Built in memory of Ernst F. Lied's parents, Ernst M. and Ida K. Lied, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, created by and for the people of Nebraska, opened in 1990. Through the generosity of the Lied Foundation Trust and many other dedicated individuals, organizations and businesses. A video chronicling the history of the Lied Center can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

41 Ernst F. Lied was a 1927 graduate of the University of Nebraska. Upon his death in 1980, Christina Hixson was appointed executrix of his estate and she still serves as a Lied Foundation trustee. In the spirit of her dedication to education and the arts, Ms. Hixson continues to provide exceptional support for the Lied Center, the University of Nebraska and many projects throughout the state of Nebraska.

Beginning with the first event, Opera Omaha's production of Madama Butterfly, and for the next 20 years, it has been our mission to present the finest performing artists on our stages. Joining the ranks of others whose passion for the arts and dreams of a worthy arts center was the man who served as both the University of Nebraska President and University of Nebraska Foundation President, D.B. "Woody" Varner. His service resulted in years of awareness for the building and fundraising.

Sheila Griffin, the first Lied Project Director, and E.N. "Jack" Thompson joined Woody in leading the effort toward success. A challenge grant from the Lied Foundation Trust was successfully matched with gifts from UNL alumni and friends. Matching gifts or grants from 71 corporations and a generous allocation from the Nebraska Unicameral completed the fundraising campaign prior to construction in 1986.

From its inception, the Lied Center has been dedicated to serving the community and state by presenting national and international artists on our stages, while developing and sustaining programs that reach out to all parts of Nebraska. Arts Across Nebraska, a major program combining statewide tours, extended residency and collaborations with communities outside Lincoln, is the direct result of visionary thinking and the hard work of staff and community supporters. Today, the Friends of Lied, a statewide support organization, receives donations from hundreds of Nebraskans for programming, education, operations and also shares the Lied's message in all parts of the state.

The Lied Center, once a dream of a few dedicated citizens, has become a premier performing arts center of the Midwest and nation. However, we remain, first and always, Nebraska's Home for the Performing Arts.

Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts

Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts nurtures creative, artistic activity and scholarship; educates students to a high level of accomplishment as artists, teachers, and scholars; and enriches the education of all students through the study and practice of the arts.

The College provides the citizens of Nebraska with opportunities to enjoy, appreciate, and participate in the arts through outreach programs. Through its creative activity, research, and exhibitions, it contributes to the arts nationally and internationally.

Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Partnership
The Lied Center for Performing Arts and the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts join together in bringing the greatest artists in the world to the University of Nebraska. Beyond the main stage performances, our organizations work together to connect artists of great distinction with UNL students.

The Hixson-Lied Endowment of the College has funded a wide variety of transformative arts project that have greatly impacted UNL students and the arts community.

A few examples of recent joint collaboration:

  • Suzanne Farrell Ballet Extended Residency Spring 2015
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra master class series Spring 2015
  • STREB Collaboration (Dance, Architecture and Engineering Students) Spring 2014
  • Pilobolus Dance Theatre Extended Residency (Dance & Engineering Students) Fall 2011
  • Nebraska Repertory Theater Local Wonders Extended Residency Fall 2011
  • Troika Ranch “Loop Diver” Project (Commissioning of Dance, Extended Residency and nationally-aired NET Video Production.) 2008-2010
  • Yo-Yo Ma workshop with UNL student chamber music ensembles Spring 2010