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Our Mission

Our Mission is to provide meaningful programming to the community that enriches their understanding of the history and cultural traditions of Native American peoples of the Great Plains. We strive to revitalize the past through the arts and culture in order to energize the future for our youth.

Bluebird Cultural Initiative is the non-profit venture of Steve Tamayo. After more than 30 years of study and practice as an artist and educator, he began consulting educational institutions and other organizations on the history, culture and traditions of the Plains Indians.

Our Board of Directors

Thank you to the following community members who volunteer their time and talents to make Bluebird thrive!

Anne Steinhoff, Board President

Anne Steinhoff is a sought-after consultant, trainer, speaker, facilitator and artist. During the last 15 years, Anne’s consulting practice, Steinhoff and Associates, has helped more than 100 organizations throughout the United States develop their long-term visions for the future, and create goals and work plans to achieve their visions. A member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Anne focuses on organizations that help underserved populations. Prior to forming Steinhoff and Associates, she worked as a healthcare executive, cabinet member and spokesperson for two Omaha mayoral administrations, adjunct faculty member for a state university, and managing editor of an award-winning Fortune 500 magazine. Before she founded Steinhoff and Associates, Anne fulfilled a lifelong dream to create art by embarking on a two-year art sabbatical. A self-taught painter, she was one of 94 artists selected in 2001 to participate in the J. Doe Project: The Public Art Exposure Project.

Mahatma Largaespada, Vice President

Originally from Nicaragua, Mahatma arrived in the US in 1998 and graduated from Norfolk Senior High School in 2001. Mahatma attended Nebraska Christian College to study Youth Ministry with the goal of serving youth. Mahatma serves as Supervisor of three Círculos programs at the Latino Center of the Midlands where he develops cultural leadership programming and events for Pathways to Success students. Mahatma enjoys spending time playing with his dog, Loki, and expressing himself creatively through painting, drawing & playing musical instruments.

Judy Haney, Secretary

Judy was born and raised in Omaha. She was a registered nurse in the Omaha area for most of her adult life. When she retired, the love and compassion for that career carried over to her work with community organizations, ranging from the St. Augustine Indian Mission, Winnebago, Nebraska, Wellspring, C.A.S.A. in Sarpy County, CUES, Girls, Inc, YWCA, and the Heart Ministry Center and more. Judy has studied art off and on, digging deep into Art History, Sculpture, and Photography. Judy shares a studio with her daughter, Amy, in the Midco building in North Downtown Omaha.

Rebecca Tamayo, Treasurer

Rebecca is a member of the Sicangu, Lakota Nation. She has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 15 years, gaining experience in healthcare leadership in the areas of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and tribal health, business operations, fiscal and grant management. Rebecca currently serves as the Chief Quality Officer, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She is passionate about advancing outcomes for underserved populations within her community. Outside of the office, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family and three children Jazlyn, Diego, and Citlali.

Steve Tamayo, Founder, Culture Bearer

Steve Tamayo is a traditional Sicangu Lakota artist whose family originates from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. After graduating from High School in 1984, Tamayo enlisted in the US Army, serving in the 101st Airborne Division. After returning to Omaha in 1987, he studied the traditional arts of the Umonhon people under Howard Wolf. In 2000, Tamayo moved to the Rosebud Reservation, where he augmented his understanding of Northern Plains art; he earned his BFA from Sínte Gleska University in 2011 where he developed and taught the traditional arts program. Steve currently works for OPS N.I.C.E. program as the cultural consultant.

Nicole Benegas, Executive Director

Ex Officio

Nicole began her non-profit career seven years ago working in youth development. She holds an accounting degree from Metropolitan Community College. Nicole has extensive experience project management and developing programing that is culturally relevant for our Native American youth. Nicole’s training includes an emphasis on suicide prevention. She enjoys spending time with her husband, five children, and her large extended family. Nicole is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe.

Bluebird Cultural Initiative is registered with the IRS as a not-for-profit charitable organization. See our documentation here.

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© 2021 Bluebird Cultural Initiative