Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Nebraska City, Nebraska

I've been here nearly 3 weeks (out of 7) as composer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center of the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and I am only now beginning to blog about my experiences!  At least that means I've been busy doing a lot of work!  

Not always getting creative work done though, but lots of things nonetheless! (I do admit, I spent most of the first weekend here trying to do some work while watching the first rounds of March Madness.  Needless to say, I didn't get that much work done that weekend!)  I've been composing, doing A LOT of reading (for someone who is a slow reader, I've already completed 4 books since I've been here and have several more that I brought with me,) learning a lot from hanging out and talking with the other amazing artists here, explored the town and area on bike, launched a Kickstarter project to raise funds for the Piano Concerto I am being commissioned to write, have done a lot or thinking about some major life decisions and things, been trying to experiment with work and sleep patterns to find what works best for me (When else will I have weeks of unscheduled time to try this?  I even called a well-known and extremely prolific composer just to ask some advice on how to manage my time better), as well as taken care of various errands and things I've been putting off for a while.  Everything has been great so far, spring is here, and I'm very glad I have 4 more weeks in this place!

My awesome studio!

The courtyard just outside my studio, with spring in bloom.

The first week I was here, I went to the local grocery store, which had a pretty skimpy selection of produce.  I was looking for some kale to make smoothies with, but didn't find it (I didn't even try "Food Pride" because of what I'd heard from the other residents, there was no chance they'd have any either).  The only other "grocery store" in the town is Walmart, which I hadn't stepped foot in for several years because of what this corporation does in order to keep its famous "low prices", but I begrudgingly entered to hunt for the elusive plant.  

I found the last two bunches and went to the express lane to check out.  The checkout lady didn't know what it was, she had to look it up.  

"Now, are you going to eat this, or are you going to feed it to your iguana or lizard?" she said to me.  

"Umm," I said, a little confused. "I definitely going to be eating this.  It's one of the healthiest things you can possibly eat!"

"The only people who buy it here feed it to their iguanas.  I'm surprised that people actually eat that."

"I'm surprised that people hardly eat it!"

Two weeks later, I came back again to get some more, and luck had it, the checkout lady said "Now, are you going to eat this?  Or are you going to feed it to your turtle or iguana?"  

I'm not in Boulder (or the east coast) anymore.

Some fun things I found around town:

Think they would give me a discount if I went?  I've never run into another Southard that I wasn't related to.

I love the honesty in this town

Glad to know I'm in good company.

Spring arrives to Nebraska!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this, especially the Wal-Mart part! -S Siegel

piano elf said...

Cool pictures! And funny stories!