Brad Krivohlavek

Brad Krivohlavek

Dentist in Norfolk, Neb.

Interview with Krivohlavek, relayed by Nebraskans for the Arts director, Marjorie Maas

MM: Where does your love of the arts come from?

BK: It came to me at a young age. I'm a drummer and do a lot of theatre – done a lot with the arts even from a young age, so they have always been an important part of my life. My kids and wife have been really involved in arts – theatre, music all those things. As I've gotten older too –I've been on Norfolk Arts Center Board – and this opened up a whole world of arts to me: visual arts, performing arts, and arts education. I've also served on the Norfolk School Board and have really seen the value of the arts to the whole education process. I believe we should be keeping arts central to education, while there's a lot of talk about taking arts out of educational bodies.

MM: Tell me how arts education or a particular arts educator was impacting to you in your youth?

BK: Started playing trumpet in 5th grade, I come from a musical family – my father and grandfather were musicians – so I grew up with those things. I started playing drums at an early age – I now play with a jazz band here presently in the area. I also got into theatrical things in high school – what it did for me was to open me up and give me confidence. Art allows people to express themselves in a way they wouldn't normally or wouldn't have thought of before.

MM: Tell me a little bit more about the jazz band.

BK: I've been around since its inception – the jazz band, Northeast Area Jazz Ensemble, is part of Northeast Community College. It's a 16 piece ensemble, and we play big band jazz. Membership is for people who want to keep playing music – it is comprised of music teachers but also the public, those who want to play. We are trying to promote big band music, and any funds raise go into a scholarship fund to Northeast Community College, their music department. We play for anything and everything. What's really interesting is that you'd be to see who's in it. Me (a dentist), a physyician, school teachers – people who love to play and want to continue to play.

MM: Anything more you'd like to share about the arts' impact on your life?

BK: I often see my work as a dentist as separate – but in a way, dentistry is an art – creating things, making things, dealing with people. I'm creating things with my hands – so there is some parallel. I look at the times where I do community theatre – and from those experiences I've received much more confidence in speaking in front of people. Whether you realize it or not, a background and pursuit of the arts bleeds into your professional and other areas of your life.

The arts are what makes us civilized. I was thinking about all the things I go to and attend - whatever the form is – it brings people together. It doesn't matter their socioeconomic background, language, or heritage. The arts bring people together and break down barriers.

I'm currently reading a book – The Monuments Men (by Edsel and Witter). During World War II there were people who got together from around the world who saved the artworks – Rembrandts and the like. It is so neat people were doing this. A lot of this would have been lost – and they were saving them and restoring them. There's a quote from the book that stuck with me for this interview: "Art is the visible evidence of the activity of free minds." People, regardless of war, come together through the arts. I see this with artists performing at different venues. Music is a universal language; it ties everyone together. You look around you and everyone is smiling.