Brown Bag History Series

Bring your lunch and learn! These seasonally recurring events bring highly-qualified speakers to the library to share varied topics of cultural, historical, or scientific interest. These free programs are a partnership of the University of Nebraska at Kearney's History Department and the Kearney Public Library. #HistoryRemembered

Brown Bag Lunch Option 1

Dr Nathan TyeChuck-Peek-Professor-Emeritus-PoetChuck Peek & Nathan Tye (Kearney Creates)

  • Wednesday, February 8, 2023
  • Noon–1:00 pm
  • Kearney Public Library

The History of Arts and Culture in Kearney

For 150 years, the residents of Kearney have fostered a vibrant arts and cultural scene. The Kearney Creates project documents "the transformative character of our artists and the Kearney community" in its myriad forms. This presentation, by members of the project's editorial board, will provide an overview of the history of Kearney's arts and culture and how they are documenting this story, as well as ways in which community members can contribute to the project. For more on the project see

Chuck Peek has retired from both his life as a university professor and as a priest of the Episcopal Church. He continues in his work as a poet, an essayist, and teaching. His 2015 chapbook Breezes on Their Way to Being Winds (Finishing Line Press) won the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. He has appeared on stage as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," Matthew Harrison Brady in "Inherit the Wind," Willie Clark in "Sunshine Boys," Milo Tindale in "Sleuth," and George in "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". He was the emcee for Kate Benzel’s productions of programs of Sandburg’s Songs and Poetry, poet and presenter at the Buffalo Commons Storytelling and Music Festival, and storyteller in "Let in Snow" for Crane River.

Nathan Tye is an assistant professor of history at UNK. Tye was born and raised in Kearney, Nebraska. He holds a BA from Creighton University and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Tye’s specializes in Nebraska History, the history of the American West and Midwest, Labor History, Gender and Sexuality History, as well as Digital and Public History. His research documents the fascinating but misunderstood lives of hobos, tramps, and other transient workers that traveled across the West and Midwest by hopping trains from the 1870s through 1930s.

Upcoming Dates and Speakers

  • Friday, February 17 – Willa on Wheels: Cather's Characters Travel from Page to Stage by Rachel Olsen
    (This event is presented by Humanities Nebraska, The National Willa Cather Center, The Merryman Performing Arts Center, and the library. While not a typical "Brown Bag" event, it is being held over the noon-hour and shares themes with the "Brown Bag" series.)
  • Wednesday, March 8 – History of Nebraska’s State Historical Markers presented by Autumn Langemeier
  • Wednesday, April 12 – Topic to be announced presented by Professor Laurinda Weisse