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La Familia, Gerardo MezaIn Memoriam


The project would not have been possible without all of the persons who graciously consented to be interviewed. They are specially honored within these pages.

The project was supported by a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Community Folklife Program, administered by The Fund for Folk Culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and underwritten by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, New York, New York. The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund is the largest private funder of arts and culture in the United States. It invests nationwide in programs to build audiences for the performing, visual, literary, and folk arts; and to support adult literacy and urban parks. The Fund for Folk Culture is a publicly supported foundation dedicated to the preservation, appreciation, dissemination, and study of the rich variety of folk cultures in the United States and abroad. The organization was established in 1991 to help answer the growing call for increased private sector support for this major sphere of cultural activity.

Major project funding was also provided by the Nebraska Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from state funds appropriated by the Nebraska Legislature.

Special thanks go to H. Hod Kosman and Bea Roeder for their generous contributions to the project, and to Emilia González-Clements and Dave Clements for supporting the cover art for this publication. Thanks also to the Nebraska Mexican American Commission, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Mexican American Historical Society of Scottsbluff, the Hispanic Community Center of Lincoln, El Museo Latino of Omaha, the Nebraska Arts Council, and Norwest Bank of Grand Island for their support of the project and help in presenting the exhibit Un Tesoro de Nebraska (A Nebraska Treasure).

The project organizers also gratefully acknowledge the efforts of the following volunteer interviewers, board and commission members, consultants, and staff, without whom the project could not have been accomplished:

Marsha Alonso, Marian Bailey, Ann Billesbach, Deb Brownson, Norma E. Cantú, Gayle Carlson, Miguel Carranza, John Carter, Ben Castinado Jr., Sarah Crawford, Sol Garcia, Emilia González-Clements, Ralph Grajeda, Jill (Hasenauer) Greff, Elena Guerra, Jennie Gutierrez, J. Ramon Hernandez, Dan Holiday, Cecilia Olivarez Huerta, Emilia Juárez, John Leon, Keith Ludden, Maria Martin, Natalie Martinez, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Gwen Meister, Modern Language Department-UNL, Sara Moreno, Yolanda Chavez Nuncio, Olga Olivares, Curt Peacock, Norma B. Perales, I. C. Plaza, Jim Potter, Suzy Prenger, Blanca Ramirez, Marty Ramirez, Beatrice Rodriguez, Bea Roeder, Rudy Rosales, Steve Ryan, Ralph Sanchez, Linda Shanks, Tony Schmitz, Lawrence Sommer, Anita Torres, Charles Trimble, Graciela Valenciano-Martínez, Manuel Valverde, Linda Wagaman.

The cover art, entitled El Pasado-El Futuro (La Familia), was created by local Lincoln artist and muralist Gerardo Meza.

In Memoriam

The Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska project organizers wish to recognize the contributions of the following persons who have recently passed away.

Angela Flores

Juanita Garcia

Bob Huerta Sr.

Emilia Juárez

John Olivarez

Juvencia Reyes


Mexicans in Nebraska

Dr. Ralph F. Grajeda
Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies
University of Nebraska­Lincoln

Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska

Dr. Emilia González-Clements
Consulting Applied Anthropologist and Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Nebraska­Lincoln

The Story of the Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska Project

Gwendolyn K. Meister, Editor
Co-project Director, Grants Coordinator
Nebraska State Historical Society

Cecilia Olivarez Huerta
Executive Director
Nebraska Mexican American
Commission and Co-project Director

Project Interview Summaries

Ann E. Billesbach, Folklorist
Head of Reference Services
Nebraska State Historical Society

John E. Carter, Folklorist
Curator of Photographs
Nebraska State Historical Society


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