Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series


Welcome to WOOD RIVER’S


Made Possible by
The Donna Lee Moyer Performing Arts Gift

2017-2018 Celebrate wood River Events
13800 W Wood River Road, Wood River, NE
All Performances are free and open to public

Free Admission
to all performances thanks to the generous support of our sponsors

Cost: All performances are offered FREE to the public. A freewill offering is accepted at the event to make future programs possible.
Contact: Questions or wondering if an event will occur due to inclement weather? Contact Georgene Smidt at 308-583-2606. Better yet, get added to our email list to receive updates about upcoming events and emergency announcements by emailing [email protected] .


Jim Salestrom

Sunday, 9/17/17 2:30 p.m.
Jim is an Emmy Awardwinning songwriter, a gifted guitarist and a seasoned performer who has been writing and recording music since he was 13. He has recorded and performed with such stellar artists as John Denver, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton, has appeared on national TV and awards shows, has performed for four U.S. Presidents and in 31 foreign countries. Salestrom is back by popular demand! Let’s kick the 2017-18 Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series off with a PACKED HOUSE to welcome Jim “home” to Nebraska again!

Jimmy Weber
I Moved A Mountain

Sunday, 11/19/17 2:30 p.m.
Having served 24 years in the United States Air Force, I MOVED A MOUNTAIN isJimmy Weber’s collection of stories about the places he has gone and people he has met along the way. This performance features songs from Johnny Cash, George Jones and Glen Campbell, mixed with classic Rock and Roll from the 50’s – 70’s. During his career, Jimmy has opened for top entertainers such as John Denver, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers and the Beach Boys. All Veterans will be recognized during this performance in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Offutt Brass

Sunday, 2/11/18 2:30 p.m.
Offutt Brass, the brass ensemble of the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, is stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Comprised of two trumpets, French horn, trombone,tuba, and percussion, Offutt Brass showcases the Air Force’s excellence and precision in every performance with a diverse repertoire featuring classical selections, patriotic favorites, jazz and popular music, new compositions and distinctive arrangements. We just bet you can’t get through this concert without tapping your foot or clapping along to a patriotic Souza march!

No Better Cause

Monday, 3/12/18 7:00 p.m.
No Better Cause is an award-winning pop/soul/funk vocal band hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. Through a combination of jaw-dropping performances and innovative studio musicianship, their music has put them on a national platform since their humble beginnings in 2002. With a unique assortment of both original songs and uniquely arranged covers, No Better Cause is guaranteed to deliver a show that people of all ages can appreciate and enjoy, whether it be of a rock, pop, funk, soul, jazz or gospel influence… and it’s all done using NOTHING but their voices!

Adams & Cooley Rat Pack Jazz

Sunday, 4/15/18 2:30 p.m.
The crowd loved Rat Pack Jazz when they were last in Wood River so we’ve invited them back! These gentlemen provide a strong vocal and guitar performance of the musical standards of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole. These wonderful classics from the golden era of song are delivered by this nationally experienced duo and their band. Johnny and Ron have worked together musically for many years, including collaborating with Mannheim Steam Roller.

Saturday Friendship Gatherings – 9:30
An informal gathering for friends old & new, young & old to explore and reminisce.
We’ll gather at Wood River 
Rural High School in the theater lobby.


History of Nebraska as told by Peter Sarpy
September 30, 2017
Celebrate Nebraska’s 150th! Dressed in period costume and speaking in his native French accent, “Peter Sarpy” describes the transformation of Nebraska from French colony to statehood. This dramatic one-act play uses humor, interactive audience participation and factual historical anecdotes to captivate youth and adult audiences alike. Funded by Humanities Nebraska

Hand-crafted Christmas Ornaments
November 11, 2017
A peek into the artistry Donna Moyer has enjoyed for 50+ years…making her “Christmas Balls”. Learn how she visualizes the fi nished piece then transforms a simple styrofoam ball into a work of art with beads and glue. If all goes as planned, you’ll get to try your hand at making a miniature version at this session!

Maria Rodaway: Prairie Pioneer
February 24, 2018
Maria (portrayed by her great-great granddaughter in period attire) looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, Neb., where she homesteaded in 1867. From crossing the Atlantic to grasshoppers, drought, blizzards, and the loss of her husband and several children Maria worked to become a citizen and a land owner in a new country. Funded by Humanities Nebraska

Ralph P. Brown April 7, 2018
Ralph P. Brown is a self-taught artist who uses a stipple style to create the pointillistic impressions of his cultural and spiritual ideas. He draws inspiration from his native culture, nature and his unique perspective on the world and his spirituality. He is a Mohawk Indian and acclaimed portrait artist. He was raised on the Akwesasne reservation located in New York and his artwork can be seen in art galleries and shows across the country. Come learn more about his motivation and his work!


Christmas Cantata
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, 2:30 pm
Appreciate the sounds of Christmas as this central Nebraska choir presents their annual cantata event. The Christmas Cantata will be held in the Wood River High School Performing Arts Center.

Easter Cantata
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 2:30 pm
Get swept away in the majesty of Easter during this central Nebraska choir’s cantata presentation. The Easter Cantata will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River.


All School Play –  Date: TBA
A favorite amongst the locals! Enjoy the talented high school thespians and musicians during their annual performance.

       The Celebrate Wood River Committee was formed in January 2006 and is made up of roughly twenty individuals from the community. We represent all ages and all walks of life. Our mission has been to make the dream of providing entertainment and enrichment activities to the Wood River area come to life. This season will bring all new performers to Wood River for your enjoyment! The “Weekend Friendship Gathering” series will also provide an opportunity to explore and reminisce with friends. We thank you for your support of both series in our current season…here’s to many more!
All events are open to the public and are provided at no charge (other than all school play admission) thanks to the generous support of our three benefactors. A free will offering will be accepted to continue the entertainment series through the years ahead. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy yourself and bring a friend or two.
 No tickets are needed for these performances; seating is first-come, first-served. With a 450 seat theater, there is generally plenty of room. Please help spread the word to friends and family — these entertainers love full theaters!
Suggestions for future events and volunteers are warmly welcomed by contacting any committee member or Georgene Smidt 583-2606, Vince Boudreau 583-2961. Dare to dream a little with us, and let’s see what happens in the years to come!

“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
  – Abraham Lincoln

Celebrate Wood River logo courtesy of SCORR Marketing, Kearney NE. 

The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, supports this program through a matching grant funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.nebraskaartscouncil.org  for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.