Discovering the music from everywhere, right here.
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
Live and Radio Audience Served
What Drives Us
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.
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 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
Cultural Specialist and Coordinator for the Bilingual Liaison Program–Lincoln Public Schools
Executive Director–Turbine Flats
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
Executive Director–Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra
Music Teacher–Lincoln Public Schools