Exciting plans are in the works for Cozad’s 150th birthday in 2023 and the planning committee has been hard at work for over a year. Currently the committee is focusing on the upcoming Business After Hours scheduled for June 24, 2021, from 5-7pm. Originally scheduled for last spring, the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The evening is designed to Cozad residents learn more about the events planned for 2023 with hopes of strengthening the funds available to make these events spectacular.
“We are going to use the green space West of the100th Meridian Museum and are coordinating the evening with The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery, although we do have an alternative site in place in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.” said Laurie Yocom, one of the planning committee’s many volunteers. “There will be live music by Kylie and Company, a short presentation to showcase some of the events currently planned for 2023, and an unveiling of the logo designs Jaysie (Ross) Grabenstein created for us. We are also going to have a really fun donation opportunity that the planning committee thinks can get the entire community involved.”
Several organizations and businesses have already volunteered to assist with the BAH evening as well as with the 150th events in 2023. “Everyone we have approached about helping with various events has been fantastic,” said Cathy Pflaster. One example is the Cozad Elks Club. “We spoke with the Elks about designing some special cocktails with unique names for the BAH that reflect the historical period when Cozad was founded. They have come up with so many good ideas we are going to have a hard time limiting them to a handful we will use throughout 2023.”
Peter Osborne, Director of The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery and another planning committee member, is thrilled to be involved. “While the postponing the original Business After Hours last year was disappointing, it could not have worked out more perfectly this year as we were able to schedule it on the birthday of Robert Henri, who is the son of our town’s founder, John J. Cozad.”
Robert Henri was one of America’s greatest art instructors. He taught hundreds of students over his long career including Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent, Marjorie Ryerson and Elizabeth Grandin. In addition, at the time of his death he was considered in the top tier of American artists, especially known for his portraits.
The Robert Henri Museum and Art Gallery is a national treasure that is the result of the work of many volunteers, board members and professional staff who have worked for more than thirty years. The effort to preserve Robert Henri’s legacy in Cozad started with a small group of people who saw the opportunity to bring recognition to the town that was once home to the acclaimed artist and native son, Robert Henri. This group, led by Shirley Paulsen, bought and restored the former Hendee Hotel, Henri’s boyhood home.
“In honor of Robert Henri’s birthday, we will be serving cake for those attending the Business After Hours and an historical presentation created by the Cozad High School students, organized by instructor Kyle Vincent, will play throughout the evening for the community in the museum,” said Osborne.
Major Sponsors of the Cozad 150th Celebration include Homestead Bank; Paulsen,Inc.; Nebraska Plastics; Waypoint Bank; Country Partners Cooperative; Security First Bank; VVS, Inc.; and The Wilson Foundation. Main sponsors for the Business After Hours include McKeone Law Firm; Pat Laird; Johnny on the Spot; Culligan; the 100th Meridian Museum; the Robert Henri Museum & Gallery; the Cozad Ambassadors; and the City of Cozad.
For ways to become part of the 150th celebration or to contribute, please contact Laurie Yocom at 308-784-2019.