2017 Arts & Literary Festival
September 21-27, 2017

Now in its seventh year, the Joslyn Castle Arts & Literary Festival returns this fall celebrating women of Nebraska.  As Nebraska celebrates its sesquicentennial, marking 150 years of statehood, the Joslyn Castle is proud to focus on the artists and authors of our state.  For this festival, our primary goal is to create an awareness and appreciation for women artists who have, and still are, significantly contributing to the cultural fabric of Nebraska.  We are currently hard at work lining up a spectacular array of guests for your literary enjoyment, and here is a “sneak peek” of what we have lined up so far.  Here are a few highlights of the festival:

  • For our art enthusiasts, we are pleased to welcome the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) back to the Joslyn Castle. We were so happy to have them participate for last year’s festival.  They will be tailoring their exhibit this year to female Nebraska artists which will be open for public viewing during the entire length of the Festival. 
  • Along with MONA, we are thrilled to partner up with artist Judith Welk for the first time. Living in Dundee, Omaha, Nebraska, for over 40 years, she has produced hundreds of paintings and serigraph prints.  She will be displaying her beautiful work which is a reflection of the love of the family and the people and places in the Dundee Neighborhood.
  • Completely Kids will hold an interactive art experience with Sharon Davis from Arbor Street Studios. Completely Kids provides hands-on learning opportunities to foster positive life skills that help break the cycle of poverty. Sharon Davis is a muralist and public artist whose work is widely recognized throughout Omaha. She will be leading students in creating their own artwork using hand-lettering techniques and these pieces will be displayed in the Castle for the duration of the festival.
  • The Union for Contemporary Art, Girls Inc., and the Joslyn Castle will collaborate on a large-scale mural to be displayed in the Castle during the festival. They will design floral forms from manipulated words and text, tying together our theme of celebrating female artists and writers. The Girls Inc. artists will be invited to our artists’ reception to be recognized and to share their work with loved ones.
  • If poetry is your passion, then Nebraska State Poet Twyla M. Hansen should be a familiar name. Raised in northeast Nebraska, and currently living in Lincoln, she is the third Nebraskan and first woman to hold the position of Nebraska State Poet.  Twyla will be busy at the Castle for an entire day engaging in a school-age writing workshop in the afternoon, then returning in the evening for a reading and book signing.  Our guests will be delighted to hear passages from three of her books: Rock * Tree * Bird, Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, and Potato Soup, named as one of Nebraska’s 150 Notable Books.
  • To celebrate the Joslyns’ involvement in the newspaper industry, Eileen Wirth, professor and chair of the Department of Journalism, Media and Computing at Creighton University will join us to talk about her book, From Society Page to Front Page: Nebraska Women in Journalism.  As one of the first women reporters at the Omaha World-Herald, her experience gave her the apt perspective on the women profiled in her book.
  • Sally Bisson-Best, an Omaha attorney and Associate Professor at the College of St. Mary, will be at the Castle on Sunday, September 24, to give a talk about one of the first suffragettes, Doris Stevens, who was an Omaha native and rose through the ranks of the National Woman’s Party in the early 1900s. You may have seen a recent article in the Omaha World-Herald about this remarkable woman.

Like what you see?  We are still adding to this great line-up of female Nebraska artists.  The 2017 Literary Festival runs from Thursday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 27.  Do not miss your chance to experience this fantastic display of Nebraska artistry!