Perseverance, pivots, and reimagining on the prairie: Prairie Roots July 2021

Humans are resilient, just like the prairie itself, thanks to robust root structures.  The pandemic and political rancor of 2020 was a test of our ability to navigate uncertainty and unseen threats. Everything we had built to that point was based on obsolete assumptions, forcing us to each reevaluate our priorities and plans.  The companies,…

Photo courtesy Prairie Roots
Photo courtesy Prairie Roots

Humans are resilient, just like the prairie itself, thanks to robust root structures. 

The pandemic and political rancor of 2020 was a test of our ability to navigate uncertainty and unseen threats. Everything we had built to that point was based on obsolete assumptions, forcing us to each reevaluate our priorities and plans. 

The companies, causes, and creative projects who are emerging from this unprecedented challenge are a testament to the resiliency, vibrancy, and curiosity you can find here on the Great Plains. Like wildflowers blooming after a prairie fire.

When the College World Series, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, and almost every other single event cancelled in 2020, Andrew Prystai and Billy Martin took a step back from their startup, Event Vesta, to gain perspective on how to survive and then thrive. In the darkest days, they found light and are now expanding thanks to a hometown investor.

When COVID shut down bars and entertainment venues, a collaboration between the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln business owners, and local music and arts organizations became even more important. The idea is simple: how can we reimagine our civic spaces to create a more vibrant, attractive community for emerging talent? All of it focused on 14th street in downtown Lincoln between O and P Streets, aka the Backlot/Backloop Project. 

Weaving these features together are original works by Southeastern Community College grad Brieanna Kroeger and UNL Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts rising senior Annie Wang and her band, Saving Fiona. It’s quite the head turner.  

You can enjoy the standalone Event Vesta story at Nebraska Made and the Backlot/Backloop full length story at Lincoln Calling. Peruse Brieanna’s portfolio website and Annie’s works on Vimeo and her portfolio website.

Many thanks to our sponsors Nebraska Tech Collaborative, NMotion/gener8tor, Nice Healthcare, and EKI Digital. As well as our community partners IO Summit, Nebraska Angels, Turbine Flats, and UNL Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.  

Want to be part of Prairie Roots? You can subscribe for free and become part of the Prairie Roots Crew. It is a pirate crew of sorts. Because if Nebraska has a navy, we certainly can have pirates. 

Scott Henderson is the Prairie Roots executive producer and NMotion Accelerator Studio managing director for gener8tor. 

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

Sign up to receive daily updates in your inbox.