Summer music series kicks off June 10


Four local bands will come together to celebrate music as an artform during the Fifth Street Summer Music Series in Seward.

The series kicks off at the Seward Bandshell on Saturday, June 10, with local musician Jim Davis and will feature a new band the second Saturday of each month through September.

“We feel we are capturing an opportunity for new and current members of the community to gather and encourage the knitting of common good through music,” said Jeanne Wiemer, president of the Seward Arts Council.

Additional performers include Boondox on July 8, The Raw Nerve on Aug. 12 and B Street Band on Sept. 9.

A rotation of food trucks will be onsite each week, and Red Path Gallery and Tasting Room will offer adult beverages for sale.

On July 8, Paige the Bookmobile from Chapters Books and Gifts will be open at the bandshell, and Artbus LNK will be there for attendees to create a free art project. Yard games, kids’ activities and other incorporations of local artists and authors will be part of the events as well.

The series is being organized by the Seward Arts Council, which is working to bring more opportunities for artists of all types to Seward.

“The art of music is our project for the year,” said Alison Koch, who owns Red Path Gallery with her husband, Chase.

“We have the bandshell, and we wanted to utilize the space more. It’s a great resource,” Koch said.

The City of Seward owns and manages the bandshell but rents it out for private use.

Koch, Wiemer and Julia Marble of Marble Music – all members of the arts council – are working together to plan and promote the summer music series as well as other events throughout the year.

They host Coffee and Art Connections on the second Saturday of every month, giving people the chance to meet an artist, musician or author over coffee for art-related discussions and demonstrations. Connections are held at Red Path Gallery from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and are free and open to the public.

“They have an hour-long conversation about what they do, their process, and people can ask questions,” Koch said.

The summer music series will kick it up a notch, making for a full day of arts once a month.

The bands in the series perform a variety of classic rock and bluegrass covers. Koch said the songs are ones many people will know.

The early evening start will allow families with children to attend and still get home at a reasonable time, she said.

“Sound has a way of impacting the one and the many,” Wiemer said. “As the arts council we feel that music is one of the things missing from our community and one of the most important things that can impact its citizens.”

The council hopes the series will entice folks from other communities to visit Seward and stick around for awhile.

“We want to make an economic impact, too. That’s one of our goals – drawing people in and keeping them here,” Wiemer said.

The council raised about $900 through the Seward County Gives campaign in May and has applied for grants from the Legacy Fund for Seward County, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Seward County Visitors Bureau and the Seward Foundation to ensure the performers are paid. A few local businesses are sponsoring bands as well.

“All of this is for more visibility for the Arts Council and the arts in Seward,” Wiemer said.

The Seward Arts Council formed in 1974 and is the oldest arts council in Nebraska.