Omaha Magazine May 2024 Hotel

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Sand Point

New England to Nebraska
Lobster Risotto
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yawning infinity of the universe, and he is sharing that adventure with visitors to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in his role as the organization’s president and CEO.

Use this issue of Omaha Magazine to inspire your next adventure, whether it be skydiving or fine dining. Adventure is at your fingertips and right around the corner.

*Note: The hotel edition of Omaha Magazine has a different cover and does not include all of the editorial content included in the magazine’s full city edition. For more information on our city edition, visit

MAY // 1 // 2024
RealEstate Company RealEstate Company
THE USUAL SUSPECTS 001 From the Editor 3, 2, 1—Blast Off To Adventure 004 Between the Lines 005 Calendar of Events 026 Adventure Worth A Shot 030 History Marking History 073 Obviously Omaha Recreational Escapes 090 Explore! 096 Not Funny Just Ask George ARTS + CULTURE 012 Music Tom Jorgensen 014 TV Taylor Johnson 018 Visual David Jenowe 022 Poetry Matt Mason DINING 074 Feature Tamayta 078 Profile Kate Anderson of Carter & Rye 080 Review Sand Point 084 Dining Guide TABLE of CONTENTS 081 018 * Note: The hotel edition of Omaha Magazine has a different cover and does not include all of the editorial content included in the magazine’s full city edition. For more information on our city edition, visit 014 Listen to the entire issue here. Open the camera on your smart device and hover over the QR code. // 2 // MAY 2024




Omaha Managing Editor and Strategist

Daisy Hutzell-Rodman came to Omaha 25 years ago after marrying the love of her life and graduating from the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The former managing editor on the magazine side, she is now managing editor for Omaha Publications’ Content Studios Omaha producing books, custom magazines, marketing collateral, and more  and contributes regularly to the magazines. She is on the boards of Iowa Women’s Alumni Network and Public Relations Society of America’s Nebraska Chapter. When not writing, she can be found watching movies and attending film festivals with her husband, local sound recordist Jeremy Wade Rodman or reading novels.


Julius Fredrick wears many masks. One of his favorites is his “writer” mask, which he whittles tirelessly for effect. It’s so convincing, he won a Great Plains Journalism award in 2020 for his first published article, no less. He enjoys bleak Russian literature and purple English tomes, though that could just be the mask talking. In truth, Fredrick probably wouldn’t recognize himself unadorned. As the late David Bowie once confessed: “So I turned myself to face me/But I’ve never caught a glimpse/How the others must see the faker/I’m much too fast to take that test.” So too, Fredrick keeps his dreams in motion.

KIM CARPENTER Editor-in-Chief, Omaha Publications

This is Jasper Caddis. He had nothing to do with the production of the magazine, but he loves to eat….really, really loves to eat. It’s his favorite thing next to being bossy. He joins those two loves by yelling [aka barking] at his mom, Kim Carpenter, who fittingly enough wrote the food review for this issue. Kim spent several years living abroad with her husband, John. There she developed a fondness for fine cuisine and learned that sometimes it’s the small mom-and-pop establishments that offer the best authentic fare. Excuse her, while she jumps to Jasper’s command to feed him dinner on schedule.

MAY 2024 VOLUME 42 // ISSUE II EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief KIM CARPENTER Senior Writer JULIUS FREDRICK Associate Editor & Staff Writer NATALIE VELOSO Assignment Editor & Staff Writer CLAUDIA MOOMEY Contributing Writers LEO ADAM BIGA · TAMSEN BUTLER · DAISY HUTZELL-RODMAN CHRISTOPHER J. MCLUCAS · CAROL NIGRELLI VERONICA WORTMAN PLOETZ LISA LUKECART · HOLLY MCATEE DOUGLAS “OTIS TWELVE” WESSELMANN CREATIVE Creative Director RACHEL BIRDSALL Senior Graphic Designer RENEÉ LUDWICK Graphic Designer II NICKIE ROBINSON Graphic Designer I JOEY WINTON Photo Editor SARAH LEMKE SALES DEPARTMENT Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing GIL COHEN Branding & Digital Specialists DAWN DENNIS · GEORGE IDELMAN GREG BRUNS · TIM McCORMACK FRANCINE FLEGG Publisher’s Assistant & OmahaHome Contributing Editor SANDY MATSON Senior Sales Coordinator ALICIA HOLLINS Sales Coordinator SANDI M cCORMACK OPERATIONS Business Manager KYLE FISHER Ad Traffic Manager DAVID TROUBA Digital Manager LUIS DE LA TOBA Distribution Manager DAMIAN INGERSOLL EXECUTIVE Executive Publisher TODD LEMKE Associate Publisher BILL SITZMANN For Advertising & Subscription Information : 402.884.2000 Omaha Magazine Vol 42 Issue II, publishes monthly except February, April, August, December, totaling 8 issues by Omaha Magazine, LTD, 5921 S. 118 Circle, Omaha, NE 68137. Periodical postage at Omaha, NE, and additional offices and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Omaha Magazine, 5921 S. 118 Circle, Omaha, NE 68137 // 4 // MAY 2024


The metro is jam packed with tons do—art, concerts, theater, festivals—we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive list and highlighted picks!

Art Music Festival


Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

May 18–September 14

724 S 12th St.

Raven Halfmoon's artistic practice encompasses a range of stoneware sculptures. From torso-scaled to colossal-sized pieces, some reach heights of nine feet and weigh over 800 pounds. Drawing inspiration from a multitude of sources spanning centuries, including ancient Indigenous pottery, Moai statues, and Land Art, Halfmoon delves into the intricate interplay among tradition, history, gender, and personal narrative. Th is exhibition showcases a curated selection of both new and borrowed works spanning the past five years, offering a glimpse into Halfmoon's evolving creative exploration. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, Halfmoon became impassioned with ceramics during her teenage years under the guidance of a Caddo elder. Primarily focusing on portraiture, she employs a meticulous hand-building technique using coils, which results in pieces that exude a profound sense of physicality. Her surfaces, marked by deep fi nger impressions and striking dripping glazes, seamlessly blend Caddo pottery traditions—historically associated with women— with contemporary populist elements, such as tagging her work as a nod to Caddo tattooing practices. 402.341.7130


Steelhouse Omaha

May 5, 6:30 p.m

1100 Dodge St.

Asking Alexandria is set to ignite Steelhouse Omaha with their “All My Friends Tour,” joined by special guests Th e Word Alive and Nerv. Known for its dynamic evolution, the British metalcore band, led by founder and guitarist Ben Bruce, has crafted a career defi ned by transformation. Initially emerging in the late 2000s, the band surged to prominence in 2013 with the release of their third album, "From Death to Destiny." Their eighth off ering, "Where Do We Go From Here?," boasts the group's second No. 1 Active Rock radio single, "Psycho," underscoring their enduring appeal. With over 43 million streams and 5 million YouTube views for its music and lyric videos, the album is a testament to their enduring influence. Produced and mixed by Matt Good, known for his work with Hollywood Undead and From First To Last, the album seamlessly blends the band's signature sound with experimental electronic elements, marking a pinnacle in their musical journey. 402.345.0606


Waterloo, NE

May 3-5 & 10-12 1150 River Rd Dr.

Junkstock: Spring Edition returns for two consecutive May weekends. Hailed by USA Today as one of the "10 unforgettable festivals worth traveling for," this iconic event promises another season of excitement. As Omaha's original vintage festival, Junkstock off ers a treasure trove of vintage fi nds, unique antiques, artisanal delights, and repurposed relics. Featuring over 200 junk and vintage vendors and artisans from across the nation, along with live music, delectable food trucks, and a free Kids Village, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Held amidst the picturesque setting of the century-old Sycamore Farms in Waterloo, the festival celebrates all things rustic, antiquated, and timeless. Combining the charm of a music festival with the thrill of a flea market, Junkstock welcomes pets and off ers free admission for children 12 and under, making it a family-friendly aff air not to be missed. 402.819.9002

MAY 2024 // 5 //

» Exhibitions


rough July 27 at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. Th is exhibition presents a selection of color photographs of the architecture and interior spaces of the Blue House created by Cristina Kahlo, as well as vintage black-and-white photographs taken by Diego Rivera, Antonio Kahlo, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Florence Arquín and Juan Guzmán. 402.731.1137 —


May 3–5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Discover the artistry and science of bonsai with the Nebraska Bonsai Society. Members will share their passion for the art of styling trees, off ering insight into this ancient practice. Dedicated to advancing the art of bonsai in Nebraska and beyond, the society fosters a vibrant community centered on practice, education, and camaraderie. Explore the beauty and discipline of bonsai alongside fellow enthusiasts, while simultaneously enriching your understanding and appreciation. 402.346.4002  —



May 3–5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, transcends mere decoration, embodying a disciplined fusion of nature and human expression. Rooted in a philosophy of deep reverence for nature, Ikebana views each arrangement as a living entity. Visit this exhibition to discover how materials like leaves, grasses, blossoms, and living branches are meticulously curated to convey harmony and balance. Th is annual showcase features Ikebana creations from classical to contemporary schools, off ering a glimpse into the rich tradition and evolving creativity of this revered art form. 402.346.4002  —


May 6–June 7 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. Experience the artistic endeavors of students from Arts For ME! (AFM) at KANEKO art center. AFM advocates for adaptive art programs for alternative students, passionately sharing their teaching philosophy and approach. Collaborating with educators and artists globally, AFM harnesses diverse perspectives and expertise to enrich the programs. Step into a world of student creativity, and witness the transformative power of art in fostering inclusivity and self-expression. 402.341.3800 —


rough May 12 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Embark on a Jurassic adventure like never before with BRICKLIVE Brickosaurs, making its debut in the United States at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens. Behold 30 stunning dinosaur sculptures crafted from over 1.5 million bricks. Get up close to these iconic creatures and encounter a herd of majestic reptiles surrounded by prehistoric plants from the garden's collection. Th is dino-mite brick sculpture exhibition is included with garden admission and free for garden members, promising an unforgettable experience for all ages. 402.346.4002  —


rough May 26 at e Durham Museum, 801 S 10th St. Step into the enchanting world of TOYTOPIA, developed by Stage 9 Exhibits, where cherished childhood memories come to life. Rediscover the magic of your favorite toys amidst larger-than-life exhibits, including the “World’s Largest Etch-A-Sketch,” a life-size Monopoly car and board, a retro arcade, and a life-size dollhouse. Delve into the origins of beloved toys, learn about the makers behind them, and uncover the enduring appeal of classics. Specialty exhibits from renowned toymakers like Hasbro®, Duncan Yo-Yo®, and Crayola® await, promising a nostalgic journey for visitors of all ages. 402.444.5071 —


rough May 27 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Inspired by the scientific tradition of botanical illustration, this exhibition's photographs off er a unique perspective on natural beauty. Buck Christensen employs a minimalist aesthetic to uncover the intricate architecture of botanical design, revealing the often-overlooked structures, patterns, colors, and textures throughout a plant's lifecycle. Delve into the mesmerizing world of botanical portraits, where every detail highlights all phases of a plant’s life cycle waiting to be explored. 402.346.4002


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May 1 at Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. Experience an unforgettable musical journey spanning two decades of award-winning songwriting. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors transform each performance into a vibrant celebration of community and contemporary American roots music. Produced by Cason Cooley, their ninth album, "Strangers No More,” embodies this spirit of togetherness. With a blend of timeless songwriting, modern folk, Americana, and heartland rock, the album off ers a panoramic view of the band's evolution and future direction. Each track invites listeners into the world of Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, promising an immersive experience like no other. 402.345.7569 —


May 3, 6:30 p.m., at Steelhouse Omaha, 1100 Dodge St. Amon Amarth is a renowned Swedish melodic death metal band known for their thunderous sound and Viking-inspired themes since their formation in 1992. With acclaimed albums like "Twilight of the Thunder God," they've solidified their status as genre icons. Arrive early to witness electrifying performances by Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, and Frozen Soul, ensuring an unforgettable metal experience from start to fi nish. 402.345.0606 —


May 7 at e Admiral eater, 2234 S 13th St. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Beth Hart is an acclaimed American musician whose rise to fame was propelled by her 1999 hit single "LA Song" from the album "Screamin' for My Supper." A Grammy-nominated artist, Hart's music seamlessly blends blues-rock with slow-burn jazz, soul, and blues influences, as evidenced in her recent albums. With her powerful vocals and emotive songwriting, Hart captivates audiences with a dynamic musical journey that resonates with listeners worldwide. 402.345.7569 —


May 10, 7:30 p.m., at Holland Center of Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Experience the powerhouse vocals of lead singer Keith Roberts as the Young Dubliners, one of the world's premier Celtic Rock bands, take the stage at the Holland Music Club. With a solid lineup and a fresh set of songs, they continue to captivate audiences after 30 years in the industry. Currently working on their 10th studio album, the band, featuring Keith Roberts, Chas Waltz, Justin Pecot, Dave Ingraham, and Ethan Jones, is dedicated to bringing live music back into people’s lives with their signature blend of Celtic energy and rock fervor. 402.345.0202 —


May 7, 8 p.m., at e Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Join multi-talented Lo-fi musician and artist Ty Segall on his U.S. tour alongside Sharpie Smile. Initially gaining recognition as the frontman of garage rock revivalists, the Epsilons, Segall's solo career has seen him explore diverse musical avenues. While the Epsilons embraced a raw rock sound, Segall's solo album "Lemons" showcases a more traditional approach, echoing '60s guitar tones with vintage reverb. With a penchant for experimentation and a knack for reimagining retro vibes, Segall transcends genre boundaries. 402.884.5353



May 11–12 at Holland Center of Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Indulge in the timeless allure of Broadway classics as your Omaha Symphony, accompanied by a stellar cast of vocalists, brings Romantic Broadway back to the Holland. Maestro Ernest Richardson leads the orchestra in a journey through beloved love stories and classic favorites. Prepare to be enchanted as talented vocalists join forces with the orchestra, delivering unforgettable renditions of the Broadway tunes that hold a special place in your heart.




May 16, 6:15 p.m., at Steelhouse Omaha, 1100 Dodge St. Prepare for an explosive night as Steelhouse Omaha hosts the “Machine Killer Tour” featuring Static-X and Sevendust, alongside DOPE and Lines of Loyalty. Th is epic reunion tour harks back to 1999 when Sevendust, Static-X, and DOPE burst onto the scene, creating waves with their unforgettable performances. Now, after over two decades, these powerhouse bands come together once more to reignite the energy and excitement of that iconic era. Don't miss this unforgettable journey through rock history as these legendary acts hit the stage together again after 25 years. 402.345.0606 —


May 16, 7:30 p.m., at Holland Center of Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Emerging from a Southern Utah piano shop, The Piano Guys have evolved into an unstoppable musical force. Comprising Jon Schmidt (pianist, songwriter), Steven Sharp Nelson (cellist, songwriter), Paul Anderson (producer, videographer), and Al van der Beek (music producer, songwriter), this quartet has quickly risen to prominence with their boundary-breaking compositions. Seamlessly blending classical and pop, they redefi ne popular songs with stunning arrangements that appeal to audiences across genres. With bold creativity and unmatched talent, The Piano Guys continue to push the boundaries of musical expression. 402.345.0202



May 16, 7:30 p.m., at e Admiral eater, 2234 S 13th St. Formed in Orange County, California in 2012, Dayseeker is an American post-hardcore band. Led by vocalist Rory Rodriguez and featuring guitarist Gino Sgambelluri, bassist Ramone Valerio, and drummer Mike Karle, the group brings their signature sound to the stage. With fi ve studio albums under their belt, Dayseeker showcases their talent and energy, delivering a dynamic performance that's not to be missed. Signed to Spinefarm Records, they continue to enthrall audiences with their powerful music.



// 8 // MAY 2024


May 17 at Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. X Ambassadors, a multi-platinum trio, was founded by brothers Sam Nelson Harris (vocals, guitar, saxophone, bass) and Casey Harris (piano, keys) during their high school years in Ithaca, New York. Upon relocating to Brooklyn, they welcomed Adam Levin (drums) into the fold. Since their inception in 2009, the band has left a mark on the alternative music scene. Their debut album, "VHS" (2015), achieved Platinum status, off ering a glimpse into Sam and Casey's upbringing. Featuring chart-topping singles like "Unsteady" and "Renegades," the album has amassed over 1.3 billion streams on Spotify, propelling the band on a three-year world tour. 402.345.7569 —


May 17, 8 p.m., at Steelhouse Omaha, 1100 Dodge St. Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Duran Duran bring their musical legacy to Steelhouse Omaha to celebrate the venue’s one-year anniversary. Providing the ultimate soundtrack to a memorable night, enjoy live hits like “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World.” Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, Duran Duran has sold over 100 million albums around the world and has earned two GRAMMY® Awards. 402.345.0606



May 21, 8 p.m., at e Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Omaha welcomes Maddie Zahm, one of America’s newest pop sensations, presenting her debut album “Now Th at I’ve Been Honest.” Bursting onto the scene with the viral hit “Fat Funny Friend,” Zahm's music has resonated deeply, serving as an empowering anthem against fatphobia, societal pressures, and body dysmorphia. Her 2022 EP “You Might Not

Like Her,” chronicles her journey from leaving her hometown to coming out as queer in Los Angeles. With highly personal songwriting and a powerhouse voice, she has cultivated a dedicated following, selling out her North American tour in Spring 2023. Her presence on TikTok, boasting 175 million streams, a million fans, and 3 billion views with 250 thousand videos set to "Fat Funny Friend," has fostered a vibrant community of supporters. 402.884.5353 —


May 24, 7:30 p.m., at Holland Center of Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Step into the extraordinary world of David Bowie's iconic journey, from space-aged rock idol to polished mainstream star. “Space Oddity: The Ultimate David Bowie Experience” off ers a multimedia spectacle, guiding you through Bowie's ever-evolving career. Backed by the Omaha Symphony, David Brighton and his band deliver a theatrical concert event, recreating Bowie's timeless classics with stunning precision. Experience the magic of Bowie's most exhilarating moments as this live performance transports you back in time to the pinnacle of rock music history. 402.345.0202 —


May 30, 7:30 p.m., at Steelhouse Omaha, 1100 Dodge St. Don't miss Riley Green as he brings the “Ain't My Last Rodeo Tour” to Steelhouse Omaha. Th e American country music singer and songwriter, signed to BMLG Records since 2019, has made waves with albums like “Diff erent 'Round Here” (2019) and “Ain't My Last Rodeo” (2023). Hailing from Jacksonville, Alabama, Green's musical roots are deeply embedded in old traditional Country, Bluegrass, and Southern Gospel sounds. 402.345.0606 —


May 19, 2 p.m., at Strauss Performing Arts Center, 6305 University Dr N. Experience the majestic sounds of the organ in Respighi’s “Suite for Organ and Strings” followed by a virtuosic performance of Lukas Foss’s “Th ree American Pieces for Violin and Orchestra” by Concertmaster Susanna Perry Gilmore at the Strauss Performing Arts Center. The afternoon begins with Respighi’s stirring "Suite for Organ and Strings," showcasing the glorious organ's resonance. Complementing this Joslyn Series concert is Respighi's "Trittico Botticelliano," which vividly depicts three famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli. Copland's haunting and atmospheric “Quiet City” then explores the solitude of urban life in New York City, featuring soloist debuts by Heather Baxter, Omaha Symphony’s Assistant Principal Oboe and English Horn, and Federico Montes, Omaha Symphony’s Associate Principal Trumpet. 402.554.3411



May 30, 8 p.m., at Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Wednesday is an American alternative rock band signed to Dead Oceans. The band lineup includes vocalist Karly Hartzman, guitarist Jake Lenderman, lap steel player Xandy Chelmis, drummer Alan Miller, and bassist Ethan Baechtold. Their music is akin to a collection of short stories, capturing the essence of the American South through vivid portraits and disparate moments that seamlessly coalesce into a cohesive whole. 402.345.7569 —


May 22, 7:30 p.m., at Steelhouse Omaha, 1100 Dodge St. Hailing from New Jersey, Bleachers is the brainchild of songwriter and record producer Jack Antonoff. Th e band’s rock sound draws inspiration from the late '80s and early '90s, evoking the nostalgia of John Hughes' high school fi lms infused with modern production techniques. Blending elements of indie pop, New Wave, and alternative rock, Bleachers promises an electrifying performance. Don't miss the opportunity to catch Samia as the opening act!



MAY 2024 // 9 //


May 30, 8 p.m., at e Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. The Waiting Room Lounge introduces VIOLENT VIRA, a powerhouse female rock vocalist and Mexican-American songwriter. Her singles “God Complex” and “I Don’t Care” have garnered millions of streams, catapulting her into the spotlight. Renowned for her exceptional vocal prowess, she draws comparisons to icons like Paramore’s Hailey Williams and Morgan Landers of Kittie. With a broody and dark sound that permeates her music, VIOLENT VIRA shines brightly in today's alt-rock landscape. Catch her alongside Alexis Munroe & Max Diaz for an unforgettable night of music. 402.884.5353



May 31 at Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. Experience the epitome of Southern Rock with Southern Nights. The seven-piece group based in Omaha delivers an authentic tribute to the sound of Southern Rock, captivating audiences with period-accurate instrumentation, impeccable musicianship, and electrifying energy. Led by Georgia native Brian Eckleberry, each member pays homage to legendary artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and The Allman Brothers Band. With sold-out shows and thousands entertained, Southern Nights transports listeners back in time, delivering performances that honor the essence of this iconic musical era. 402.345.7569 —


May 31–June 1 at Holland Performing Arts Center Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Listen to the electrifying collaboration between Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony, Jacob Nissly, and Maestro Ankush Kumar Bahl as they present Adam Schoenberg's “Losing Earth” Percussion Concerto with the Omaha Symphony. Dedicated to Nissly, this powerful work delves into the urgency of climate change while showcasing his virtuosic skills. Prepare for an emotional journey with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” as its bold melodies and poignant themes resonate deeply. Th is musical masterpiece promises to leave a lasting impression, kicking off your summer with its timeless beauty and emotional depth. 402.345.0202




May 3 & 5 at Orpheum eater, 409 S 16th St. Opera Omaha presents an enthralling musical portrayal of iconic Mexican artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, in a collaboration between Grammy Award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Set against the backdrop of a Día de los Muertos tradition, Rivera yearns to reunite with Kahlo one last time. Th rough candlelit scenes and the scent of marigolds, they traverse Kahlo's paintings and memories, reimagining their passionate yet tumultuous love story. Join them on a journey of blossoming relationships and profound self-discovery, capturing the essence of their lives and artistry. 402.661.8501 —


rough May 12 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Discover the unexpected hilarity in a funeral gathering turned uproarious in this heartwarming family comedy. As the Jenkins family reunites to honor their patriarch's life, hidden secrets emerge. Amidst the chaos, confl icting family members are pushed to embrace each other wholly—their virtues, fl aws, and comical quirks. “Chicken and Biscuits” showcases a journey of acceptance, emphasizing the enduring bonds and devotion within a family, proving that amidst the laughter, love remains the cornerstone of this tale. 402.553.0800 —


May 11–12 at Orpheum eater, 409 S 16th St. Embark on an enchanting journey with American Midwest Ballet as they present the world premiere of Cinderella, a magical full-length story ballet. Th is uplifting rendition of a beloved tale transcends generations and cultures, celebrating the timeless belief that good things happen when the time is right. Choreographer Erika Overturff weaves together the artistry of classical ballet, featuring brilliant dancing, spectacular settings, and rich costuming to guide the heroine through an intimate yet grand adventure. Prepare to be charmed, amused, and enchanted as Cinderella's story unfolds with humor and a sprinkle of magic. 402.661.8501 —


May 18 at Holland Center of Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St. Explorer, talk show host, and author Josh Gates from the hit Discovery Channel series, “Expedition Unknown” and “Josh Gates Tonight,” brings an evening of adventure to an Omaha stage. Gates takes the audience on a global journey with off-the-map stories from his greatest expeditions, delving into some of the greatest mysteries of the world—and keeping you on the edge of your seat with tales of his most thrilling discoveries. 402.345.0202 —

// 10 // MAY 2024


May 28–June 9 at Orpheum eater, 409 S 16th St. Get ready to celebrate as “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” takes center stage in Omaha, triumphing with 10 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical. Step into a world of opulence, romance, and extravagant spectacle, where Bohemians and aristocrats mingle in a whirlwind of enchantment. Baz Luhrmann's iconic fi lm gets a vibrant new life on stage, remixed into a dazzling musical extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® winner Alex Timbers, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” has an all-star creative team, including Tony Award® winners John Logan, Justin Levine, and Sonya Tayeh. 402.661.8501 —



May 4–5, 11–12, & 18–19 at Bellevue Berry Farm, 11001 S 48th St. Get ready for the return of Nebraska's Renaissance festival, happening over the fi rst three weekends in May! Indulge in a turkey leg and transport yourself to an era of royalty and chivalry. Experience thrilling full-contact equestrian jousting, enjoy performances on six unique stages showcasing local and national talent, and mingle with over a hundred costumed characters and skilled artisans. Each weekend off ers a diff erent adventure: “Bards and Blades” for Weekend 1, “Celts and Creatures” for Weekend 2, and “Minions of Misrule” for Weekend 3. Bring the whole family and immerse yourselves in a world where knights wore shining armor and royalty reigned supreme. 402.915.1575 —


May 6 & 13 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Join Lauritzen Gardens for a special event: the garden goes to the dogs! Bring your furry companions for a leisurely stroll through scenic grounds, embracing the great outdoors together. It's a relaxed and enjoyable opportunity for the whole family, including your four-legged friends, to explore 100 acres and miles of trails. Water and treats will be provided at various stations throughout the garden, ensuring a delightful experience for all. 402.346.4002  —


7 private party rooms

Seating up to 400 | Lots of parking

1620 S. 10th Street 402-345-8313


May 10–11 at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 28500 W Park Hwy. Visit Mahoney State Park for the 11th annual Sip Nebraska Festival! Th is event is your passport to discovering and savoring the best wines, beers, and spirits from across the state. Indulge in unlimited tastings of wine, craft beer, hard cider, and more to fi nd your perfect pour. Whether you prefer a smooth wine or a crisp beer, there's something to delight every palate. Explore artisan vendors, sample delectable treats from food trucks, and enjoy live music while soaking in the springtime ambiance of Mahoney State Park. Sip Nebraska is a cherished tradition that unites local beverage enthusiasts and creators, celebrating Nebraska's vibrant beverage industry with every sip. 402.944.2523   —


May 10–12 at S 24th St. Experience the vibrancy of the Cinco de Mayo Omaha (CDMO) festival, presented by Casa de la Cultura. Nebraska's premier cultural event takes place along the historic South 24th Street, as the festival boasts live music, carnival rides, a parade, diverse food off erings, health fair, and engaging activities. Join Omaha's largest and most diverse parade on May 11 at 9 a.m. Over the three-day weekend, this dynamic festival draws over 200,000 visitors from six neighboring states, with approximately 65% of visitors celebrating their Latino heritage.  —


May 15, 7:30 p.m., at Holland Center of Performing Arts–Scott Recital Hall, 1200 Douglas St. Presented by Omaha Performing Arts’ Hip Hop Lab, the “Graffiti and Urban Art Culture Talk” is a free event, but registration is necessary. Stop by for the fi nal “Culture Talk” of the season, delving into the artistic intricacies of graffiti through canvas exhibits. Led by Hugo Zamorano, Alexander Houston, and other experts, this conversation off ers insight into the creative process behind urban art. Hip Hop Lab’s Culture Talks adopt a TEDx Style format, off ering engaging discussions to enlighten audiences about the rich history and culture of hip hop. 402.345.0202 —

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2023 Winner
Serving Omahafor 78Years MAY 2024 // 11 //

“A repeating thought came to me during the performance that I’ll never forget: ‘This is possibly the sweetest sounding audience I’ve ever heard’— the acoustics, the clarity, the sonic fullness of their cheers and applause took my breath away.”

-Tom Jorgensen

Drummer Tom Jorgensen Keeps Traveling Time FROM THE BIG O TO THE GREAT WHITE WAY

The smooth jazz interpretation of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” as performed by cover artists Postmodern Jukebox differs markedly from the calypso beat of Harry Belafonte’s “Day-o (Banana Boat Song)” in Broadway’s “Beetlejuice: The Musical,” but Omaha native Tom Jorgensen has kept time for these songs—and many more.

His drumming adventure began around age 3, when his maternal uncle gifted him a practice pad and sticks, but he began formally studying drums at 11 after receiving his uncle’s drum kit as a gift.

Th roughout Jorgensen’s youth in Omaha, Dana Murray (founder and executive director of North Omaha Music & Arts) was his primary teacher and a significant influence. He attended the arts magnet Beveridge Middle School, where Murray had created a satellite program for drumming, then he enrolled at Burke High, where Murray served as drumline instructor.

There, Jorgensen became tenor captain and was instrumental in pushing the drumline to become an award winner. He and his peers became the fi rst of several drumlines under Murray to win a state percussion title with Burke garnering that distinction three out of Jorgensen’s four years, according to the drumline instructor. Jorgensen also marched with Murray’s private drumline, Dojo Percussion, which won the 2010 Winter Guard International championship in Dayton, Ohio.

“I think the thing that sticks out most about Tom is his passion, I think a lot of people love something when actually they [just] like it a lot,” Murray said. “It was apparent that he just loved everything about drumming and music, and it was apparent in his work ethic… He grasped concepts really fast and seemed to be more intuitive than most of his peers… You never had to question his work ethic or how hard he was working on his skill sets. He was really self-motivated.”

After graduating from Burke, Jorgensen moved to New York City to attend The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he furthered his music studies,

specifically jazz drumming. He comes by this interest naturally—his maternal grandfather, Wayne Scott, was a pianist and professor at University of Colorado Boulder, where he founded the CU jazz band.

At The New School, Jorgensen studied with former John Coltrane bassist Reggie Workman as a member of the school’s revered John Coltrane Ensemble, along with former Dizzy Gillespie drummer Charli Persip. The school’s faculty also included former Dizzy Gillespie and Alice Coltrane drummer Michael Carvin, whom Jorgensen still considers a mentor.

In 2014, after earning a degree in jazz and contemporary music, Jorgensen became the house drummer on a Holland America ship to Europe, marching to the beat of the world from oc ean waters.

The gig on cruise ships led to working with Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ), a rotating musical collective known for reworking popular modern music into vintage genres. In 2017, Jorgensen was in New York City when he received a phone call from a colleague at Holland America, saying Postmodern Jukebox was installing a speakeasy on the cruise line’s Eurodam ship.

As he researched PMJ, he thought, “Th is is an amalgamation of things I love doing,” Jorgensen said. “Th is is exactly what I love. It’s a month, it’s a trial run…I’m thankful I said yes.”

PMJ loved Jorgensen's work onboard Holland America so much that they called him back in November 2018 to perform in their seven-week European Tour, traveling from Bristol in the United Kingdom to Istanbul in Turkey. One year later, he again drummed for PMJ on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, which kept him traveling from one city to another through all the region’s states and territories. The tour's highlight involved playing to a sold-out crowd at the Sydney Opera House.

“I remember the night being one of my favorite, and most musically-satisfying performances I’ve personally given,” Jorgensen said. “A repeating thought came to me during the performance that I’ll never forget: ‘Th is is

possibly the sweetest sounding audience I’ve ever heard’—the acoustics, the clarity, the sonic fullness of their cheers and applause took my breath away.”

As the professional drummer traveled the southern hemisphere, another musical opportunity presented itself. He returned to the Big Apple to play drums on the fi rst national tour of “Waitress: The Musical,” eventually subbing as a drummer on Broadway.

It was fellow “Waitress” drummer, Phil Martin, who recommended that Jorgensen drum for another Braodway show.

“We stayed connected,” Jorgensen said about his friendship with Martin, who traveled to Omaha earlier this year as the drummer on the North American tour of another percussion-heavy production, “The Lion King.” “Our musical director on ‘Beetlejuice’ briefly subbed for ‘L ion King.’”

Th at musical director was simultaneously hiring for a new touring production of “Beetlejuice: The Musical.” Jorgensen shared, “[Martin] said, ‘I think Tom would be a good addition to your show.’”

Within fi ve days of sending the musical director his bio, Jorgensen was off ered the drumming job on the new touring production. Th e show played for a week in Omaha this past winter and is running at least through mid-August this year, at which time Tom and his drum kit hope to march off on a new adventure.

Visit for more information.

MAY 2024 // 13 //




// 14 // MAY 2024
"That's a lot of people's dream, you know, to make it to the network level. Even if it was just for one day, you know, I did it.”
—Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson instinctively reached out to a familiar place after 22 people were shot in Kansas City on February 14 KCTV5.

A broadcast reporter for 6 News WOWT, Johnson had worked previously at KCTV5, and when the Kansas City station contacted their sister station in Omaha asking for help covering the tragedy, the journalist didn’t hesitate to answer the call.

“They needed some help with coverage to give their staff a break,” Johnson explained. “They’d just spent the week in Vegas for the Super Bowl, followed by the parade and then the shooting.”

The high-profile shooting itself may have been somewhat unusual, but Johnson jumping into the thick of a story and connecting with people was completely on par for this young reporter.

Johnson started broadcasting news in middle school by reading the morning announcements, and eventually, she realized journalism would be an ideal job for her. With characteristic verve, she dove headlong into the idea, starting by attending the University of Maryland in College Park.

After graduating, the Baltimore native found a job in a communications department in Washington, D.C., but her passion for reporting stories was not satisfied nor would it be as a recent graduate in one of the top 10 news markets in the United States.

That’s how she decided to apply for digital content producer positions, thinking it would be a way to stay in D.C. Then, she received a phone call from Lynchburg, Virginia, and landed a job there as a web producer.

Although Johnson was excited to be in a newsroom, her real dream was to be on-air; however, she didn’t have a good newsreel highlighting her broadcasting skills. While in Lynchburg, she created stories from a friend’s unused raw footage, eventually applying for an open position within the company. She didn’t get that one, but the tenacious, vivacious young woman eventually landed in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2020.

While there, she reported on community news like the outdoor dining event “Eat the Streets.” As she excelled at the station, she also filled in at the anchor and weather desks or produced segments. On January 14, 2021, she was asked to be a media witness to the execution of Corey Johnson, the twelfth in a string of 13 executions that happened in Terre Haute between 2020 and early 2021. Johnson reported on-scene calmly, giving details from the sides of both the inmate and victims’ families. The story was a testament to her professionalism.

“It was a little jarring, though, because, you know, they had the glass [for witnesses to see through to the execution room],” Johnson said. “And so when he died, the victims’ families, they were like cheering, and that's what really threw me off.”

Unsurprisingly, bigger markets called, and in May 2021, she was offered the job in Kansas City.

The City of Fountains gave Johnson the chance to continue her work in broadcast news, but with the larger market came fewer opportunities to advance into anchor positions.

As she was thinking what her next move might be, a major story gave Johnson the chance to show her reporting to national viewers.

In June 2022, an Amtrak train derailed near Mendon, Missouri, when it struck a dump truck and obstructed the crossing. CBS, of which KCTV is an affiliate, chose to use local reports for their national coverage, including one of Johnson’s that appeared on CBS Mornings.

// 16 // MAY 2024

Former NFL player and anchor Nate Burleson introduced the clip in which Johnson reported from the side of a crop field some distance away from the wreckage. She ended the report by saying, “Gayle,” as she sent the broadcast back to anchor Gayle King.

“It’s…bittersweet, because it was exciting for me, but it was a sad story,” Johnson said. “For once, my family and my friends could watch me on TV. That's a lot of people's dream, you know, to make it to the network level. Even if it was just for one day, you know, I did it.”

Encouraged by this prominent story, Johnson created a new reel and posted it to YouTube. Within a couple of days, she was contacted by 6 News WOWT News Director Dave Kaplar, who told Johnson he had an opening for a weekend anchor.

Serese Cole, 6 News Daybreak anchor at WOWT and Johnson’s co-worker, said, “She is extremely goal oriented and a go-getter. She knows what she wants to do, what kind of reporter she wants to be in Omaha, and is excellent when it comes to cultivating story ideas.”

As with Indiana and Kansas City, the outgoing reporter said “yes” to this new opportunity. Today, Johnson can be seen on-air as the weekend evening anchor and reporter, and she has dazzled many with her on-air presence, including Cole.

“I knew Taylor was talented because she was a weekend anchor in Kansas City,” Cole said. “But I was even more impressed after anchoring my first show with her at WOWT. She really is a natural. She's sharp, conversational, funny, and quick on her feet.”

While Omaha is home for the moment, Johnson is unsure where her next adventure will take her. One thing, however, is certain: she’s going to go big, or go to a new home.

For more information about Taylor Johnson, visit

“She is extremely goal oriented and a go-getter. She knows what she wants to do, what kind of reporter she wants to be in Omaha, and is excellent when it comes to cultivating story ideas.”
— Serese Cole
TV MAY 2024 // 17 //

Paintbrush in One Hand, Mailbag in the Other

artist’s house is never just a house. Framed paintings and collages decorate every wall of David Jenowe’s residence, winding up the staircase toward his master bedroom-turned studio. As his eyes sweep over his studio walls, they meet the gaze of a silent observer: a photograph of artist Peter Dean, a luminary of the Rhino Horn group in 1970s New York City. Dean’s watchful eyes serve as inspiration; a witness to the evolution of Jenowe’s style over time. In this house lives an artistic legacy, one inherited from his father, whose passion similarly adorned their chi ldhood home.

Jenowe passed this torch to his son, Jack, now 20. Together, they create the “Knalbtown Scroll”—a world of free-association cartoons spanning 110 feet of newsprint paper from the Omaha World-Herald. The scroll embodies years of shared laughter at the living room table. Jack’s childhood self-portrait hangs in the kitchen, while an enlarged doodle, painted and framed by Jenowe, hangs above the staircase—early tributes to his son’s talent and the artistic spirit nurtured within these walls.

With such a personal passion, Jenowe’s day job as a letter carrier with the US Postal Service seems worlds apart from his artistic endeavors. Yet, juxtaposing the routine of daily mail rounds in Omaha, his art often takes him to international showcases. Jenowe considers his letter carrier role completely separate from his art, fi nding it allows him to create without u ndue stress.


David Jenowe’s Global Artistry

// 18 // MAY 2024
MAY 2024 // 19 //
“...being an Omaha artist means I want to connect with others here and see what my community is doing.”
–David Jenowe

“When I get home, I don’t think about my job at all,” he laughed. “It allows me to pay my bills and make money for my paint and materials—it frees my mind up for creativity.”

Jenowe’s artistic journey fi rst brought him to Omaha in 1997, where his father’s Lakin Jones Gallery served as a platform for showcasing his work alongside the Rhino Horn group’s pieces.

Although the gallery closed its doors that same year, Jenowe remained in Omaha. A brief interlude in Delaware, where Jenowe welcomed the birth of his son, was also where he began working as a letter carrier—a role he has held since his return to Omaha in 2003. Primarily an oil and acrylic painter, Jenowe’s style today is rooted in abstract expressionism—a nod to the collection his father amassed from Rhino Horn.

“There’s a rhythm to it, like jazz music—each piece tells me what to do, and I try to listen to what it wants,” Jenowe said. “Sometimes I’ll start off with an idea and the piece will change as I’m working on it.”

While Jenowe resides in Omaha, his international presence stems from the Global Art Project (GAP) and the 10dence platform. Founded by Carl Heyward, GAP is a worldwide collective to unite mixed-media artists, allowing Jenowe to showcase works focusing on collages in countries like Belgium, France, Spain, and Argentina.

“I see collages as freeing, relatively fast exercises,” he explained. “The challenge with GAP is that the ideas for those collages are coming from them, so it’s a mental exercise of incorporating someone else into my work.”

“David’s engagement with GAP has been a story of shared growth and artistic vision, fostered through our connections on social media,” Christopher Padgett Hunnicutt, the fellow artist who fi rst introduced GAP to Jenowe, said. “His oeuvre is a testament to his ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of visual and thematic exploration.”

Jenowe’s affi liation with the 10dence platform, spearheaded by Dutch artist Ron Weijers, also gives him travel-exhibition projects that promote contemporary art. Jenowe and other international artists represented by Weijers participate in themed shows while maintaining their distinc tive styles.

Jenowe recently traveled to Ghent, Belgium, for “The Anatomy Lesson Revisited” show as part of CrossingBorders, a joint venture of GAP and 10dence. The Rembrandt-inspired exhibition took place at the Campo Santo, a Roman Catholic public burial ground in Sint-Amandsberg.

“David’s work is a journey across thematic and geographic frontiers,” Hunnicutt added. “His creations do not merely cross borders; they challenge and expand the boundaries of conventional and contemporary art.”

Abstract expressionism shapes Jenowe’s approach to each piece. Its openness to interpretation is a quality he also enjoys about the glitch art that he experiments with in between paintings and collages. Th is art focuses on using digital or analog errors, or the glitches, as an integral part of the work. To him, glitches hold a particular allure for their capacity to distort. His latest sleep paralysis-inspired painting embodies this passion, representing his interpretation of fantasy and mystery.

“The only way I direct someone’s vision in a work like this is with the title—there’s one reality, and behind it is another,” Jenowe explained. “‘I’m interested in where we’re going with AI and VR.”

Still, Jenowe values the organic process of painting, fi nding magic in the tangible creation of his pieces. In addition to his global endeavors, he remains connected to Omaha’s art scene, engaging in events like Friday2 on Vinton Street.

“Being an artist is mostly a solitary journey, but being an Omaha artist means I want to connect with others here and see what my community is doing,” Jenowe said. Running the Benson Art Gallery two years ago facilitated many of his connections with loc al artists.

He now looks forward to upcoming 10dence shows and to collaborating with Jack and his ex-wife, Julie, for “The Jenowe Show” exhibition at Ming Toy Gallery in November, all while continuing his mail rounds for stability.

“My mail rounds are a home base—literally—so that I can enjoy art,” Jenowe explained. “Some days I want to make cartoons and be silly, and some days, I want to be serious and dark. I can do anything, and nobody’s going to tell me I shouldn’t.

“You have to be willing to not make money on art—it shouldn’t be the driving factor, because the art will be compromised. Some people can do that, but I’ve never been happy that way.”

Follow Jenowe’s work on Instagram @davejenowe.

// 20 // MAY 2024
DAYCARE • BOARDING GROOMING 16912 Audrey St. | Omaha NE 68136 P: 402-516-8888 F: 402-502-1418 Your pet deserves to be spoiled @OmahaMagazine 4701 SOUTH 25TH STREET • OMAHA, NE 68107 • • (402) 731-1137 MAY 2024 // 21 //


“Writing a poem, you need a little pocket of solitude."
—Matt Mason
‘Iamb, Iamb, Iamb’:

Matt Mason and the Lyrical Heart of Nebraska Poetry

in italics

Story by Julius Fredrick Photography by Bill Sitzmann Design By Rachel Birdsall Note: Excerpts are from works by Matt Mason in order of appearance: “Notes from my Daughter Against Chasing Storms” (2013), “Between Meteors and Fireflies” (2020), and “At The Corner of New Orleans and Frontier - At Disneyland” (2022).
// 22 // MAY 2024

By all appearances, Matt Mason’s secluded Florence home is an ideal writer’s retreat.

The hum of vowels under familiar lamplight at dusk; in the morning, the crush of consonants and coffee grounds.

Poplars, pines, and unpaved roads.

The support and critical eye of wife Sarah, herself a distinguished poet. Two daughters, Sophia and Lucia the sisters a repartee of qualities inherited and new their parents’ most challenging, rewarding couplet of all.

Tornadoes swing through like a kid/playing hopscotch, rip one house to splinters […] And that my daughter, is how teenage boys/ approach love

A kitchen stocked with snacks, sips, and assorted smiles; alliterations of domestic life. Taken altogether, the setting is…in practice, actually a little distracting.

“I’m kind of better in weird places. When I had my daughters, you know, having my kids around, it’s hard to find any peace in the house,” Mason chuckled. “Writing a poem, you need a little pocket of solitude. So, I would write a lot in fast food restaurants because I’d be there by myself and have 20 minutes. Yeah, I can write almost anywhere.”

With an additional 77,000 square miles of "home" to inspire and draw inspiration from, that skill has served Mason well during his time as Nebraska’s State Poet. Town libraries, little red schoolhouses, and diner fare by the greasy spoonful convert miles of unremitting skyline into verse and stanza between meetups.

Mason leads the Nebraska Poetry Pen Pal program, an initiative supported by the Academy of American Poets and Humanities, that Nebraska designed to “start conversations between poets from different parts of the state with varied backgrounds.” His goal is straightforward enough: to organize at least one poetry event in each of Nebraska’s 93 contiguous counties.

“The green ones I’ve been to, the white ones I have nothing,” Mason explained, opening his laptop to a Nebraska county map veranda with progress. “And then the stripes mean I’m talking to somebody [in that county] but don’t have any dates set.”

Selected to serve as State Poet in 2019, Mason was eager to gather distant Nebraskans around his life’s passion. By March the following year, however, such plans had not only been complicated, they’d withered away.

In a drought year, corn stubble bends/ into headlines: “Farmers pray for rain.”/ Tumbleweeds take time to harmonize/ and choreograph, somewhere between”

“I was doing great, and then everything shut down for two-and-a-half years. But I have a pretty good shot to finish it,” Mason reflected. “I’ve got 13 counties left by the end of this year. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but these are counties I have no contacts for. It’s close…I think I’ll get it done, but we’ll see…”

Whether the final tally hits 80, 93, or somewhere in between, Mason’s tenure has been far from idle. Between publishing two books of poetry “I Have a Poem the Size of the Moon” in 2020, and “At the Corner of Fantasy and Main: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros” in 2022 the Pushcart Prizewinning poet rarely declines an invitation to teach, learn, and workshop.

“Alliance, Nebraska, has brought me out like five times, I just love it. It’s such a good drive,” Mason said. “Going out to Western Nebraska, there are many really wonderful writers. Folks like Deb Carpenter-Nolting, and her husband Tim Nolting, are amazing writers who have done a lot with cowboy poetry over the years.

“And a lot of times, I meet these students who are fantastic. I was up in Gordon with two other poets doing a kind of tour of Northern Nebraska. And there’s a poet there, Aliyah American Horse, who was kind of quiet, but when we started talking poetry, everyone goes, ‘Oh, that’s her!’ She’s like, the poet up there. And now, she’s the Youth Poet Laureate of Nebraska. It’s just so much fun.”

Inexperience and raw talent make for volatile creative fuel, and a young Mason was as combustible as any schoolyard poet; lines of verse ablaze with epiphany one day, ash heaps of self-doubt the next. Great teachers and idols a college instructor “very much like Robin Williams from ‘Dead Poets Society,’” a kind gesture from Pulitzer Prize-winner Galway Kinnell at an event, among others saw him through this pivotal phase, steering Mason toward something of a mantra:

“Some people will say that poetry is writing without rules, and I go the opposite,” he affirmed. “I say poetry has all the same rules as every other kind of writing, but that one additional it has is: Break the rules. Because that way, you know what the rules are, and you know what effect you get when you break them.”

start searching, at the popcorn cart and in your life,/for something more/than everything/ you’ve been settling/for

It’s a lesson the intentionality of breaking with convention and canon that Mason has advocated during workshops in Belarus, Romania, Nepal, the Nebraska panhandle, and most frequently, Omaha.

It’s also one Jen Schneider, Ph.D., a high-ability learner facilitator with Papillion La Vista school district, believes demystifies poetry for her middle schoolers.

“I really love it, because that is a big takeaway that a lot of my students have after the poetry workshop,” Schneider said. “I love that we get to learn about some of the things that have to do with poetry but then we get to break the rules. You can’t do that as much with an essay, but you can do that with poetry […] The stuff they come up with just from his prompting is just incredible.”

As reflected in his works, Mason isn’t one for the vagaries of the self-serious and doctrinaire. Nor is he blasé about expression. Inspiration doesn’t ‘flow’ during his workshops, but settles into a clear pool; ideas aren’t swept away, but visibly ripple from each pen.

After all, Mason is searching, too.

“I went to the Nebraska Gifted Conference, a whole bunch of high-ability learner teachers, and he had a class there and was reading a poem that he wrote,” Schneider recalled. “And he said, ‘Yeah, this little stanza here, I wrote this poem when I was with Jen’s class.’ And I think it’s just really cool that he takes a lot of what the kids bring to the workshops and creates from that and shares that […] it really gets the kids involved, and their voices are very important.”

Even if the intrepid poet doesn’t fill every corner of the map, it’s impossible to deny Mason’s positive impact on aspiring and established writers statewide. Besides, enjambment that continuation of a sentence without a pause at the end of a line is often half the story.

“It’s so much fun to have an idea in your head about what the feeling of a poem is and do that in words,” Mason said. “And also do it in shape, which is one of the real advantages poetry has as a form of writing where you can play with that much more.”

And in Nebraska, there’s no shortage of open space to play with.

“My advice? Reinvent poetry. Write poems in your own image,” Mason said. “Write the poems you want to see out there in the world.”

For books, news, and selected poems, visit Support Mason at

Standing At The Highet Poin

It’s a subtle rise of farmland and cities, cows, bison, rivers and hills,

and, here, if the whole state, if everyone turned this way on the clearest day,

they would all see your face like a new Nebraska moon; you bumped along interstate, boulevard, gravel, dirt road to the top of your state, you, now, stand higher

than that stone marker set on the precise pivot of a survey point, you luminary,

you look out at the old, tin windmill, face like a lion’s, alone in a field to one side,

a row of smooth, white turbines lined up to the other;

and it’s upright smooth how it’s hard to decipher the way this state slopes up to you:

green field, pasture, no crags or high rises, only one bluff like the horizon has a chip in it,

and, still, not as high up as you;

as if Nebraska was made like a quilt shaken out in the wind and set here

across sage and bright winter wheat; you lay back, think about work left to do,

but, for now, take in a book, line by line, the sun

making your face shine.

Matt Mason, "I Have a Poem the Size of the Moon" (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2020). Reproduced with permission by Matt Mason. For more information, visit,,, and

MAY // 24 // 2024


Adventure Awaits in Omaha: Six Thrilling Recreational Escapes Worth Exploring O

maha's varied recreational activities promise to suit every preference for a local adventure—rain, shine, or otherwise. From physical challenges to more leisurely pursuits, the Big O has it, whether you prefer the thrill of outdoor paddle boarding or the calm of indoor rock climbing. When it comes to getting out, having fun, and even pushing your limits, the metro’s recreational scene truly has it all. Discover these six experiences and add some excitement to your day.

TreeRush Adventures

1111 Bellevue Blvd N Ste A, Bellevue, NE |

Embark on an exhilarating outdoor adventure at Bellevue’s Fontenelle Forest with the TreeRush experience. Participants explore the forest canopy, navigating zip lines, suspended bridges, and rope ladders amidst the ancient trees. Catering to thrill-seekers aged four and above, TreeRush Adventures offers two attractions: TreeRush Adventure Park and KidRush Adventure Park. The former spans over six acres, featuring eight trails with varying difficulty levels, while the latter provides scaled-down excitement for younger climbers aged four to six. With supervision and safety ensured, adventurers can delight in a three-hour journey through the treetops, discovering the joy of natural beauty.


Blue Sky Patio & Pickleball

10730 Pacific St Suite 180, Omaha, NE

Experience the thrill of pickleball—America’s fastest-growing sport—at Blue Sky Patio & Pickleball in Omaha, where players of all skill levels can gather for exhilarating matches. Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball offers straightforward rules for beginners and intense competition for seasoned players. Located within the Regency Landing development, the venue boasts insulated courts housed in a heated tent for year-round play. Whether reserving a court or walking in, players can enjoy the convenience of paddle and ball rentals at the Pro Shop. With a spacious patio and dining options like Noli’s Pizzeria and Cheeseburgers–A Take-Out Joint, Blue Sky Patio & Pickleball ensures a memorable and energizing experience.


Tubing & Adventures

25205 Harrison St, Waterloo, NE

Immerse yourself in an outdoor adventure with Tubing & Adventures (T&A), Omaha’s first tubing outfitter located along the Elkhorn River. T&A offers a one-stop shop for tubing, kayaking, tent camping, and RV camping, prioritizing safety in collaboration with Waterloo Fire & Rescue and the Papio-NRD. With The Neighborhood Offshore, they now provide stand-up paddleboards and yoga classes to enhance the river experience. Explore the scenic 7-mile float down the Elkhorn River, where towering cliffs, serene rock walls, and abundant wildlife await. With expert equipment and transportation services, T&A ensures a memorable and safe journey.


Flying Timber

1507 Farnam St, Omaha, NE |

Discover the thrill of landing a blade in a target at Flying Timber Axe Throwing, Omaha's award-winning venue with cutting-edge targets and unparalleled service. Voted Best of Omaha for multiple years and the winner of the 2020 Omaha Choice Award for Date Night, Flying Timber ensures a top-notch experience for all. With a focus on safety and comfort, each lane features tables and chairs where guests can enjoy craft brews or try their hand at throwing ninja stars. Conveniently located near the historic Old Market, it's the perfect spot to unwind with friends, family, or colleagues.


Skate Ribbon At Heartland Of America Park

S 8th & Farnam St, Omaha, NE |

Omaha's Skate Ribbon, nestled in Omaha's revitalized Heartland of America Park downtown, invites year-round enjoyment for the whole family. Located at 8th and Farnam streets, it's a lively destination for both ice skating during winter and roller skating when temperatures rise. Admission is free for those with their own equipment, and skates are available for rent. Before hitting the rink, guests are required to fill out an online waiver and check in at the Skate Kiosk. Enjoy the riverfront's additional attractions while you’re there, including the picturesque lakeside amphitheater and the Farnam Pier.


Approach Climbing Gym

4923 S 72nd St, Omaha, NE |

Enjoy the thrill of indoor rock climbing at Approach Climbing Gym, boasting a sprawling 6,000-square-foot climbing wall area and a dedicated 1,600-square-foot training zone. Newcomers are guided through a comprehensive safety orientation, which includes a day pass. Climbing enthusiasts aged 14 and above can partake in educational courses and training sessions. Members enjoy 24/7  access to climbing walls, a fully-equipped weight room, and specialized training gear, ensuring a fulfilling climbing experience for all skill levels.

MAY 2024 // 75 // The Spice Road Stops in Lincoln
STORY tamsen butler PHOTOGRAPHY sarah lemke DESIGN rachel birdsall

housands of years ago, spice merchants traveled hundreds of miles via donkeys and camels to acquire the flavorful commodities native to distant lands. Today, all it takes is a quick trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit Tamayta, the most popular spice shop in the area.

Opened in 2017 by Mat Myers, Tamayta’s origin story began as “Myers Sharpening Service,” a knife honing business that Myers ran out of his garage. After a couple years of sharpening blades out of a non-climatecontrolled environment, Myers figured it was time to start thinking about finding a more permanent place for his business.

Drawing on his trade experience, Myers was helping to judge a knife skills competition when he mentioned to the other judges (who were mostly chefs and other industry professionals) that he was thinking of opening a knife sharpening shop. His announcement received a lukewarm reaction until he mentioned that he might also sell bulk spices.

That’s when the judges took notice and showed excitement.

“Their heads popped up, and they said, ‘If that happens, you let us know.’ That told me there was a niche; there was a need for it,” Myers said.

When Myers first moved to the area to attend college, he wanted to impress a date by cooking her a homemade meal. One of the ingredients in the recipe called for garam masala, an Indian spice blend. “I went all over town and couldn’t find garam masala, and once I finally found it, it was $15 a jar. This was in the ‘90s, and I was in college,” he recalled.

He had to decide between the spice and a bottle of wine; Myers chose the spice.

Years later, he was cleaning out some kitchen drawers and found the long-forgotten bottle of garam masala, long since expired. It was during that moment when Myers seriously considered opening his own spice shop. He figured that he could purchase spices in bulk so that customers in turn would only buy what they needed instead of a full jar of a spice they inevitably wouldn’t use.

He also determined to create his own spice blends with the first being taco seasoning. “I’d make a bunch of these, take them with me to work, give them to the guys at the store, and tell them, ‘This is enough to make one pound of ground beef,’ and to come back and tell me what you think,” Myers recounted. “They’d come back later and say, ‘So, I used all that stuff—can I get more?’ I’d tell them to meet me out by the bleachers after school,” he said with a laugh.

Today, Tamayta customers are known to visit the shop to ask for only small amounts of spices they need for a specific recipe. They also stop by to buy culinary knives or to check out the various gifts for sale, which are created by local artists. When kids visit with their parents, Myers encourages them to rearrange a wall of magnets so parents can shop. He’s created a space that isn’t just about spices–it’s also about community. Tamayta is a collection point for local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes and often hosts pop-ups for local artists during the holiday season.

The tradition of pop-ups started during the pandemic, when local artists and bakers weren’t able to sell their creations at farmers markets or other typical venues. With unknown foresight, Myers had installed a crowd control system in Tamayta by which he could control the number of people allowed into the space. Originally, he installed the system so he could easily buzz delivery people in while he was sharpening knives in the back, but during the pandemic, it allowed him to stay open because he could control the number of people allowed in the shop at any given time. Offering the space to local artisans as a place to sell their creations just made sense from a community perspective.

“It feels so neighborhoody. They know who’s here, we see the same people week to week, it makes you feel like you belong in the neighborhood. They’re over at the farmer’s market all the time. They just benefit the neighborhood.”
—Jentry Barrett
MAY // 76 // 2024

Sarah Ferdico, who owns Twin Springs Pecans in Bennet, Nebraska, said that she gets all her spices from Tamayta and has frequently leaned on Myers’ expertise as a spice purveyor. “When we were first trying to find our Cajun spice, we were having the hardest time getting the ingredients to stick to our pecans and give them that kick,” she said. “Mat knew exactly what we needed—a spice called the African Bird Pepper that only he sells. He said, 'If you pair that with a cayenne, you’ll get that kick you need.' And it just works! We have customers who rave about it, and we have Mat to thank for that.”

Customer Jentry Barrett visits the shop weekly to pick up her CSA box. “There’s such a sense of place; Mat knows me. He knows my husband, and he knows my kids. We’re here often,” she said. She delights in telling people she “has a spice guy” and said Myers makes a special blend that her husband puts in his coffee. “It feels so neighborhoody,” she added. “They know who’s here, we see the same people week to week, it makes you feel like you belong in the neighborhood. They’re over at the farmer’s market all the time. They just benefit the neighborhood.”

Myers gets his spices from seven different importers, with the main one, based in Chicago, serving as a supplier for most of the major restaurants in the Midwest. The importer has a USDA inspector on site, which is important to Myers to ensure quality ingredients and to guarantee that the ingredients are actually what they’re supposed to be. “That was super important to me because you’ll hear stories about sawdust or lead in products, and having that, it gives me reassurance that I can tell customers there’s nothing funky in their stuff.”

Medical professionals often refer patients to Myers’ shop after they receive a diagnosis such as high blood pressure, because Myers creates flavorful blends devoid of salt for people who need to avoid it.

This is part of his thoughtful approach to spices in general. Asafoetida, for example, imitates the flavor and aroma of onion and garlic, oft-used staples. “It’s used in Ayurvedic cooking to replace [them],” the spice purveyor explained. “A lot of companies that produce it, mix it with wheat flour; people who are trying to stay away from garlic and onion, who are on the ‘FODMAP Diet’ [designed for people with irritiable bowel syndrome], they’re also concerned with celiac or gluten. If you’re mixing with wheat flour, then it defeats the purpose. You want to provide a product that is most universally acceptable for people who do have IBS problems,” Myers explained.

That’s just what he knows about one spice—one of out the 310 spices and blends that he currently stocks on Tamayta’s shelves at any given time.

As his spice shop continues to grow, Myers makes certain that it grows thoughtfully. “As a business owner, you can be as big or as small as you want to be,” he said.

To learn more, visit

Teaching Omaha TO The

// 78 // MAY 2024
ChefProfile Carter & Rye’s Kate Carter Anderson
“Every culture has a hand pie or something like it. Kolaches, pockets, and even dumplings are a type of hand pie.”
–Kate Carter Anderson

ate Carter Anderson is aware that most people assume her hand pie recipe was something she inherited, passed down through the generations. “I wish it was!” she laughed, explaining that her “non-fussy” pies were born from her own go-to recipe—one that she developed after graduating from the culinary program at Metro Community College and working as a culinary instructor at No More Empty Pots. A veteran of The Boiler Room and Archetype Coffee, Anderson was no stranger to creating food that people want to eat.

“Every culture has a hand pie or something like it,” she said. “Kolaches, pockets, and even dumplings are a type of hand pie.”

The business started as a project at the Omaha Farmers Market in 2019 when Anderson and Sarah “Rye” Ryan, a friend with whom she worked at No More Empty Pots, sold hand pies. The project quickly morphed into something more as the duo frequently sold out their offerings. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the women began taking orders remotely and dropping them off at customers’ front doors, which allowed the business to grow despite restrictions. They tried doing some pop-ups before eventually deciding to procure a dedicated location, which they named Carter & Rye, a riff on both their names.

Nowadays, Anderson has a brick-and-mortar store on 35th and Center streets. Despite limited hours, the shop typically has customers lined up to get their hands on the next interesting flavor Anderson introduces. “People are willing to try new flavors,” shop employee Missy Nissen said. “They've learned to trust the crust.”

That’s because Anderson doesn’t shy away from bold, unusual flavors. Her kimchee sausage hand pies, for example, delighted customers, even those at the farmers market who exclaimed, “What is that?” to which Anderson always replied, “Trust me, if you like stuff that’s a little spicy, you’ll like this.”

“Now kimchee sausage pies are one of our best sellers,” Anderson marveled. She personally prefers savory hand pies, using ingredients like pot roast, sweet potatoes, and squash in the winter. Her biscuits and gravy hand pie is

one of her favorites to bake. “I feel like a lunch lady!” she said, adding, “It’s fun to make, and people get excited.”

The best hand pie Anderson ever ate was on a road trip to California. She stopped in a mining town in Nevada and ate a ground beef, potatoes, and rutabaga hand pie from a restaurant that had the motto, “One’s a Meal!” She said that hand pies were commonplace in mining towns because the pie is “delicious, not fussy, and approachable.” Miners would pack a hand pie and eat it as a quick meal before returning to work.

But Anderson’s love for savory hand pies doesn’t stop her from offering some sweet treats, like peach hand pies during summer, for which her customers clamor. She also enjoys playing with sweet and savory combinations, like blackberry jam and sausage.

“Kate kind of flies by the seat of her pants,” Nissen said. “She chooses the flavors each week by inspiration. We have the trust and confidence in her to know that she knows what she’s doing.”

Anderson and her team of four revel in not only creating hand pies that the community covets, but also for offering a friendly, welcoming shop for customers. “Everyone is just so happy to be there,” Nissen said. “We've created a little safe haven of joy in the community. This is a little safe spot to come and interact with people. We have this little pie shop, and it’s the place where everyone who walks through the door feels welcome. Our pies fill you with the best childhood memories wrapped in a buttery crust.”

Anderson and her team still sell at the Omaha Farmers Market in Aksarben Village during the summer months, largely because they enjoy the experience. Anderson has been known to wander off to peruse the offerings from the other merchants and frequently returns with ingredients for the next week’s hand pies.

She’s been approached by coffee shops that want to source her hand pies, to which she has thus far declined. Her plan for Carter & Rye’s future is to “establish deeper roots in Omaha.” For now, though, she is enjoying her spot among successful female business owners in Omaha.

For more information about Kate Carter Anderson’s hand pies, visit

MAY 2024 // 79 //



New England to Nebraska Sand Point Serves Up Solid New England Fare

rowing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s coal and cow country, it was always the height of summer adventure to visit New England, where relatives had a modest summer beach home on Cape Cod. Sandy beaches, tidal pools, and salty waves were a world apart from coal slags, dirt roads, and dairy farms, and indulging in fresh seafood like crab, scallops, and best of all, lobster, felt like the height of indulgence and inculcated a lifelong appreciation for New England seafood.

Jon Taylor had similar childhood experiences of visiting family on both Cape Cod and in Bar Harbor, Maine. His memories are part of every dish he presents at Th ree Kids Lobster food truck, which is renowned for its lobster rolls, and now Sand Point, the restaurant he opened last fall in the Miracle Hills retail plaza off 114th and Dodge streets.

The interior achieves something somewhat miraculous—a beach-themed restaurant that isn’t cheesy. There are no hanging seafood nets, distressed lobster crates, or other such fi shing boat paraphernalia on display. Instead, the light and airy interior mimics a beach with neutrals and terra cotta upholstery on the booths and bar stools, a color that subtly mimics shifting sand. The feel is decidedly upscale, but approachable. The only detraction was the number of big-screen TVs. Call me old-fashioned, but when dining out at a nice establishment, I prefer not to be distracted by revolving images of menu items or sporting events, the latter of which will presumably be broadcast during Husker season.

MARCH/APRIL // 23 // 2024
DINING REVIEW MAY 2024 // 81 //

For my starter, I opted for the whole belly clams, which include the entire clam—the belly, neck, and strip. An iconic New England staple if ever there were one, the mollusks’ diet consists primarily of plankton and algae, which makes them both briny and sweet—and perfect for frying. My order arrived, and I had to chuckle. I selected an appetizer that I assumed would be adequate for one person with enough to share. Instead I received a platter that could best be tucked into by a table of four. The portion, shall we say, was more than generous. At $20, this was the most expensive appetizer on the menu, but given the amount of people it can feed, it felt like a t rue bargain.

Fried to a delicate crunchiness, the clams had a full, round fl avor and were meltingly tender. Accompanied by a lemon wedge (a gentle squeeze provided just enough acidic hint of citrus), the clams were well balanced with Sand Point’s zippy red pepper aioli and tangy tartar sauce. My one quibble was that the clams were “salted like the ocean,” which, in this case, was far too salty. A less robust hand with the salt shaker would certainly be recommended for this dish as well as a good, crisp beer to accompany it rather than the nice, slightly sweet Prosecco I had chosen.

My dining companion settled on a cup of the house-made lobster bisque. Th is felt like a bit of misnomer, but for the best of reasons. Th is $5 cup was actually a bowl, another generous portion that more than exceeded what was expected. It arrived with an elegant swirl of cream on top and a shot glass of sherry off to the side—all the better for simultaneously elevating and leveling the creamy richness of the bisque. A proper crustacean stock is made by using the shells—that’s where the fullness of fl avor steeps from—and that was abundantly evident in every well-coated spoonful.

For his “Maine Course,” as the menu phrased it, my guest settled on the glazed Atlantic salmon. Sautéed with a rosemary-maple glaze, the large serving size was done to a perfect pink. It fl aked easily with a light prod of the fork, but was moist with just enough spring to the touch. The glaze complemented the salmon well, allowing the rosemary, maple, and salmon to play well together, with no flavor overpowering the others. Heaping portions of vegetable risotto and haricots verts, or French green beans, rounded out the dish. The risotto had a nice “bite” texture-wise, while the haricots had just the proper bit of crunch.

For my entree, I couldn’t resist the lobster risotto, easily one of the star standouts on the menu. Creamy and cheesy, the risotto with parmesan comes plated as a squat, fl at tower over a ladling of lobster bisque. Topped with a jaunty lobster claw, the tower was studded with peas and mushrooms and fi lled with a more than generous helping of sweet lobster. I’ve dined at other establishments where lobster servings are somewhat skimpy, so I couldn’t help but be impressed at the sheer quantity included in this mouth-melting melange. The richness of the dish made this a challenge to fi nish, but I happily conceded defeat and opted to take the remainder home—but it wasn’t for lack of trying to polish off the entire plate.

For dessert, we went for New England staples: my dining companion chose the blueberry pie, whereas I decided on the Boston cream pie. The fi rst dessert had a lovely crust—buttery, fl aky, delicate, and reminiscent of a French pastry. Since we dined here in March, blueberries weren’t in peak season, so the fruit was a little lackluster. Th at’s no fault of the kitchen, and I suspect come summer, blueberry pie will be the most ordered dessert on the menu. My Boston cream pie was sinful—subtly sweet cream was sandwiched between moist cake and topped with dark chocolate and a dollop of Chantilly cream.

Service was friendly and brisk—perhaps a tad too fast for our liking. As soon as we fi nished one dish, the next appeared automatically. We’re the sort who enjoys to wait a beat or two between courses, so a little slower pace would have been appreciated. We like to linger—it helps make a meal more memorable and provides a chance for food to settle before the next plateful of food arrives.

If you can’t make it to New England’s beaches this summer, opt for the next best thing. Sand Point will satisfy any hankering you might have for clams, lobster et al. Most marvelously, this is a bang-for-your-buck type of establishment, where the food is reasonably priced and the serving sizes are impressively substantial. You can even bring your own wine (stop in the Omaha Wine Company next door beforehand), and for a $15 corkage fee, you can curate what you quaff according to your budget.

We might not have the beaches, waves, and seafood of New England in Nebraska, but we have Sand Point, a “Maine” restaurant for a taste of the Cape.

To view Sand Point’s menu, visit HouseMade Lobster Bisque

DINING REVIEW // 82 // MAY 2024

This is a bangfor-yourbuck type of establishment, where the food is reasonably priced and the serving sizes are impressively substantial.


FARE 655 N 114TH ST, I 531.466.1008



Seven Metro Area Locations:

Bellevue - 10308 S. 23rd St.

- 402.292.9096

Miracle Hills - 777 N. 114th St.

- 402.498.8855

Downtown - 1003 Capitol Ave.

- 402.763.9974

Aksarben - 2102 S. 67th St.

- 402.933.3533

Millard - 17666 Welch Plaza

- 402.933.8844

Elkhorn - 19020 Evans St.

- 402.315.1985

Plattsmouth - 2405 Oak Hill Rd.

- 402.298.4166

Voted Omaha’s #1 Sports Bar, DJ’s Dugout is locally and Vietnam Veteran owned. DJ’s Dugout features delicious burgers, wings, wraps, salads, sandwiches and an impressive drink menu. Plus, DJ’s has huge media walls full of HD TVs and projector screens. Catch all the action at DJ’s seven Omaha-area locations. Dig In... At The Dugout! —

JAMS- $$

7814 Dodge St. - 402.399.8300

17070 Wright Plz, Ste. 100 - 402.810.9600

1101 Harney St. in the OldMarket - 402.614.9333

Jams is an Omaha restaurant legacy, an “American Grill” that offers a melting pot of different styles and varieties. The dishes are made with high-quality ingredients that pair well with award-winning wines or creative cocktails. —


69th & Pacific - 402.933.2776

177th and Center St. - 402.934.9914

156th St. & W. Dodge Rd. - 402.408.1728

120th and Blondo St. - 402.991.8222

Le Peep puts a wholesome perspective on your favorite neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot. Fresh. Simple. Elegant. Inviting. We put the emphasis on people, both patrons and staff. We focus on providing each of our guests the fresh food and friendly service that they have come to expect. Open daily 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — m


1080 Capitol Ave. - 402.504.1082

Let It Fly West: 1311 S. 203rd St.

Let It Fly Sports Bar is your elevated sports bar experience! Voted Best of Omaha with two locations downtown and in west Omaha. Guests experience a unique brand of hospitality with multiple bars, expansive outdoor patios, hundreds of seats, 80 plus TVs, a 50-foot LED screen, and in-house podcast studio. The best place to watch a game and enjoy incredible food and hand-crafted cocktails! —


655 North 114th Street Omaha, NE 68154 —531-466-1008

Sand Point ‘New England Fare’ brings their favorite and unique dishes from New England to the Omaha food community. Freshest seafood, from seared crab cakes, lobster arancini, whole belly clams, New England clam chowder, lobster bisque to charcuterie boards and Angus beef tips and steak burgers, to be topped off with Boston cream pie, blueberry pie or Lemon canna cotta. Full bar to include, specialty cocktails, extensive wine lists, as well as beer and non-alcoholic drinks. –


106 S. Galvin Road, Bellevue - 402.291.6088

Since 1936, we’ve been making our world-famous Stella’s hamburgers the same way. The family secrets have been handed down to each owner, ensuring that your burger is the same as the one you fell in love with the first time you tried Stella’s. And if it’s your first time, we know you’ll be back! Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Sunday. —


1120 Jackson St. - 402.341.5827

Come experience the true taste of homemade ice cream in the Old Market. Since 1986, we’ve created gourmet ice cream flavors in small batches using rock salt and ice. We offer your favorites, plus unique flavors like margarita, green tea, Guinness, and French toast. Special orders available. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.- Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday. Noon-10 p.m. —


1130 Sterling Ridge Dr. - 531.999.3777

We have developed our menu inspired by all that touches the Pacific Ocean. Starting with fresh fish flown from Honolulu, locally sourced steaks and natural chicken with an Asian flare and pairing our dishes with tiki libations and Pacific coast wines. —


248 Olson Dr., Papillion - 531.999.3777

We opened in March of 2023 to bring a family owned bistro to the community, serving local steaks and fresh seafood. We offer a wide variety of Pacific Northwest wines, local beers, and craft cocktails. Pinot Noir translates to Pine & Black, our name originates from our love of wine. —

// 84 // MAY 2024
- Sponsored Content -
Omaha DINING GUIDE LEGEND $=$ 1-10 • $$=$ 10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$=$ 30+ 7 METRO AREA LOCATIONS | DJSDUGOUT.COM | 2023 1 t Place 2022 W NNER 3 VOTED OMAHA'S #1 SPORTS BAR! 2024 F rst Place Sports Bar


Ralston - 9735 Q St. - 402.339.1944

Bellevue - 3504 Samson Way

- 402.932.1944

Millard - 14529 F St. - 402.505.6660

Ralston, Bellevue and Millard. We are truly grateful to have been welcomed into each of these communities and welcome you in for good food, a cold drink and a comfy seat to enjoy the sport of your choosing! Determined to bring only the freshest ingredients, homemade dough and our specialty sauces to the table, we have worked hard to perfect our craft for you. Our goal is to bring the best food service to the area and show the best sports events that you want to see. Pick up and Delivery availalble. Please check website for hours of operation. —


S PEZIA - $$$

3125 S. 72nd St. - 402.391.2950

Choose Spezia for lunch or dinner, where you’ll find a casual elegance that’s perfect for business guests, get-togethers, or any special occasion. Exceptional food, wine, and service, with a delectable menu: fresh seafood, certified Angus steaks, innovative pasta, risotto, gnocchi, cioppino, lamb, entrée salads, Mediterranean chicken, flatbreads, and fresh salmon daily. Enjoy a full bar, Italian and California wines, Anniversary/Lovers’ Booth (call to reserve), private dining rooms, and wood-fired grill. Open Monday-Sunday. Cocktail hour 4-6 p.m., when all cocktails, glasses of wine, and beers are half price. Evening reservations recommended. —



7555 Pacific St. - 402.339.8006.

380 N. 114th St. - 402.330.5707

Featuring Sonoran-style cooking made fresh daily. Catering and party rooms also available.

Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sunday 4-9 p.m.


MAY 2024 // 85 // DINING GUIDE Omaha thanks to our customers for voting us the BEST BURGER IN OMAHA “ServingWorldFamousHamburgersSince1936” 106 GALVIN RD., BELLEVUE, NE • 402-291-6088 • OPEN MONDAY - SATURDAY, 11 AM - 9 PM 2024 First Place Hamburger DINING GUIDE LEGEND $=$ 1-10 • $$=$ 10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$=$ 30+

First & Third Generation 1950

Our founder Alessandro Rotella, is pictured cherishing a moment with his grandson, Louis Rotella Jr., in front of the very bakery he founded in 1921 at 2117 Pierce Street.

In 1949, Alessandro’s son, Louis Rotella Sr., alongside his brother Ameado, took over day-to day operations of the bakery, allowing their father to savor a well-deserved retirement. Their dedication laid the foundation for a tradition that has stood the test of time.

In 2009, Alessandro’s grandson, Louis Jr. became President and CEO, carrying forward the family’s passion and commitment to excellence. Their story is one of heritage, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of baking high quality breads and rolls.

private party rooms Seating up to
Lots of parking 1620 S. 10th Street 402-345-8313 2023 Winner Steakhouse Serving Omaha for 78 Years 2024 First Place Ice Cream ROTELLA
Since 1921 Celebrating over 100 Years of Baking Excellence!
Alessandro Rotella & Louis Rotella Jr. 1950 Historical
400 Seats, 80+ TVs, 2 patios Elevating the Sports bar Experience! 1080 Capitol Ave • 402.504.1082 Let it fly West • 1311 S. 203rd St. 2024 Winner NewBar-Winter 2022toFall2023

Voted Omaha’s Best Breakfast 17 years in a row!

Locally owned and operated since 2001!

Open 7 days a week

• 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

156th & Dodge | 402-408-1728

• 177th & Center | 402-934-9914

120th & Blondo | 402-991-8222

• 69th & Pacific | 402-933-2776

• @LePeepOmaha


LA MESA - $$

158th St. and W. Maple Rd. - 402.557.6130

156th and Q streets

- 402.763.2555

110th St. and W. Maple Rd. - 402.496.1101

Fort Crook Rd. and Hwy 370 - 402.733.8754

84th St. and Tara Plaza - 402.593.0983

Lake Manawa Exit - 712.256.2762

Enjoy awesome appetizers, excellent enchilada’s, fabulous fajitas, seafood specialties, mouthwatering margaritas and much more at La Mesa! Come see why La Mesa has been voted Best of Omaha’s 20 Years in a Row! Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. — m


5914 Center St., Omaha, NE

- 402.322.8141

930 5th Ave., Council Bluffs, IA - 712.256.5200

Family owned and operated since 2010, Primo’s Modern Mexican utilizes the freshest ingredients to bring both authentic Mexican and Southwest-style dishes to life with flare and unrivaled flavor. With recipes passed down over four generations, a familyfriendly atmosphere, and plates to satisfy cravings at every hour—with breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus offering a variety of Mexican staples—Primo’s Mexican Restaurant is proud to serve the people of Omaha and Council Bluffs no matter the occasion. —



3821 Center St. - 402.346.1528

Greek cuisine with specials every day at reasonable prices. We are well-known for our gyro sandwiches and salads. We cater and can accommodate a party for 65 guests. Carry-out and delivery available.


11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday

11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


MAY 2024 // 87 //
1-10 • $$=$ 10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$=$ 30+
2023 F rs Place W itSt & Se vice


West - 132nd and Center

Downtown - 25th and Farnam

One Pacific Place

- Drive Thru Kiosk next to Trader Joes

Zen features over 50 popular drink options including Butter Beer, Honey Bee, Lavender Lady and Sunshine Daydream. Choose from hot or iced lattes, blenders, fruit smoothies and teas! Grab a flight or double cup to try the seasonal features! Delicious pastries and toasts made in house daily. —



1620 S. 10th St. - 402-345-8313

Cascio’s is Omaha’s No. 1 steakhouse. We have been serving Omaha for 69 years. We feature steaks, chops, seafood, and Italian specialties. We have seven private party rooms, seating for up to 400 people, and plenty of parking. —


2121 S. 73rd St. - 402-391-7440

Famous for the original Whiskey Steak. Truly a oneof-a-kind Midwestern experience. Excellent food, wine, service, and value. Rare...and very well done.

LUNCH: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., DINNER: Monday-Friday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.,

Saturday 4:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.,

Sunday 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m., LOUNGE: Monday-Friday Cocktails only 2 p.m.-5 p.m. —

TWISTED CORK BISTRO - $$ 10370 Pacific St. - 531.999.3777

We arrived in Nebraska from Washington intent on purchasing from farmers, ranchers & fishmongers who share our commitment for wholesome, sustainable fare. Our recipes use the Earth’s bounty the way it is intended ~ Wild and Natural ~ We compliment our dishes, pairing them with exquisite Pacific Northwest wines. –



Both locations are open for BREAKFAST AT 7 A.M.

// 88 // MAY 2024
Find the best food in Omaha! PRIMO’S OMAHA 5914 Center Street
Omaha, NE 68106 402-322-8141
PRIMO’S COUNCIL BLUFFS 930 5th Ave. | Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712-256-5200
2024 First Place Steakhouse
Drover Restaurant & Lounge | Gift Cards Available 2121 S. 73
391-7440 Lunch M-F 11am-2pm | Dinner M-F 5pm-10 PM Sat 4:30pm-10:30pm • Sun 4:30pm-9pm | Lounge M-F Cocktails Only 2-5pm
St. | (402)
2023 First Place Greek Dining
DINING GUIDE Omaha Family Owned Since 1983 CATERING / PARTY ROOM AVAILABLE HOMEMADE, FRESH FOOD, ALWAYS. 3821 Center St. / 402.346.1528
MAY 2024 // 89 // Charlie’s on the Lake 4150 South 144th St. Omaha NE 68137 402-894-9411 248 Olson Drive | Papillion 1130 Sterling Ridge Drive | Omaha 655 N 114th St, Omaha NE 68154 531.466.1008

come and





WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY? May 2 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln Experience this knee-slapping live tour featuring the improv comedians you know and love from the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?”



May 5 in Lincoln

This marathon is a great running experience through the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Our event offers something for runners of all ages and abilities, from elite runners to everyday athletes looking to accomplish a fitness goal. —


SEETHER May 5–6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln Staind was formed in 1995 in their hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. Over the course of their career, the band has released seven studio albums and eight top 10 singles, selling over 15 million albums worldwide, including the 2023 “Confessions of the Fallen.”

— detail/staind-with-seether

May 2


May 9 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and renowned soprano Larisa Martinez are joined by celebrated pianist Peter Dugan for “Voice and the Violin,” an evening of beloved romantic arias and modern classics, featuring music Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Puccini, Bernstein, and more. Don’t miss this unique collaboration celebrating Bell’s return to the Lied Center stage. — joshua-bell-and-larisa-martínez


May 10 at Mahoney State Park in Ashland Enjoy unlimited tastings of wine, craft beer, and spirits while you enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Mahoney State Park. Live music, artisan vendors, food trucks, lawn games, and much more await! — spring-sip-nebraska-2558559


May 15 at the Pinewood Bowl Theater in Lincoln With a seven-decade career, Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. 402.904.4444 — willienelsonandfamily2024/


May 18–19 at Sandhills Global Event Center in Lincoln

The all-breed dog show includes three benched coonhound shows, nine open shows and concurrent specialities shows. —


TOUR May 21 at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln For over 20 years, more than three million people in 31 countries have been enchanted by Gregorian’s live performances. These eight classically trained English vocalists have never failed to bring audiences to their feet multiple times at every show. —


FESTIVAL May 31 at Pals Brewing Company in North Platte Shop craft vendors among blues and country music at this weekend of fun in North Platte.



TULIP TIME 2024 May 2—4 at The Cellar Peanut Pub in Pella Discover the best beer festivals in Pella and enjoy a variety of craft beers from local and international breweries. Learn about the history and culture of beer making and listen to live music at this festival.


MAIFEST AT MILLSTREAM BREWING CO. May 3–5 at Millstream Brewing Co. in Amana Celebrate Maifest & spring all weekend long at Millstream Brewing Co. with a Rock 108 Mai Bock in your hand! Live music and food fill this weekend of fun.

— event/maifest-at-millstreambrewing-co-3/

HOGBACK GRVL May 4 at Kinship Brewery in Waukee Goldpacked limestone gravel roads, lush valleys, and a Midwest racing experience you’ll look forward to each weekend until it arrives— Hogback GRVL offers 70-mile and 40-mile courses to bike. Whether you’re trying to push yourself or take a leisurely ride on a scenic route, this event caters to you.

— hogback-grvl

// 90 // MAY 2024

MJ: THE MUSICAL May 5 at the Des Moines Civic Center in Des Moines He is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Now, Michael Jackson’s unique and unparalleled artistry comes to cities across the United States as “MJ,” the multi-Tony Awardwinning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 "Dangerous World Tour,” begins a tour of its own. “MJ” goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.

— shows/iowa-theater/ mj-the-musical_1718177/

ARCHITECTURE ON THE MOVE: GUIDED WALKING TOURS OF DOWNTOWN DES MOINES May 10 at Capital Square in Des Moines The Iowa Architectural Foundation is offering architect-led sidewalk tours of Downtown Des Moines. The tours provide an opportunity for local residents and visitors to appreciate the architectural treasures of Iowa's capital city. With four route options (north, south, east, west), this educational opportunity offers insight into the whole city and its beautiful buildings.

— architecture-on-the-moveguided-walking-tours-ofdowntown-des-moinestickets-778418439507


17–8 at Horizon Events Center in Clive The Greenbelt Music Festival is a two day outdoor music festival featuring national and local live entertainment and activities for all ages.

— greenbelt-music-festivaltickets-764536498247


TASTING May 18 at St. Ambrose University in Davenport Join hundreds of wine enthusiasts in an outdoor setting under the Ambrosian Oaks. Sip your way through a spectacular assortment of 150 wines from around the world and try culinary highlights from Quad Cities Restaurants.

— 200025441090945?ref=eventlist-cat

CHICAGO May 18–19 at Vibrant Music Hall in Waukee One of the giants of American rock, Chicago is still going strong after half a century. The selfproclaimed “Rock & Roll band with horns" produced hit after hit in the '70s and '80s, including the iconic ballad “If You Leave Me Now,” as well as “Baby, What A Big Surprise” and “Old Days.” Don't miss them live in 2024 as they hit the road! — vibrant-music-hall/chicago-theband.php

May 30


May 30 at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville Chip in for the kids during the 2024 Iowa Children’s Open, presented by Advantage and United Iowa Financial. Beyond having fun on the links, you will help raise essential funds to further the Iowa Children’s Museum’s mission and fuel their many community programs.

— iowa-childrens-open-2024


CARMINA BURANA May 18–19 at the University of Iowa School of Music, Voxman Building, in Iowa City Paired with Barber’s Symphony No. 1, featuring cycling themes that wax and wane through darkness and light, this concert will be a riveting experience you won’t soon forget! —


May 25 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames Country fans won’t want to miss this legendary concert featuring three of the biggest names in the genre. —

May 25

JOSH SNEED May 25 at Funny Bone in Des Moines Josh Sneed is a nationally touring comedian who’s had appearances on Comedy Central, including his own comedy special. He’s been seen on Last Comic Standing and has shared the stage with big names in comedy like Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan, Ron White, and Kevin Hart. 515.270.2100 —


May 25–27 at the Amana Soccer Fields in Amana Come experience a weekend of live entertainment featuring comedy, swordplay, music, magic, and even horseback jousting. Explore a marketplace full of unique merchandise from around the land. Enjoy tasty treats and drinks in the royal food court (including adult libations like honey mead). The village awaits your visit! —

May 31—June 2 at 2201 George Flagg Pkwy in Des Moines Proceeds from this car show will go to Blank Children’s Hospital.




May 3 at Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center in Olathe "May the Forest be with You" is an exciting outdoor/indoor event for families that combines the wonder of nature and space science with the magic of Star Wars®. Families will attend a Jedi academy and explore outer space in a state-of-the-art planetarium. Meet your favorite Star Wars® characters and immerse yourself in a faraway galaxy. This event is perfect for families with children ages 5–15. Costumes are encouraged!


MILLFEST 2024 May 4 at Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum in Lindsborg This family event celebrating the history of the mill and the pioneer heritage of the region features guided tours of the mill in operation. Professional millers run the mill and tours are available for visitors age 13 and older. Other activities include a traditional arts fair, including a quilt show, live musical entertainment, and great food.

— millfest-2024-featuring-120thanniversary-of-the-swedishpavilion/200025108023819

SIP & SHOP May 11 at KC Wine Co in Olathe This unique shopping experience combines the best of both worlds–delicious wine and fantastic local products.

— upcoming-events/sip-shop-051124

MAY 2024 // 91 //

CAKE MAY 16 at WAVE in Wichita

American alternative rock band Cake is coming to Wichita, Kansas this May! Don’t miss their famous classics like “Short Skirt, Long Jacket,” “Frank Sinatra,” “Comfort Eagle,” and “The Distance.” —


May 17—19 at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg The Four State Farm Show is an annual event that brings together agricultural production and agribusiness. The first show was held in March 1975 at the National Guard Armory in Pittsburg, Kansas, and has since grown to become a large-scale event with over 60 exhibits. — four-state-farm-show-2024


May 24—26 at Downtown Lawrence Inc. in Lawrence “A celebration of street performing,” this festival lights up downtown Lawrence this May in its 16th year. From circusstyle performers to magicians to live comedy, the streets will be filled with an abundance of entertainment for the whole family. —

WORDS & MUSIC SERIES: “STAYIN’ ALIVE” May 25–26 at the Forum Theatre in Wichita Get ready for some “Jive Talkin’” with Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibbs, the trio of brothers who ushered in the era of disco. With over 220 million records sold worldwide, the Bee Gees are among the best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the most successful trio in the history of contemporary music. You’ll need your disco shoes for this one!

— stayin-alive-the-bee-gees/


May 31—June 8 along the Arkansas River in Wichita As Kansas’ largest community event, Riverfest is the perfect place to promote your business, sell food, perform as talent, support, and volunteer. —

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GRETA VAN FLEET May 2 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City Greta Van Fleet is a blues-rock band from Frankenmuth, Michigan, featuring Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and Danny Wagner. — greta-van-fleet-tickets/kansas-city

AN EVENING WITH YO-YO MA May 3 at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis

Any appearance by Yo-Yo Ma is an extraordinary event. Edward Elgar’s popular concerto is the perfect vehicle for Ma’s blend of keen intelligence and a firmly beating heart. And Stéphane Denève is on home soil for the delicate, multi-layered textures of Claude Debussy’s portrait of the ocean, La Mer. —


FESTIVAL May 4 at St. Louis Muny Theater in Forest Park in St. Louis

This St. Louis annual premiere craft beer tasting festival features beers from dozens of North American craft breweries and international beers, as well as great food from area restaurants. This event will feature over 80 craft beers and 50 international beers along with live music, a home-brew competition, and more.

— st-louis-microfest

CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL May 4 at Nebula in St. Louis A celebration of the rich Hispanic culture within the Cherokee neighborhood and surrounding south St. Louis area. This annual festival features live music on three separate stages, an assortment of authentic Mexican refreshments and other ethnic food and drinks. There will also be live art demonstrations, street performers, a People's Joy Parade at 1:11 pm, Lucha Libre Wrestling, and Mechanical Bull Rides. — cinco-de-mayo


How much fun can you pack into a trip to Lincoln? A relaxing and stress-free vacation is waiting for you. Trek around town at your leisure and discover a surprise around every corner.

play all day long in a world of big toys and big fun!

MAY 2024 // 93 //
Lincoln Children’s Zoo LINCOLN.ORG/ OMAHAMAG

What else?

What else? How about tanking, canoeing, golf, horseback riding, the world’s largest railyard and a tower to view it, locomotives, preserved settler’s houses, Buffalo Bill’s ranch, Nebraska’s best rodeo, breweries, a winery, the Sandhill Crane migration, the National Avocado Launching Championship, the best tourist trap on I-80, lakes, fishing, camping and a Qdoba because some people need queso.

That’s quite the list, but it’s not everything you’ll find in North Platte. For that, go to


| DISCOVER MORE AT Fake Cowboy World’s Largest Railyard Unexpected Good Time


So, last week while I was approaching the Hillary Step on my third attempt to summit Mount Everest, I began to ask myself if all the effort was worth it. As I looked up ahead of me at the mob scrambling up the ropes set into the rocky face and then below me at the long line of adventurers sucking on their frost-flecked O2 masks. They had joined me there in the Death Zone 28,838 feet up in the thin Nepalese air, where I could see the idiocy of the entire endeavor. Billionaires, socialites, trust-fund babies, retired optometrists, bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, and a hedge fund manager fleeing an indictment in American Samoa all strung out on the knife edge ridge that leads to this, the final barrier between these so called “adventurers” and the literal top of the world.

I felt myself growing dizzy. Dizzy with the idiocy of the enterprise. Dizzy as my vision narrowed into a black and white tunnel of approaching unconsciousness. Dizzy as Tommy Roe on a Tilt-a-Whirl…Wait…What?

I shook my head to clear away the mental fog…The voice came out of the void…

“Paper or plastic, sir?”

At long last, I had made it to the front of the queue.

“Paper…and double sack everything. Thanks,” I said.

Hazel–that’s what her smiley face name tag said–started scanning my yogurt while Mary Lou vainly wrestled with the paper sacks trying to insert one into the other. Back in my teenage years I had once been a grocery sacker–yes, back in the Golden Age of sacking. I had mastered the art of double sacking, and as I watched her struggle, I had to consciously hold myself back. I mean, I was sympathetic, but in the end,

thought it best that she learned for herself, don’t you think? I believe that true Art emerges from the struggle. Mary Lou was on her own.

As Hazel progressed to my orange juice (extra pulp), my frozen chipped beef (for my favorite dish of S.O.S.)., and the rest of my curated purchases… Note: I prefer to “curate” my groceries as opposed to “shopping” for them… It’s classier. Anyway, as Hazel scanned and Mary Lou sacked, I looked over at the self-checkout area.

There is no adventure there, no thrill, none of the danger involved in letting random people handle your food, or potentially place your eggs under your cantaloupes. The only slight bit of excitement involved is when you are forced to face the dreaded “Look Up Item” prompt, and you have to swipe through endless pictures of green leafy vegetables, none that match your organic Slow Bolt Arugula. No one can help you then.

Day-to-day life can be so mundane. But in the midst of our routines, there are so many adventures to be had. Skip the self-checkout. Brave the congestion at Lane Number 9 where Hazel is spraying disinfectant on the stuttering black conveyor flecked with beads of 2% milk and a suspicious blueish stain that keeps reappearing as the belt repeats, repeats, repeats…

Why brave Lane Number 9?

Why? Well, as George Mallory said on the slopes of Everest in 1923: “Because it’s there.”

Listen to Otis Twelve host “Morning Classics,” Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 6AM—10AM, on KVNO, Omaha Classical Radio, 90.7 or

MAY // 96 // 2024

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