Inspiration, Purpose & Identity is Theme for Very Special Arts Forum Tuesday

Dr. David Nabb
UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts, 308.865.8606

Inspiration, Purpose & Identity is the title of a forum for exploring careers in the arts for people with disabilities set for Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Keynote speaker and presenter for the event is Dr. David Nabb, UNK associate professor of music, who will address the forum from 10-1-:45 a.m.. Dr. Nabb, who is featured in the current edition of the The Saxophone Journal,  had a stroke that left him unable to play or teach. Together with Jeff Stelling of Stelling Brass and Winds of Kearney, he developed a “toggle-key” saxophone that can be played with only one hand.

In 2003, his new instrument allowed Dr. Nabb to resume performing and teaching. He is now working to make one-handed woodwind instruments available to individuals with permanent disabilities.

Other artists who have had to overcome various disabilities will take part in an artists panel discussion beginning at 11 a.m. They include: Dr. Donald C. Freed, professor of voice and music education at Sul Ross State University at Alpine, Texas; Nicole Jones, a UNK graduate with a B.A. in elementary education and a minor in elementary music education; Mary Jane Lamberson, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from UNK, and is a sculptor; Doug Marr, who holds an M.F.A. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is artistic director and playwright in residence at Circle theatre; and Jeff Montag, director of outpatient rehabilitation at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and is a visual artist.

The forum is designed for artists, arts organizations, students, organizations serving persons with disabilities, state service coordinators, physical and occupational therapists, health care professionals, social workers, career counselors, special education teachers, administrators, and individuals with disabilities, their families and their friends. Nurses and social workers can earn 6 CEU’s.

A sign language interpreter will provide support, and materials will be available in large print. Additionally, the facility is fully accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

The event is sponsored by Very Special Arts in Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council.


9 a.m. – Refreshments, exhibits and networking
10 a.m. – Keynote address by Dr. David Nabb
10:45 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – A Panel of Artists Respond: Doug Marr moderates.
Brief insight into personal stories on both careers
and disabilities.
Noon – 12:45 a.m. – Box lunch and entertainment
1-1:45 p.m. – First Breakout Session
2-2:45 p.m. – Second Breakout Session
Choice of breakout sessions include the opportunity to
discuss issues of specific interests with artists in:
theatre and dance, music performance, visual arts
and music composition.
Breakout sessions will discuss successes and
2:45 – 3 p.m. – Break and refreshments
3 p.m. – Panel of Community Respondents: “Key Partnerships
for Careers in the Arts.”
3:50 p.m. – Music by Nicole Jones and Donald Freed.
Evaluation and adjournment.