Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival

About the Festival
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Since 2019

Discovering the music from everywhere, right here.

Our History

Founded in 2019, the Festival capitalizes on the incredible wealth and diversity of cultural groups in the community and the rich forms of artistic expression unique to them.

The Festival strives to highlight and elevate Nebraska’s own cultural scene, by combining the contributions of local musicians and storytellers with performances by some of today’s most high-profile artists who specialize in cross-cultural forms of artistic expression. The resulting experience, both for audience members and musicians, is one of electrifying synergy and meaningful cultural exchange, deeply rooted in the community.

Cultural groups featured

Musicians involved since 2019

Dollars Raised

Live and Radio Audience Served

What Drives Us

Our Mission

The Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival’s mission is to celebrate and to raise the profile of Nebraska’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through creative and conscientious musical programming, storytelling and workshops.


Our Staff

Erik Higgins

Founder and Artistic Director

Erik Higgins founded the Festival in 2019 and currently serves as the Artistic Director, also having served as Executive Director until March of 2022. Higgins grew up in Lincoln and has an extensive, international career as a double bassist, chamber musician and producer. As an administrator, he served from 2015-2017 as Artistic Coordinator for the twice GRAMMY®-nominated chamber orchestra A Far Cry and took seminars at the DeVos Institute for Arts Management with esteemed arts executives Michael Kaiser and Brett Egan. The Festival is his way of leveraging his international network to raise the profile of Lincoln’s own vibrant cultural scene.

Olga Smola

Executive Director

Olga Smola joined the Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival team in March 2022. Smola is also on faculty at the School of Music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an accomplished violinist in her own right, having performed numerous high-profile events, including the Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival. She has directed theater productions, including “Morozko” at Ollie Webb Theatre and “Indecent”, co-directed by Hal France, at Bluebarn theater, which was awarded “Best Music Direction” of 2019 by Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award.

From 2010-2014, she founded and served as CEO for a food import and distribution company based in Moscow with 10 employees and an annual revenue of about $600,000, where she was responsible for negotiating contracts, managing employees and overseeing a complex logistical infrastructure for the delivery of goods to customers all over Russia.


Board of Directors

Oscar Rios Pohirieth

Board President

Cultural Specialist and Coordinator for the Bilingual Liaison Program–Lincoln Public Schools

Lisa Davis

Board Member

Executive Director–Turbine Flats

Brian Seifferlein

Board Vice-President

Video Productions–Lincoln Public Schools Library Services

Sheila Dorsey Vinton

Board Member, Past President

Executive Director–Asian Community and Cultural Center of Lincoln

Barbara Zach Lee

Board Treasurer

Executive Director–Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra

Matt Erb

Board Member

Music Teacher–Lincoln Public Schools