In the late 1980s Scott Morris donated a downtown building, giving Kearney’s YMCA its first physical location. Known as “The Storefront,” this small building had a few offices and a large multi-purpose room which was used for all the YMCA activities. But they needed more room so in Spring 1993, an extensive fundraising campaign raised the necessary funds for new construction. Calvin Johnson of Hastings, Nebraska donated 10.3 acres for the new building and outdoor fields.
As membership grew to over 5000, it was necessary to expand and update the facility.In Spring 2000 a ground breaking ceremony saw the YMCA expand its facility, membership and activities. This new building, located at 4500 Sixth Avenue, has become a center for adult and children and reshaped the Kearney Community with special programs for child development and disadvantaged children and adults.
One new program is the Creative Arts Program for Children. It is led by professionals in the visual and performing arts to inspire children and teens to tap into their creative potential, discover and master their talents. While encouraging a love for the arts, our focus is on building life skills and confidence in an environment where youth feel comfortable to explore their interests and passions — and develop new ones!
YMCA Creative Arts Program for Children ~ Peg Sinnard, Program Coordinator
In the Spring of 2019 the Kearney Family YMCA had a “dream” of starting a Creative Arts Program. Dillon Nelson contacted me and started brainstorming about the possibilities. I came on staff at the YMCA in June of 2019 and became the Creative Arts Program Coordinator. The program has continued to grow and expand since then. I now work with Courtney Burbach, the Program Director for the Y and I have 5 part time employees working with me in the areas of music, theatre, art and adaptive arts! A very interesting fact about our program is that we are the ONLY YMCA in the state of Nebraska to offer Creative Arts to our members and community!
Private Music Lessons: Guitar, Piano, Ukelele and Voice
Group Guitar Lessons
Adaptive Creative Arts Classes for Special Needs
Creative Arts Acting Classes for PreK – 5th Grade
Puppet Classes – Making puppets and performing
Pint-sized Picassos – Art Class for Prek – 1st Grade
Summer Workshops – “Fairy Tales LIVE” and “Commercial CRAZIES”
HomeSchool Creative Arts Program being launched this fall for K-5th Graders!
Saturday with Santa Workshop
** We recently moved to Kearney and saw that an adaptive creative arts program was being held at the YMCA. What an awesome addition to help our children grow and enjoy the music, art, and acting. My daughter is gaining confidence and loves being a part of such an energetic group. What a wonderful program provided to our community! ~ Sally Lucas
** Kearney truly is a close-knit community and offers so many unique opportunities for children in the community. I was thrilled when the Kearney YMCA decided to embrace the importance of Creative Arts and brought on Peg Sinnard (Ms. Peg) to lead this initiative. This truly is a fantastic program and something that sets Kearney apart from many surrounding communities. Both of my children have had the opportunity to participate in creative arts programs and in addition to thoroughly enjoying their experiences, they grew in confidence, their ability to express themselves, and their knowledge of theatre.
My daughter, Taylor (age 5) has participated in three different acting classes. She loves taking on the role of different characters, playing acting games, and everything that Ms. Peg brings to class. My son, Caden (age 9) participated in Commercial Crazies over the summer. This was a little bit outside of his comfort zone but Ms. Peg made everyone feel welcome. By the end of the week, he had grown in his acting abilities and is looking forward to the next opportunity to participate in acting.
Ms. Peg is able to connect with every single one of her students. She is knowledgeable, creative, and has a ton of energy. Every single child in our community should have the opportunity to take one of her classes and learn and grow through the creative arts.” ~ Abby Jones
** I have 6-year-old twin girls who have participated in both acting class and summer camp with Peg.
Peg’s energy is contagious! My twin 6-year-old girls come home and share their acting activities with us. They love to show their “emotions” faces…sad, happy, scared. It’s a hoot! And we once acted out a snowball fight in the living room with aunts, uncles and even Grandma when they girls showed us how much fun it is to be creative just like Ms. Peg taught them!
With twins, there is often a dominant sibling and that is true for our girls. Sydney will often lead and even talk for her sister, Dylan. However, through the YMCA Creative Arts program, our tiny, shy Dylan was able to bloom into an actress during summer camp. She didn’t have any lines, but her role as the “rich traveler who had stepped in a puddle of muck” made her feel like a star. She continues to gain confidence and talk more and more. The Creative Arts Program at the Y is certainly one of the reasons why! ~ Jaci Pohl