History Nebraska Blog

History Nebraska and Nebraska Arts Council invite artists to re-imagine historic posters

Nebraska has a long history of circulating posters encouraging social action, particularly during years of intense change. Recognizing that 2020 is also a year of change, History Nebraska (HN), in partnership with the Nebraska Arts Council (NAC), invite Nebraska artists to continue this tradition.

Using historic posters from History Nebraska’s collection as inspiration, artists are invited to create their own posters to address today’s themes, including (but not limited to) COVID-19, economic hardship, equality, racial injustice, and voter participation. Posters might encourage safe practices, social change, community investment, racial equity, mutual aid, empathy and compassion, and more.

History Nebraska hopes this project will artistically record and increase reflection on 2020 as a year of history in the making while also calling for positive public action in the spirit of previous poster campaigns. The Nebraska Arts Council hopes to encourage Nebraska’s artists and designers to consider the power of strong designs and influential messages to encourage the betterment of our community and society.

The Selection Committee, in partnership with History Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council, will review and choose artists. The Committee will select ten Nebraska artists to create one 11”x17” poster each. Each poster will represent a message relevant to 2020 experiences, inspired by design qualities of historic posters. The selected artists will receive $250 upon selection and $250 after their poster has final approval by HN and the NAC. 

Project Timeline

This timeline is subject to change.

  • Deadline for submission: August 31
  • Finalists Notified: September 4
  • Final poster design due for review: September 28
  • Public posters online: October 2

All posters must be 11”x17”. Artists must provide a hi-res digital file, even if the artwork was a physical, hand-pulled piece.

Nebraska artists 18 and older are eligible to submit their qualifications for review. The poster should not reference specific political parties or candidates. Poster messaging should not use derogatory or offensive language.

At the point of approval by the Selection Committee and full payment of $500, History Nebraska will own the rights to reproduce and sell a limited number of the posters for educational purposes and public use. They also retain the right to display the posters on their website and other media. For the sale of each poster, History Nebraska will keep 40% and will disburse 60% to the artist.

History Nebraska will retain one print for their collection, mount an online exhibition of the new posters, and may use the posters in HN exhibitions.

Visual Support Materials

Image descriptions: Include relevant descriptions with each image on SlideRoom and include project budgets where applicable.

Images: Five digital, jpg images of relevant completed artwork.

Required Materials

CV/Resume: Limit to three pages.

Three Professional References:  Complete contact information for references with knowledge of your artwork and work methods. 

Letter of Interest:  List the 2020 themes that inspire you most, and provide a brief description of your poster design concept, including HN poster example titles where applicable. Describe your interest and concept for this project, at most 1000 words. 

Application Fee: Waived


Meagan Dion, Public Art and Artist Programs Specialist
Nebraska Arts Council, meagan.dion@nebraska.gov


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