How to Contact Us

Nebraska Folklife Network
Gwen Meister - Executive Director
5620 Hunts Drive - Lincoln, NE 68512
Phone and Fax: (402) 420 - 5442


NFN Board of Directors

Melphoto.jpg Melodee Landis has a PHD in education. She recently retired from the University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty where she was associate professor of teacher education. Melodee is also a musician who sings and plays fiddle. She has been involved in promoting the Internet and technology in instruction since 1985. Melodee is President of the Nebraska Folklife Network board. 

Dr. Dan Holtz is a professor of English at Peru State College, Peru, NE. He holds a doctorate in English Education and specializes in American and Nebraska literature and in preparing secondary English and language arts teachers. Dan is co-director of Peru State’s Trails and Tales Tour and Institute, an interdisciplinary history and literature project which takes participants on state-wide tours of Nebraska. Dan is also a musician and a longtime presenter for the Nebraska Humanities Council's (Humanities Nebraska) Speakers Bureau. Dan is Vice President of the Nebraska Folklife Network board.

Dan Holtz
Dr. Steven Swidler

Dr. Stephen Swidler is Associate Professor of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Instruction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research has centered on rural schools and on teacher education. He has experience with folklife projects in the schools and has participated in Iowa’s folklife institute for teachers. Steve is Treasurer of the Nebraska Folklife Network board.

Todd Richardson is an Assistant Professor of English in the Goodrich Scholarship Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research focuses on the role and representation of authenticity in American folklore and folklore studies, and his writings on the subject have appeared in such journals as The Journal of American FolkloreWeber: The Contemporary West and (dis)Closure: The Journal of Social Theory. A native and near-lifelong Nebraskan, Todd earned a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in American Folklore at the University of Missouri. Todd is Secretary of the Nebraska Folklife Network Board.

Christine Starr Davis 3.jpg Christine Starr Davis is a poet and essayist with an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Management and Museum Studies. She teaches at Doane College and mentors gifted students for Lincoln Public Schools. She enjoys writing about her immigrant Croatian grandmother, folk dancing and quilting.
Tim Kreider grew up in far Northwest NE in the small community of Crawford. Following a 25 year career in Insurance/Trust administration/Auctioneering/and related fields, he joined his father's insurance business back in Crawford as a Property and Casualty Insurance Agent in 2002. In 2008 he purchased the Kreider Insurance Agency, Inc in Crawford. Tim and his wife Melanie reside in Gering and commute to Crawford daily for work. He is active in his church, President of The Crawford Alumni Association, and serves on the board at the Ponderosa Settlement. He enjoys history of the Lakota Sioux Tribe, Cowboy history, and history of the Germans from Russia.
Tim Kreider.jpg
Blanca Ramirez-Salazar holds a master’s in community and regional planning and a bachelor’s in social work. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked for years to support Nebraska Latinos and other immigrants in positions with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Census Bureau.  Currently she is employed with the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services  as a Health Program Manager-Native American Health Liaison for the Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity.  
Bob Schmer
Bob Schmer, Scottsbluff NE, is an accordionist who leads the River Boys, a Dutch Hop style polka band. They play the traditional music of the Germans from Russia, a prominent ethnic group in Nebraska. Bob has led Dutch Hop bands for more than 30 years and is a recipient of a 1994 Nebraska Governors Arts Award. The River Boys were featured in the American Folklife Center - Library of Congress Homegrown Concert Series in Washington DC during June 2006. He works as a sales agronomist in Scottsbluff.
Vida Stabler is the Director of the Umo ho Language and Culture Center at the Omaha Nation Public School in Macy. She collaborates with community Tribal Members to develop cultural curricula for use within the K-12 public school and community. She is an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.

NFN Staff

MeisterGwen08.jpg Gwen Meister has an MA in cultural anthropology and an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her specialty is public folklore. Gwen served as folk arts coordinator for the Nebraska Arts Council from 1991 to1995. Gwen is passionate about ensuring a bright future for the traditions of Nebraska's unique variety of cultural groups. With help from other Nebraskans who recognized this need and with financial support from the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska and the National Endowment for the Arts, Gwen founded the Nebraska Folklife Network in 2003.
Dylan Wall began as a student volunteer in 2008 and has done contract work for the NFN since 2009. Dylan holds a BA in cultural anthropology and psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and plans on pursuing a MA in cultural anthropology.  His work for the NFN includes conducting field interviews and writing lesson plans for the various NFN projects. He also films and photographs various cultural events that take place in Nebraska that are incorporated into the cultural encounter kits. The opportunities he has had to research various cultures and form relationships with members of various cultural and ethnic groups in Nebraska has been highly rewarding.


The Nebraska Folklife Network is a nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.