, with the vast majority of these cases involving sexual abuse. And according to Piper, things won’t get much better until we change the dialogue.

Shannon Crellin, the group’s primary administrator, is proud of the impact the group has had since forming only a few short months ago.

“To reduce the stigma around child abuse, we have to reframe the language to make it so it’s not so hard to talk about. Five year-olds are being sexual assaulted. That’s horrible. But until we acknowledge that it’s happening and learn what we can do to prevent it, it won’t stop.” To learn more about the Child Advocacy Center and how they’re helping Lincoln’s children, visit

The Lincoln Giving Tree We all know someone living in a difficult situation. Maybe they’re strapped for cash and can’t afford new clothes for their children; maybe they lost most of their belongings in a domestic dispute; or maybe their home caught fire and they’re starting from scratch. Perhaps you’ve been in these situations yourself. There are dozens of organizations in Lincoln committed to helping people riddled with these hardships, but one group, The Lincoln Giving Tree (TLGT), has found its home online.

“We’ve supplied everything from a day’s worth of food, to items as high-end as breast pumps,” she said. “We were even able to furnish an entire apartment after an unfortunate domestic violence situation.” Since January, over 2,000 Lincolnites have joined TLGT and over 10,000 posts have passed through the administrators. “It’s very rare that we disapprove a post,” Crellin said. “We just want to make sure people aren’t asking for money or abusing each other. We help with items, but no money is to exchange hands.” The reason for this, Crellin said, is to avoid the all-too-common bartering that happens on other Facebook market pages and instead promote the “pay it forward” philosophy. Crellin and other administrators have a healthy grasp on what TLGT can do for its members. “Ultimately, we want people to be able to help themselves. We’ll be your life raft, but we can’t be your boat.”

4 | Nonprofit Hub Magazine | Spring 2018 | One Lincoln

In March, TLGT started a drive for Easter basket donations. Much to their surprise, they were able to assemble 100 curated Easter baskets for children across the city, funded completely by community donations. Find them on Facebook at "The Lincoln Giving Tree". March for Our Lives Not since the Vietnam War protests have we seen students so immersed in national politics. And much like Vietnam, the March for Our Lives movement has been fueled by young people losing their peers to violence. On February 14, 17 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL were murdered—and 17 more were injured—by a gunman wielding an AR-15 assault rifle. The event shocked the nation and the world, but no one was more devastated than the classmates of the victims—the children who watched as 17 of their peers were killed in the halls of their school. And so they ignited the March for Our Lives movement to ensure that nothing of the like could ever happen again. The movement spread like wildfire, with schools across the country—elementary through university—starting their own chapters, organizing their own marches and pleading with their own legislators. Lincoln was no exception. Kieran Wilson, whose brothers go to school just ten minutes from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, knew there were people in the Lincoln community who were passionate about gun reform, and so, on a whim, he decided to make a Facebook group for a Lincoln march. Within a matter of days, more than 800 people said they would attend. Wilson then reached out to Isabel Bousson, a student at Lincoln East High School, to help co-organize the march. Together, Wilson and Bousson gathered students from all of Lincoln’s high schools, colleges and universities to help promote and organize the event. Lincoln’s March for Our Lives was an incredible success. Students, current and former educators, administrators and activists helped make a crowd of nearly 2,000 on the steps of the State Capitol Building. They held hand-made signs, wore stickers with phrases like “Armed with Love” and “Not One More” and demanded change through microphones and megaphones. The march wasn’t the end of the fight for gun reform, either. “It wasn’t just the march,” Wilson said. “We’re still out advocating and fighting for what we think is right.”

t h e f o u n d ry m e m b e r s p o t l i g h t

JAZZ IN JUNE by Hannah Trull

When 50 people laid their blankets in the grass for the first-ever Jazz in June concert in 1991, no one could have predicted that it would blossom into a beloved Lincoln tradition, complete with farmers markets, free music classes, Grammy-winning jazz artists and crowds by the thousands. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) hired Spencer Munson to coordinate the free concert series three years ago, when the project became too large for the Sheldon Art Museum to handle. The concerts, held every Tuesday in June, begin at 7 p.m. in the Sheldon Sculpture Garden. People also can come early for a farmers market outside of the Lied Center beginning at 5. Around 5,000 people attend Jazz in June each week. “It was just a steady growth; people started loving it,” Munson said. “It’s a beautiful, outdoor green space with lots of shade and lots of wonderful sculptures. It’s also neat because it’s surrounded by all the schools within the Hixson-Lied Art Program, so everybody kind of collaborates to make it happen.” Some people will arrive hours in advance to claim their spots in the grass, while others choose to stroll around the garden or sit on the stairs of nearby buildings. Either way, the audience can expect live music from some of the greatest jazz artists in the world. Some of their most notable artists have been Arturo Sandoval, a 10-time Grammy-winning trumpet player, and Terence Blanchard, another trumpet player who composed the soundtracks to most of Spike Lee’s movies. This June, Munson booked two headliners: Jameson Ross, the drummer of Snarky Puppy, and Jazzmeia Horn, a scat singer and Grammy nominee. Joining them will be the African and Latin influenced band Mwenso and the Shakes and New Orleans-style party band Hunter Tones. “You won’t want to miss their jazz medley of Michael Jackson songs,” Munson said. Although these artists help draw in massive crowds, perhaps equally crucial to Jazz in June’s growth is the impact it has had on the Lincoln community. If an artist performs at the event, they’re required to engage in community projects.

Usually, these come in the form of free music classes taught at the elementary, high school and college levels. Artists hold these “master classes” in UNL buildings or community centers, and educate students on music theory, history and performance. Since Munson coordinates both the concert itself and the community projects, his plate is full. In the off-season, you can find him at The Foundry searching for popular artists, developing a new style and brand for the next year and, of course, raising money—after all, 80% of their funds are raised in the off-season. In June, Munson coordinates the 40 to 50 weekly volunteers who help with security programs, crowd management and artist hospitality. He also makes sure the artists are comfortable and ready for their performances. This is all in an effort to achieve Jazz in June’s mission. “We want to bring a very original, American music form to Lincoln for free and engage underserved communities with free music education,” Munson said. Jazz in June strives to serve diverse populations, including community members that are normally unable to attend large cultural programs like this one. As for the future, Munson has big plans. He would love to see two separate programs for the free music classes: one for elementary-age students and the other for high school and college kids. He also wants Jazz in June to eventually become a class at UNL, where students could shadow performers through week-long residencies. “I would also like more interdisciplinary collaboration on the university campus,” he said. In particular, Munson wants to work more with the art and theater departments. This collaboration could bring live art shows, a theater for young children and UNL ensembles in addition to the main event. Judging by the massive growth Jazz in June has seen, his goals seem attainable. But it’s also important to reflect on how far they’ve already come. Within the past 27 years, Jazz in June’s attendance has grown 1000%, providing culture, education and lots of free, funky music to the Lincoln community. Be sure to check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @jazzinjuneunl.

6 | Nonprofit Hub Magazine | Spring 2018 | Member Spotlight

“I really loved being here this year and meeting so many amazing speakers and colleagues. I learned a whole bunch of stuff, like about storytelling, and telling your money story, and creating a good culture that retains people. It’s been really great.” Vu Le Speaker

“Just meeting everyone, and hearing their stories and hearing about their organizations and what they are trying to do, I’m leaving so inspired!”


“The quality of speakers is unmatched, everybody is an expert in their particular field. You’re learning from the best of the best. I can’t think of where i could possibly get this kind of information anywhere else.” “Cause Camp is like the bee’s knees. It’s an opportunity to be all in with other social impact professionals who care deeply about everything from kids and babies, to animals, to trees, the environment and everything in-between.” Kishshana Palmer Speaker

Jena Lambert Attendee

Paul Reynolds Speaker

Takeaways from Cause Camp 2018, Hosted by Nonprofit Hub

Kristen Hadeed Speaker

“You can find something of value here at Cause Camp, something you can take back to your organization. Whether it’s a new attitude, or a different outlook in general. I think that nonprofits need that kind of additional energy because we are fighting against so much more than other organizations might be.”

“I love connecting with people in the nonprofit sector, they are people of passion and purpose. It’s easy when you connect with kindred spirits who are on similar missions.”

Travis Russell Attendee

Give to Lincoln Day by Molly Bretz Lincoln is a city so devoted to the growth of its community and organizations that an entire day is dedicated to precisely that. Alongside efforts to sustain the philanthropic needs of our city, the Lincoln Community Foundation curated one of our city’s proudest community giving campaigns: Give to Lincoln Day. Every year, the city of Lincoln joins hands in selfless ambition to give back, promote philanthropy and help nonprofits raise the funds needed to achieve their missions. Each and every year the community of Lincoln surpasses all expectations of generosity. A record $3.7 million was raised for 365 local nonprofits during last year’s Give to Lincoln Day, helping nonprofits carry out their missions, supplement their budgets and meet their needs. Give to Lincoln Day isn’t only for generous donors to show their support of local nonprofits; the event allows nonprofits to tell their stories, creating awareness for their efforts, no matter how big or small the organization may be. In an effort to tell our own story, The Foundry is asking for your generous participation in this event. The Foundry is a coworking and community space for nonprofits and socially-minded businesses to gather, work and make a positive, everlasting impact on Lincoln. We are expanding our space to include more offices and private workstations for startups, businesses and nonprofits. And, most excitingly, we are proud to announce the creation of a new premier coffee bar and gathering space on the ground floor, where 100% of profits will support Lincoln-area causes and nonprofits.

Thank you to the generous Founders who have already made a commitment to our space, our city and the nonprofits that call it home. Rich Bailey Bob & Barb Bartle Chris, Lori & CJ Blum - Boy Scouts Amy & Curt Bowen Faith, Mason & Caden Randy & Jan Bretz Jared Carlson Kyle and Zion - Big and Little HBBS Ginna & Rich Claussen Datasoft Solutions In an effort to be transparent with our community, we know that The Foundry, at its core, may not be directly impacting many of our city’s needs. However, we stand firm in our mission to give organizations a place to call home and a place to grow. We are proud to serve organizations in our community by offering them low overhead costs, technology, meeting space and other resources to expand the scope of their work. Hundreds of local nonprofits call our big brick building, on the corner of 14th and P, home, and we want you to be a part of the growth! We are inviting members of the community to become “Founders.” For $500, Founders receive a brick engraved with their name or nonprofit’s name to be permanently displayed in the coffee bar to recognize their commitment to Lincoln. Becoming a Founder is an investment in Lincoln and the amazing organizations that make it unlike any other place in the world. Your individual contribution matters. We are all in this together.

Taylee & Jackson Decker Eakes Office Solutions Carl Eskridge Janet Eskridge Making Lincoln Whole Clover Frederick - On a Mission The Fritz Family The Grumble Project - Theatre for Change Pam & Mitch Haas Lisa & Mick Hale Dean & Karen Hawthorne Forward in Faith - Helmberger's Jake Hoppe Lincoln Community Foundation Marcee Metzger Monte Rasmussen Family Andy & Sarah Robbins Bryan Seck and Janell Wather John & Julie Make it a Ten Dot Day! Kevin & Lori Thomas Laura Uridil Claire Wilkinson Cohagen Wilkinson Ellen Wilkinson Jay Wilkinson Tawyna Starr

Leading the Good Life by Hana Muslic

It’s incredibly important that members of our community be recognized for all the good they do. Of course, they wouldn’t dream of recognizing themselves, so we’re going to do it for them. Each quarter, The Foundry will recognize an outstanding leader from the community to be featured. We’ll invite them to our home at 211 N 14th Street, have some coffee and talk about how they’re Leading the Good Life each and every day. This quarter, we were honored to meet with Megan Elliott, who’s bringing her passion for the arts to the university and community.

10 | Nonprofit Hub Magazine | Spring 2017 | Leading The Good Life

Megan Elliott Megan Elliott exudes energy, style and confidence. When I walked into her office above the University of NebraskaLincoln’s Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, I was both intimidated and excited to interview her, having heard wonderful things about the big impact she’s already made in her short time here in Nebraska. A small-town girl from “the bush” of Australia, Elliott has been making her mark on the world for years. And yes, I mean the whole world. In everywhere from the United Kingdom to Singapore and Greece to China, she’s been working hard to explore different cultures and make sure they’re fairly represented in media arts. After graduating from the University of Canberra with a degree of applied science in Cultural Heritage Management, a major that focuses on the cultural preservation of Australian indigenous people, she went on to work as an official for actors’ equity in independent performance. From there, she served as executive director for the Australian Writers’ Guild.

The generous donation is an indicator that the university, and especially people in Lincoln, care deeply about the arts, Elliott said. “I think I’m just impressed by what a welcoming and cando attitude Lincoln has,” she said. “It’s unlike many other universities or communities because it’s not siloed. There’s a genuine want to service the community and it’s inclusive across the board.” Elliott’s goal for the Johnny Carson Center is to totally focus on making the program student-centric. This means recruiting its first cohort, searching for faculty and staff that fit the culture and creating syllabi that focus on helping students’ ideas come to life.

`` I think I´m just impressed by what a welcoming and can do attitude lincoln has.´´

“It takes a village,” she said. “I absolutely love the opportunity to be working with such an extraordinary group of people to build something from the ground up that will have lasting impact on students’ lives and on the economy and community of Lincoln.”

“It was fun but a huge learning experience,” she said of her time there. The leadership skills she learned in that role and the connections she made led her to form X Media Lab (XML) with Brendan Harkin in 2005. XML is a digital media think-tank and creative workshop that assists companies and people in getting their ideas successfully to market. XML is internationally acclaimed, with partners like the Sydney Film Festival, Beijing Film Festival, American Film Institute, the British Council and the Federal Office of Culture in Switzerland.

Those behind the center’s inception view it as a crucial part of an innovation pipeline. The dream is to graduate transformative, creative leaders and help them realize the companies of their dreams.

Last year, Elliott was recruited (or “headhunted” as she playfully calls it) by UNL to lead the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, a program that will focus on interdisciplinary learning—particularly for students interested in virtual production, film, design, technology and commerce. The center, which is slated to open in the Fall of 2019, was made possible by a $20 million investment by the Johnny Carson Foundation.

This has shown her what opportunities exist in Lincoln and how we can use them, better them and continue to make them accessible.

Elliott has been trying to get involved with the arts community in Lincoln since she came here just a few months ago. She’s gone to First Fridays, attended TEDx events and spoken with people in several different departments at the university.

“When I arrived, I was very quickly brought into the community through participation,” she said. “And that’s been quite amazing. I think you can see that everyone genuinely wants the Carson Center to succeed.”


Events May 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31 Clinic With a Heart May 12 Hop, SCIP, Jump and Run May 31

211 N. 14th Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Give to Lincoln Day May: Every Thursday Gentle Yoga Classes June: Every Tuesday Jazz in June & Farmer's Market Monthly Foundry First Friday For more details visit

Looking for somewhere to give on Give to Lincoln Day?

Public Art Lincoln Search for The Foundry members at

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