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Congrats to Nebraska’s Suzanne Wise

By Margaret A. Keough

Executive Director Suzanne Wise, of the Nebraska Arts Council, wins the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Gary Young Award

This award recognizes an executive director who makes an extraordinary contribution to public support for the arts at the state, regional and national levels. Ideal candidates exhibit exemplary leadership, innovative thinking and dedication to diverse artistic expression.

Our congrats to Suzanne Wise! As the executive director of Nebraska Arts Council (NAC), Suzanne has been a member of the M-AAA Board of Directors for sixteen years. Her dedication to the arts in Nebraska is sweeping; in her role at NAC, she was instrumental in the creation of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment to further develop Nebraska’s financial resources for both the arts and humanities.

At her urging, the Nebraska State Board of Education approved Nebraska’s first statewide fine arts standards in February 2014. This was made possible by a $45,000 grant from NAC. Suzanne’s dedication and persistence resulted in building a strong coalition among Nebraska’s arts community, arts educators, and a new Commissioner of Education. Under her leadership, Nebraska was one of the inaugural states to participate in the National Endowment for the Arts’ first Educational Leaders Institute (ELI) and was also selected to participate in the ELI alumni gathering in 2012.