Jazz in June started as a gamble. In 1991, the Sheldon Art Association (SAA) – formerly known as the Nebraska Art Association – began the event as a way to draw younger audiences to the museum. There was no money to pay artists, and making money didn’t seem realistic, either. But a small but mighty group of visionaries decided to do it anyway – maybe for just one year – and see how it went.
The gamble paid off.
Now 26 years later, every Tuesday in June, thousands of people gather for live jazz, camaraderie, food, and beautiful summer weather on the Sheldon Museum of Art’s west lawn. The event that started out as a magnet for young art lovers and to share educational information about works in the Sheldon sculpture garden has become a Lincoln tradition.
Jazz in June has now moved from being a Sheldon Museum of Art event to a UNL and community organization who presents the annual concert series. The organization is expanding community involvement by having an Advisory Board made up of both University staff and community representation. Jazz in June will also be developing university and community education programs.
Volunteers must sign up for two of four dates to receive a Jazz in June shirt.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Jazz in June concerts take place every Tuesday evening during the month of June. Come early for the best locations on the lawn west of Sheldon, and bring blankets or lawn chairs for comfort. Music begins at 7 p.m. and the concerts are free, though concertgoers are asked to make a minimum donation of $10 per family to continue the series.
Refreshments and cookies will be for sale at each concert. Volunteers will also be selling t-shirts and a special poster commemorating 25 years of Jazz in June. CDs from each artist will be available for purchase each week.
Jazz in June is a green event, and concertgoers are encouraged to support the recycling effort by dropping recyclables in designated cans.
To ensure the safety of all concerned, pets are not allowed at concerts. Jazz in June organizers respectfully request that concert goers leave their four-legged friends at home unless it is a service animal. Because of the nature of large crowds, the organizers want all patrons to enjoy the event.
Jazz in June is one of Lincoln’s largest community events. It is important to provide citizens entertainment and cultural programs that provide a superior quality of life in the community. It is important to provide families, students and people of all ages an opportunity to come together as a community. Economically, it is important to have cultural assets to attract and retain businesses and jobs.
The audience served is a reflection of the Lincoln community. People of all ages, economic backgrounds and ethnic profiles attend the program. One of the objectives of Jazz in June is to serve diverse populations including community members who normally are unable to attend cultural programs. Community partnerships and outreach efforts will take place to maintain and increase diverse participation in the program. The total number of people served is estimated to over 20,000.