Moonshell Arts & Humanities Council – Moonshell celebrates the excellence of the arts and humanities in Hall County with their 12th Annual Art Awards Banquet, Saturday April 6, 2013, at Riverside Golf Club, Grand Island. Moonshell has presented 108 awards since 2002 including this year’s recipients. The criterion requires award winners to live, work, exhibit or perform in Hall County. The awards celebrate lifetime contributions as well as achievements for the 2012 calendar year.

2013 Keynote “Art as Accident” is presented by author, humorist and folklorist Roger Welsch. The awards are vibrant colored hand blown glass bowls by Tom Kreager of Hastings College.

2013 Moonshell Arts & Humanities Council ARTS Awards
Patron of the Arts Award – Jeannee Mueller Fossberg
Event or Performance Award – Beth Hanson, Autism Art Project
Literary Award – Kathleen Nonneman
Larry Maupin Education Award – Joan McKee
Outstanding Visual Artist or Performance Award – Nia Karmann
Arts & Humanities Project Award – Don Deitemeyer
Philanthropic Award – Kim Dinsdale
Junior Event/Performance Award –
1. GISH FAME Junior Performance Award
2. Mishmash Productions Junior Event Award

Junior Outstanding Artist Award – Stuhr Museum & Grand Island Public School’s Bison Project

President’s Choice Awards
1. Annette Davis
2. Fran Schaffer
3. St Francis Hospital

Moonshell Arts & Humanities Council gives voice to the Arts & Humanities in Hall County. Moonshell is a volunteer run organization that collaborates with allied organizations to build a strong and visible arts and humanities network, which enhances the quality of life in Hall County. Moonshell operates with donated funds, fund raising and grants.

Moonshell hosts three annual free Munch & Learnseries at the Grand Theatre, provides annual Artist in Residence programs and a traveling art show that donates original artworks to Hall County schools. As well as assisting with Art in the Park, GirlScout’s ARTventure, Downtown Christmas Story Time, Hall County 4-H Talent Show and the Nebraska State Fair Fine Arts area. Moonshell also sponsors and supports local public art projects,the Independent “Your Ticket” page and “The Arts, Live” page in the Visitors Bureau Official Visitor Guide. In addition, the Moonshell Mini Classroom Grants pilot program debuted in 2012.

Why the name Moonshell?
Irene Abernethy, a true local patron of all arts suggested the name Moonshell when the fledgling Hall County Arts and Humanities organization was searching for a name. One of her past Scottsbluff High School students, Nancy M. Peterson, authored a book “People of the Moonshell.”Peterson writes of the Platte River, “As it flowed across the middle of the Great Plains, it served as a middle ground-meeting place where representatives of tribes from the deep forests of the north, the deserts of the southwest, the inland seas, and even the western coast could meet under truce and trade their handiwork. Here the tribes obtained the glowing pink shells of far-off oceans, so treasured they called the river itself the Moonshell.”

Additional research including “Nebraska Place Names” by Lillian L. Fitzpatrick shows the following references regarding Native American Names for the Platte River;
Paukeska Wakpa – Dakota for “Moon Shell River”
Abits wii ni tseh – Gros Ventres for “Big Moonshell River”
Kodaliation Pa – Kiowa for “Necklace Shell River”

Also noted are the Cheyenne and Ponca with similar “Moonshell” names for the Platte River. Nebraska tribes also found fresh water mussels in local rivers and streams whose inner shells had an iridescent quality like ‘moonshells.”

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