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 support for programs both in the college and in the college's affiliated organizations, which include:
Since 2002, the Hixson-Lied Endowment has distributed more than $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
The 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 Glenn Korff School of Music and UNL since their residency began in fall 2005. Through a wide variety of activities, both local and national in scope, the Quartet has established themselves competitively with chamber groups in similar positions in research universities with a national profile.
Digital Arts Initiative
The Digital Arts Initiative provides interested students from all majors hands-on experience applying current technology to the arts, and is possible through collaboration among faculty from the:
- Department of Art & Art History
- Glenn Korff School of Music
- Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film
Funding from the Hixson-Lied Endowment matched a Program of Excellence seed grant from the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to support its development.
Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium
The Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium (IAS) comprises:
- 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
- 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 Lincoln.
Carson Film Series
The 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 Nebraska Educational Television to create a short film.
- Digs, 2012
- Vipers in the Grass (2010)
The remaining funds are divided equally to support Faculty/Staff and Students. Some of the projects funded in these two categories include:
- for undergraduate and graduate students
- awarded annually and competitively based on peer-review by the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisory Boards
- for opportunities to:
- study in the U.S. or abroad
- present scholarly/creative work
- create work that would otherwise be difficult to produce due to cost
Sheldon Graduate Fellowship
- for one graduate Master of Fine Arts candidate
- awarded for a 3-year period
- awardee is trained by and works with the Sheldon Curator of Education to develop and increase University audiences for the Museum and its programs.
- for up to 32 new graduate students in each academic unit in the College
- applicants undergo rigorous evaluation by members of the graduate faculty
- criteria include:
- evidence of outstanding past achievement and
- potential for excellence in scholarship and creative activity at the highest level
- awards from $3,500 to $4,500, in addition to the graduate assistant stipends already provided by the University.
- for incoming in-state or out-of-state Freshman students, as well as for transfer students new to UNL
- merit/talent-based, one-year, non-renewable
- up to 30 scholarships awarded annually
- equal to up to 25 percent of in-state or out-of-state tuition
- 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
- several annual grants, including:
- Research/Creative Activity Grants
- Presentation of Scholarly and Creative Activity Grants
- Development Travel Grants
- 9 annual awards
- recognizing outstanding performance and accomplishments in:
- research and creative activity
- faculty service
- outreach and engagement
- and staff service to the College and University
- $3,000 annual award
- 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
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.