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GET YOUR TICKETS AT THE ROCK SHOP OR ONLINE AT WWW.HARDROCKCASINOSIOUXCITY.COM 111 3RD STREET

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Must be 21 or older to attend events at Anthem. Events held at Battery Park are open to all ages. No carry-in food or beverages allowed. Management reserves all rights. If you or someone you know needs gambling treatment call 800.BETS OFF.

| THE READER |

MAY 2017

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2017 GUIDE

2017 GUIDE

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Stir Cove’s Concert Guide (INSERT INSIDE)

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Sowing Seeds of Giving, Omaha philanthropy

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2017 GUIDE

HEARTAND HEALING: Soap with Soul

TICKETS ON

SALE NOW

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EAT: Where to Feed Your Need for Coffee

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PICKS: Cool Things To Do in the Month of May

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ART: Recent Public Art Installations in Omaha

All Ages Permitted. Tickets available at Stircove.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Schedule and artist subject to change. Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF (In Iowa) or 1-800-522-4700 (National). © 2017, Caesars License Company, LLC.

1575_STA_10x10_StirCove_Ad_V2.indd 1

4/17/17 2:38 PM

Stir Cove Concert Series 2017 Guide (INSERT INSIDE)

Publisher/Editor John Heaston john@thereader.com Graphic Designer Ken Guthrie, Sebastian Molina Assistant Editor JoAnna LeFlore listings@thereader.com

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STAGE: Superior Donuts Facing The Truth

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FEATURE: South Omaha Takes Center Stage

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MUSIC: Colossal Steps Josh Hoyer

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS heartland healing: Michael Braunstein info@heartlandhealing.com arts/visual: Mike Krainak mixedmedia@thereader.com eat: Sara Locke crumbs@thereader.com film: Ryan Syrek cuttingroom@thereader.com hoodoo: B.J. Huchtemann bjhuchtemann@gmail.com music: James Walmsley backbeat@thereader.com over the edge: Tim McMahan tim.mcmahan@gmail.com theater: coldcream@thereader.com

OUR SISTER MEDIA CHANNELS

SALES & MARKETING Dinah Gomez dinah@thereader.com Kati Falk kati@thereader.com DISTRIBUTION/DIGITAL Clay Seaman clay@thereader.com OFFICE ASSISTANT Salvador Robles sal@thereader.com PHOTOGRAPHY Debra S. Kaplan debra@thereader.com

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HOODOO BLUES: Summertime Blues MAY MAY 2017 2017

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FILM: I Hope You Get Scurvy

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CONTENTS CONTENTS

HOODOO BLUES: Tim Kasher’s Resolutions

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MAY 2017

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Opening Reception and Cinco de Mayo Historical Exhibit South Omaha Museum 2314 M Street 5:00 p.m.

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Free to Public

FRIDAY, MAY 5

Miss/Junior Miss/Little Miss Coronation Main Stage (Plaza) 5:00 p.m. Concert - La Maquinaria Nortena Main Stage (Plaza) 7:00 p.m. $1 O Admission I Free 12 & Under

SATURDAY, MAY 6

Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade (NE Statehood 150) 24th Street (D to L) 10:00 a.m. Health Fair 24th Street & M Street 12:00 p.m.

Food Rides Exhibitors Kid's Section Music

SUNDAY, MAY 7

Mariachi Mass Main Stage (Plaza) 10:30 a.m. Christian Service 24th & O Street Stage 11:30 a.m. Victory Boxing 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Omaha Showdown Omaha South High School - Collin Stadium 1:00 p.m. $10 Admission

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Concert - HOROSCOPOS Main Stage (Plaza) 3:00 p.m. $1 O Admission

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| THE READER |

MAY 2017

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Summer Youth Jobs S

ummer is right around the corner. It’s an excellent opportunity for young people to get their feet wet in a job that will pad their wallets while also giving them valuable work experience. The right job can provide even more, boosting the self-confidence of young workers and perhaps compelling them toward an eventual desired career. The jobs of summer Opportunities arise in the hot months that aren’t necessarily as abundant the rest of the year. Being a lifeguard at a local outdoor pool is only one example of summer jobs where teens and young adults dominate the roster of employees. Snack shacks at outdoor venues, daycare facilities for school-aged children, and caddying at golf courses are all summer jobs that take advantage of the nice weather and

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MAY 2017

happen to correspond with the time young people are out of school. If a summer job will be your very first job, don’t feel intimidated by the process of applying. Even without formal work experience, you may be qualified based on volunteer work or schooling. Forbes suggests young people look toward the following summer jobs as the best options available: Camp counselor Retail sales Food service Housekeeping Tutoring Try seeking a job where your talents will be most appreciated. If you’re great with kids, then a camp counselor position will allow you to shine. But if kids annoy you to no end, you probably don’t want to spend your summer looking after them. Whatever job you land, be prepared

| THE READER |

OMAHA JOBS

to show up on time every day and do the jobs assigned to you without complaint. You never know when a summer job could lead to something more. Young entrepreneurs Working a job doesn’t always have to mean punching a time clock day after day. Youth with an entrepreneurial spirit can make their own hours as lawn care professionals, nannies, mothers’ helpers or dog walkers. The key to being successful is to aggressively pursue customers. Treat growing your summer business as though it’s your main job and work on it every day, whether that means going door to door (with an adult in tow) to speak to neighbors about your lawn mowing rates or crafting eye-catching flyers for your babysitting services. Note that in Omaha, there are statutes that prohibit leaving flyers on cars or doors without special permits. A job well done will be your best bet for returning customers. Do a lousy job and it’s likely your customer base will shrink to zero.

Summer job programs The Omaha area provides summer employment programs to help young people find suitable work. Though application deadlines for these programs have passed for this year, it’s good to be aware of the programs so you are ready for next year. The City of Omaha sponsors the Step Up! summer employment program every year. The program is available to youth in ages 14 to 21. Goodwill also hosts a summer employment program for youth and includes college preparedness programs. Youth employment regulations There are certain laws in place that are designed to protect employed individuals under the age of 18. These laws prohibit youth from working potentially hazardous jobs and limit the number of hours that they can worked. The restrictions for working hours are substantially relaxed during the summer months while school is out. The State of Nebraska requires work permits for youth aged 14 and 15 to allow work hours before 6 a.m. or after


10 p.m. when school is out. Further, Nebraska specifies that youth under the age of 16 are not permitted to work in jobs where their morals may be depraved. The rules change when youth work for parents or guardians. As long as the family business is not mining or manufacturing, there are no minimum age regulations for youth employment. The exception to this is any job where a minimum age requirement is 18, such as jobs requiring the sale of alcohol. Employment laws and regulations for youth age 16 and under may not apply if the youth is married. And while the State of Nebraska does not issue marriage licenses to anyone under 17 – even with parental consent – this is not the case with all states. Wages According to the U.S. Department of Labor, youth under the age of 20 may be paid at a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour, but this only applies to the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment. In Nebraska, as a student you may earn a “training wage,” which is 75 percent of Nebraska’s minimum wage of $9 an hour. Certain minimum wage differences can apply with jobs where tips are involved. Make no mistake about it – you should be paid for the work you do. State and federal laws protect you from working “off the clock,” so get to know these laws before you start working.

TG Senior Associate for Kiewit Corporation (Omaha, NE)

Work with functional analysts, technical analysts, and business partners to gather requirements and provide best technical solution for complex integration requirements. Requirements: Master’s* degree in Computer Applications, Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related. 3 years’ experience as a System Engineer, Sr. Software Engineer or related IT occupation. Post bachelor’s experience (3 years with a Master’s or 5 years with a Bachelor’s) is required and must include: Full life cycle of SAP XI 3.0/7.1/7.3/PO(single and Dual stack) implementation and complex integration with SAP and non-SAP Systems (Survey Gizmo, Heiler, DOTS, Hybris, Ariba and Service Now); Message Mapping, XSLT Mapping, alert configuration and custom development in SAP XI/PI/PO such as Java Mapping, Java Client/Server Proxy, Custom Adapter Modules and Custom Adapter development; custom encryption/decryption module and custom module to convert EDI to XML; configuring JMS,SOAP AXIS,SFSF,ODATA and Advantco REST and SFTP adapters and standards such as SSH,REST/ JSON,ODATA,SOAP/WSDL,OAUTH,NTLM and WSS Security; ccBPM, NBPM/BRM complex requirements and EDI standards. * Employer will accept a bachelor’s degree and 5 years’ experience in lieu of a master’s degree and 3 years’ experience. Apply on-line at http://www.kiewit.com/ careers/ and reference req#64681.

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ProKarma Jobs

Quality Assurance Analyst #QAA0417

ProKarma, Inc. has mult opnings for Quality Assurance Analyst in Omaha, NE; may also work at various unanticipated lctns. Roving position-employee’s worksite & residence may chnge based on clnt & bsnss dmnds. No trvl rqurmnt; prfrmng daily job duties doesn’t require trvl. Will support plnning, dsgn & exctn of systm tsting on implemntatns; dvlp test plans, cases, scripts, reports; test various SW. Requires Bachelor’s, or for equiv or equiv based on combo of edu/exp/trning, in CIS, IT,CS, MIS, Elctrcl Eng, SW Eng, Eng (any), or or relt’d tech/ anlytcl field + 2 yrs exp in the job offered or IT/Computer-related pstn. Requires prof exp. with: Core Java, Selenium, Junit, Jenkins, Soup UI/Rest Webservice testing. Suitable comb. of edu/training/exp accptble.

TO APPLY, SEND RESUMES TO:

ProKarma, Attn: Jobs,

222 S 15th St., Ste 505N, Omaha, NE 68102, Or email: postings@prokarma.com w/Job Ref# in subject line

ProKarma Jobs

Business Systems Analyst #SAP0417

ProKarma, Inc. has mltpl openings for Business Systems Analyst in Omaha, NE; may also work at unantcptd locatns. Roving pstn-employee’s worksite & residence may chng based on client & busnss demands. No trvl rqurmnt; prfrmng daily job duties doesn’t req trvl. Will anlyze-dvlp-test BI strctrs & mdls based on SAP BW & SAP BOBJ; define sltn, test plnning, & crdntng systm rollouts. Req’s master’s, or for. equiv, in CIS, IT, CS, BA, Finance, E-com, Eng (any) or relt’d tech/anlytcl field+ at least 1 yr exp in job offrd or BI/IT/Comprelt’d pstn. Emplyr also accpt bachelor’s, or foreign equiv, in CIS, IT, CS, BA, Finance, E-com, Eng (any) or relt’d tech/anlytcl field + at least 5 yr progressive post-bachelor’s exp in job offrd or BI/IT/Comp-relt’d pstn. Req’s prof. exp conducting SW applctn dvlpmnt prjcts using SAP BW (BW Workbench, R/3 ETL, Bex analyzer, Bex query designer), SAP BOBJ (BOBJ Web Intelligence). Suitbl combo of edu/training/exp accptbl.

TO APPLY, SEND RESUMES TO:

ProKarma, Inc. Attn: Jobs,

222 S 15th St., Ste 505N, Omaha, NE 68102, or email: postings@prokarma.com w/Job Ref# in subject line

OMAHA JOBS

| THE READER |

MAY 2017

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Sowing the Seeds of Giving A New Approach to Addressing Community Needs Is Taking Root As the Public Sector Stumbles b y L E O A D A M B I G A

O

maha charitable giving turns on a funding wheel of corporate, foundation and individual donors of all levels. This month’s “Omaha Gives!” is a prime example of how that wheel has expanded. This city with its high concentration of millionaires, one certifiable mega-billionaire and large corporate and family foundations is widely heralded for its generosity. Omaha’s no different than any other city, though, in relying on giving to fill gaps. Philanthropy fills the gulf between what nonprofits may generate and what they get from public (government) funding sources. There are also funding conduits or facilitators. The Reader recently interviewed three local leaders from three key organizations – the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Community Foundation and United Way -- intimately involved in the fabric of Omaha giving for insight into how philanthropy gets activated here. While the wheel has been turning for some time and can be credited with a lot of progress, so far intractable problems are encouraging a new approach at the highest levels. These efforts will be key in defining our future as a city. Annually, organizations seek support for ongoing needs ranging from services, programs, events and activities to operating expenses. Special needs may also arise, such as capital construction projects or larger-scale civic endeavors requiring special asks. The giving sector is starting to work more collaboratively to identify and address persistent and emerging communitywide needs. Corporate, foundation, civic and other leaders have always convened to analyze and delegate where resources should go. This vetting and ranking explains why

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some efforts get funded and others don’t or why some programs are supported at higher levels than others. Curating simply prioritizes some things over others. Different players have their own funding missions or targets, but still join others in supporting special initiatives, campaigns or projects that require more collective impact. All these efforts measure what kind of city Omaha is. Giving shapes the physical and intangible landscape – from infrastructure, skyline, parks and other amenities to health, vitality, livability and compassion. Everyone now agrees that no one organization or philanthropist can make much of a difference alone. It’s in the giving power of many that real change can occur.

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P hotograph y b y D eb r a K a p la n economic development partnership and it’s a radical departure from previous efforts. PresidentCEO David Brown said, “We have a bifurcated agenda to provide services to our 3,200 business members and to figure out ways to grow and improve the community. Development and growth assumes if we can make it a better and growing community, our member firms will benefit and be able to hire more people – and there’s a great spinoff benefit from that. “We believe we should be a catalyst organization always thinking about ways we can improve the community at large, which again makes it a better place to live, work and play. We do that by not just working independently of others but in most cases collaborating with other organizations.”

Examples of the Chamber’s catalytic work include working with community partners to create David Brown, Careerockit, a week-long event in Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce April that exposed 10,000-plus area students to thousands of career opportunities, and to get Omaha designated a TechHire The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce works with Community, which adds the city to a national network receivthe giving community to fulfill its goals. Prosper Omaha ing support for helping overlooked and underrepresented (2014-2018) is the latest funding program for the Chamber’s populations start technology careers. The Chamber also part-

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nered to develop The Kitchen Council, a food startup incubator that gives members access to a fully-licensed commercial kitchen and other resources to lower barriers of entry and to spur entrepreneurship. When the Chamber throws its weight behind something, ripples usually happen. “We get a lot done in large measure because we collaborate with people who have the authority to get things done,” Brown said. “Our public advocacy work is really important for us to be able to cause change to happen. Frankly, the Chamber cannot pass a zoning ordinance but we can encourage other people to do so. We can’t fix roads, but we can encourage the city or state administration to do so. Our role can only be effective if we can convene people who have similar goals in mind and can figure out a path forward to solving a problem or addressing a challenge. “We are always thinking about what’s the next change that should happen. Then the next logical question is, who’s responsible for seeing that that change occurs and how can we build a collaborative process to bring all the people interested in this issue to the table and actually cause that change to occur.” The Chamber’s involved in things, he said, “that might surprise folks,” such as supporting education reform, investing in talent development and the retainment of young professionals to address the brain drain issue,” along with community-economic-entrepreneurship development. “We also worry about infrastructure. So transportation, especially the discussion about mass transit, is something we’re involved in.” On a big picture scale, the Chamber engages in strategic planning. Rather than focusing almost exclusively on chasing “smokestack” industries, for the first time the Chamber has engaged a futurist and really expanded it’s community partnerships. For being one of the most highly awarded chamber organizations in the country, it’s not resting on its laurels. “Right now we’re going through a Strategic Foresight process. We’ve hired economist Rebecca Ryan from Next Generation Consulting as a Futurist-in Residence. She’s helping us think about what the future of Omaha, particularly from an economic perspective, could be 20 years from now. We’ve asked as partners the Urban League of Nebraska and the United Way of the Midlands to be with us in this. We’re all thinking about what not only the economy needs to look like but what disruptions would happen if that economy were to come to fruition or what disruptions might keep us from accomplishing the kind of future we’re looking for.” United Way executive director Shawna Forsberg said, “Much to the Chambers credit they’re not just looking at it from a business perspective. They’ve invited representation from the human services and inclusivity sides. It’s very thoughtfully run. Numerous stakeholders and influences are being brought to the table during this process so that it is a community weighing in on what needs to happen.”

Part of Ryan’s futurist work is spent with various local nonprofit boards and planning committees teaching them strategic planning tools. Key to longterm thinking is capacity building, another emerging tactic being picked up by another key player in the giving landscape. Helping nonprofits be sustainable is a focus of the Omaha Community Foundation, whose Nonprofit Capacity Building program’s 24-month curriculum is designed Sara Boyd, Omaha-Community-Foundation to strengthen organizational and leadership capacity needs. Ten area nonprofits “For people living in poverty it’s not just one thing that’s are chosen each year to participate. Forty nine organizations going to fix it. Typically, there’s multiple things that need to be have gone through the program. Currently, 20 organizations addressed,” explained United Way Executive Director Shaware in the program (10 in their first year and 10 in their secna Forsberg. She said responding to complex issues means” ond year). being consistent but also flexible and nimble enough “ to Education is a core focus of the foundation, the United adapt as needed. “We’re blessed that we have really strong Way and the Chamber. networks and we work with so many different programs and “I think education is the base for the kind of develop- agencies that it lends itself to really a community-wide underment we’re going to have to see in the future,” Brown said. standing of where opportunities can arise.” “We’ve got to make sure our kids, whether the most affluent or the least affluent, whether in North Omaha, West Omaha, Council Bluffs or Sarpy County, are getting the best education they can get. We have a community with about 3 percent unemployment and yet we know there are pockets of higher unemployment. What causes that higher unemployment isn’t lack of jobs in many cases, it’s lack of preparedness, strong education or a high school diploma.

“There are some extenuating circumstances, such as lack of transportation, that keep people from being an active part of the workforce and we’ve got to mitigate those in some way or another. If we don’t, companies won’t find the people they need here and will look somewhere else. We’ve got to get as many people ready to work as possible in the areas where we know people can be hired and earn a great wage. So, education and transportation are things we’re paying a lot of attention to. Mass transit system improvement is pervasive in all of our conversations.” Alleviating the high poverty that persists relates back to education and workforce development, Brown said. Long the leading organization in fighting poverty and funding human services, the United Way is evolving from being more of a funding conduit to an accountability organization. With so many community problems intertwined and with so many efforts yielding such little success over the years, a new approach was demanded.

She said agencies like hers recognize the “need for more qualified individuals to hit the workforce.” “We want to work in concert with those who can provide those unique opportunities.” Meanwhile, the state’s budget deficit has cut into public education, services and programs. Possible federal cuts to arts and human services funding loom large. “It’s a very interesting time politically trying to understand what’s going to be coming regarding funding sources for many programs vital in the community,” Forsberg said. “It’s something we’re watching very carefully. It’s why advocacy and public policy is something we have to be involved with also.” “There are resource constraints today because of budget challenges at the state and federal levels that affect the sector at large and changes the dynamics of what funding might look like,” said OCF Executive Director Sara Boyd, “What is the affect of that on some of our more vulnerable populations? There are some people who are already vulnerable we don’t want to find in even worse situations. What does that mean for how we think about the work we do and how we invest as a community? Because of the uncertainty of some of the changes that may occur, it’s difficult sometimes to place a bet on where to invest. I don’t think there are answers yet.” continued on page 12 y

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Forsberg said United Way’s historic mission is to “help those neighbors that need assistance” through a “safety net of services.” She added, “United Way will never depart from providing funding for critical programs to help people in dire straits, whether it be food security, safe housing, access to health care, escaping domestic violence. That is core to what we do.” An example of United Way tracking and responding to such needs, Forsberg said, is its Financial Stability Work Task Force. “It identified a group of people being lost through the cracks called Opportune Youth – 16 to 24 year-olds either not working or not in school. There was a myriad of organizations working with these individuals but it wasn’t a coordinated effort. Now we have 30 different agencies at the table doing essential intake. We’re partnering with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and leveraging the work of Project Everlast to extend that work into new areas because people can end up in this category in multiple ways.” The resulting pilot Alliance program launches June 1.

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“A systems approach is crucial because you’ve got to meet the kids where they’re at, but then figure out what you can do get them in a different trajectory. That may be helping ensure they get additional school, but also connecting them to a financially stable job and making sure they have the support they need to be successful in that. That can’t be one program – it has to be a multitude of programs.”

for kids if they’re going to get through school in a successful manner. When they hit high school, the supports are less and so to wait until their senior year it’s almost too late. It’s critical we give it earlier to identify a kid that needs some extra support.”

United Way also works across the community on education.

OCF’s Boyd pointed to the local Adolescent Health Project, led by the Women’s Fund of Omaha, with support from her foundation and other players, as another example of “a broader focus” with more partners at the table.

“The Chamber helped us convene a group conversation with superintendents from across the community,” Forsberg said, “We took a really take a hard look at how you measure whether a kid is progressing and what not-for-profit support could assist school systems with. “Where they really need help is in literacy and ensuring kids stay in school, and so those are the areas in which we’re investing. Instead of looking at just graduation rates we’re looking at ninth grade attainment. That’s a critical pivot point

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Forsberg said intervention can mean mentoring support, but also building awareness within school systems and families to keep kids in classrooms. “We’re going to measure progress, not only investments United Way is making, but as a community how we’re doing in these areas and bring that to light.”

“It’s not one foundation, nonprofit, individual driving that work and there’s some intentionality in the strategies being invested there. There’s work in juvenile justice, on the public service side, on the philanthropic side, on the nonprofit side and people coming to a common table to try and drive that.” Input from many sources is crucial, Boyd said, but even then solutions can be elusive. “The challenge is these are really tricky issues, so even when there’s focused attention, energy and investment there’s continued on page 14 y


and you then have an opportunity to bring people together because of that increased engagement and participation.”

Shawna Forsberg,

United Way now takes a systemic view as well.

United Way of the Midlands still stumbling blocks along the way and it doesn’t move quickly.” North Omaha redevelopment is unfolding at an historic rate and the giving community is investing heavily there. The Chamber’s North Omaha Development Strategy spurred the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan now being realized. Philanthropic dollars are pouring in to support efforts by the Empowerment Network, 75 North, Metro Community College and others. “When conversations come together sometimes there’s synergy that can create momentum,” said Boyd. “I do really like the energy and the amount of real interest and attention focused on North Omaha. It would be awesome to see a tipping point. I guess i don’t exactly know where that lies. To me it would be huge success to say not only are we seeing this accumulation of impressive dollars, but also a tidal wave coming behind that of all these other amazing things addressing what the people of North Omaha want that community to be for them.” She cautioned, “I’m not naive to think there aren’t structural issues as a community we will need to wrestle with in order to maximize some of these investments made there that affect more deeply the lives of people who live in North Omaha.” Whatever the project, nothing happens in isolation. Boyd feels funders are ever more attuned to “the relationship between it all.” “Something we continue to work at collectively as a community is looking at projects not just as coincidentally being in the same area, but how do they they relate to and complement one another.” Boyd said her foundation’s “mission is to inspire giving to create a thriving community for all. If you grow giving, you have the opportunity to strengthen nonprofits and to have more people participating potentially or at greater levels

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MAY 2017

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“We have been in the community for 94 years and the needs over that time have evolved,” Forsberg said. “We represent a large donor base. Part of our responsibility is to read that and have a community-wide perspective and understand where we can invest that’s really going to be meaningful. We see ourselves as convener, collaborator, information-aggregator. We really are trying to bring thought leaders in the community together to address these issues. It takes a system. “It means being honest and transparent about what’s going well and what isn’t as a community and trying to figure out the best ways to address that. It’s recognizing it’s never going to be one organization or one funder that’s going to be able to tackle this on their own. It’s very much a collaborative effort across the community.” That approach has recently become more formalized. “In 2012 a very robust strategic planning process initiated by some strong leaders in our community really drove United Way to take a harder look at how we did our investment. We initiated a community assessment in partnership with the Omaha Community Foundation and the Iowa West Foundation. ConAgra Foods stepped in for Phase II of it. It took a neighborhood-level look at where the greatest needs were.” That assessment led to United Way’s 2025 goals. By 2025, United Way aims to support the delivery of two million-plus services addressing basic needs of people living in or at risk of poverty through a more integrated, coordinated, precise and measurable system of basic needs supports. Forsberg said, “We pulled together task forces. Part of their focus was looking at who was doing what in these various areas. Based upon input from stakeholders and others in the community we discerned where we could make the greatest difference in supporting things like basic needs (for food, shelter). Metrics are key to the approach.

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“With support from the Sherwood Foundation and the Weitz Family Foundation, we’ve implemented an analytics and performance team to ensure we’re being efficient with that spend and not just looking at it from an individual program-level, but at the whole system. That’s allowed us to take best practices in analyzing whether or not the way you’re investing is driving the change you hope to make. What we’ve found is it helps programs we support improve and it gives them more of an understanding of whether the impact they hope to drive is also being accomplished. “We learned we definitely need to provide those solutions, but we also need to get into prevention. If you don’t have a full tummy, it’s really hard to do well in the classroom. But we also know it’s important we help people change the trajectory for themselves. Two areas identified are educational support and preparing people to enter the workforce.” Shaping strategic community goals in partnership with givers is part of the Chamber’s mission, said Brown. Everything the Chamber does, he said, is measured. “We incorporate most of the public and private foundations executive directors and staff into all of our strategic planning processes. We’ve invited them to be involved in all of our strategic foresight work. On the futurist side, they’ve been involved in our discussions for our economic development strategy and as issues come up in the community, we find ourselves working on those projects together, too. It’s not unusual for the Chamber and several of the foundations and other nonprofit groups to sit around the table with business leaders talking about how to solve a community problem. “The philanthropic community also tends to be funders of some programs and activities we do. We’ve been successful in finding those places we have in common and producing something the foundations help fund.” Brown said collaboration comes with the territory, but Omaha does it to an unusual degree. “A lot of collaboration happens in this community between philanthropists and businesses and the not-for-profit world to see what projects should move forward and which ones maybe not. I think Omaha has collaboration in its DNA. I rarely see an organization stand up and say we are going to work on this project by ourselves and not seek input or not


be involved in a strategic discussion about whether it has merit or not. “When a project doesn’t work out, it’s usually because collaboration and communication hasn’t occurred at the normal level. I think we accomplish more together and that seems to be a common thread I see with most of my colleagues in this community, whether on the business side or the not-for-profit side.” OCF’s Boyd said working with partners like the Chamber and United Way helps the foundation “learn what role we can play.” She explained, “We’re placing some bets on areas where we think, given our history and skills, we might be able to add some value in partnership with things going on in the community.” She said the discussions arising from collaborative meetings help narrow the focus on what the pressing needs are and where best the foundation can help. Another way the foundation gauges what’s happening is through the grant application process for its Fund for Omaha. “We see over the period of a couple grant cycles patterns and changes in requests for funding that give us a temperature read on some things moving and changing in the community and what that might mean. It might be emerging needs or gaps of service.” On behalf of donors the foundation has granted $1.5 billion to nonprofits since 1982. In 2016, its donors granted $149 million. Its own Fund for Omaha granted $294,176 in 2016. As of the end of last year, the foundation’s assets number just over $1 billion. The foundation’s desire to broaden its work and better measure community needs helped lead to the birth of The Landscape project – a public, data-driven reflection of the community across six areas of community life: Health, Neighborhoods, Safety, Transportation, Workforce and Education. Those markers largely came out of the community perception or assessment study that OCF did with United Way and Iowa West Foundation.

“We wanted more people to participate in some of that thinking and we wanted more people to be able to iterate it,” Boyd said, “so having something more publicly available and opening that up for feedback can help those of us who interact on personal levels with different partners and residents in the community.” “We’re looking more and more at how we align with some of these issues now spotlighted in The Landscape to try to reach out in new partnerships and new ways. We have a donor base that is community-broad, many of whom are plugging into some of these issues themselves, and we may be able to serve them better in their giving if we’re focusing our resources.” Greater impact is the ultimate goal. “We’re hoping the project will assist in bringing some of our philanthropy to another level by infusing more of that curation with the voice of the community – personal stories that add a greater dimension to our understanding. It’s not to say by any means the work of the foundation and The Landscape is going to be the thing that leads to change. It has to be efforts we all pursue. This just happens to be our particular part we feel we can play in conversation and interaction with all of the other people invested in moving these issues forward in our community.” She and her colleagues are trying to find ways to get millennials to donate. The foundation’s found success doing that through its Omaha Gives campaign. Increasingly, Boyd said, “we work to be an organization more inclusive of lots of different people and interests in the community, I think we’re continuing to build different relationships and find new ways to partner with people who care and want to invest resources.”

“There are likely other areas over time we will add to The Landscape,” Boyd said.

Boyd, Forsberg and Brown are aware Omaha’s legendary giving is generational. While wealth will change hands, they say local philanthropists have been mindful creating instruments to ensure future giving.

Landscape information gleaned from experts and residents are available online to anyone at thelandscapeomaha.org

Read more of Leo Adam Biga’s work at leoadambiga.com.

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nered to develop The Kitchen Council, a food startup incubator that gives members access to a fully-licensed commercial kitchen and other resources to lower barriers of entry and to spur entrepreneurship. When the Chamber throws its weight behind something, ripples usually happen. “We get a lot done in large measure because we collaborate with people who have the authority to get things done,” Brown said. “Our public advocacy work is really important for us to be able to cause change to happen. Frankly, the Chamber cannot pass a zoning ordinance but we can encourage other people to do so. We can’t fix roads, but we can encourage the city or state administration to do so. Our role can only be effective if we can convene people who have similar goals in mind and can figure out a path forward to solving a problem or addressing a challenge. “We are always thinking about what’s the next change that should happen. Then the next logical question is, who’s responsible for seeing that that change occurs and how can we build a collaborative process to bring all the people interested in this issue to the table and actually cause that change to occur.” The Chamber’s involved in things, he said, “that might surprise folks,” such as supporting education reform, investing in talent development and the retainment of young professionals to address the brain drain issue,” along with community-economic-entrepreneurship development. “We also worry about infrastructure. So transportation, especially the discussion about mass transit, is something we’re involved in.” On a big picture scale, the Chamber engages in strategic planning. Rather than focusing almost exclusively on chasing “smokestack” industries, for the first time the Chamber has engaged a futurist and really expanded it’s community partnerships. For being one of the most highly awarded chamber organizations in the country, it’s not resting on its laurels. “Right now we’re going through a Strategic Foresight process. We’ve hired economist Rebecca Ryan from Next Generation Consulting as a Futurist-in Residence. She’s helping us think about what the future of Omaha, particularly from an economic perspective, could be 20 years from now. We’ve asked as partners the Urban League of Nebraska and the United Way of the Midlands to be with us in this. We’re all thinking about what not only the economy needs to look like but what disruptions would happen if that economy were to come to fruition or what disruptions might keep us from accomplishing the kind of future we’re looking for.” United Way executive director Shawna Forsberg said, “Much to the Chambers credit they’re not just looking at it from a business perspective. They’ve invited representation from the human services and inclusivity sides. It’s very thoughtfully run. Numerous stakeholders and influences are being brought to the table during this process so that it is a community weighing in on what needs to happen.”

Part of Ryan’s futurist work is spent with various local nonprofit boards and planning committees teaching them strategic planning tools. Key to longterm thinking is capacity building, another emerging tactic being picked up by another key player in the giving landscape. Helping nonprofits be sustainable is a focus of the Omaha Community Foundation, whose Nonprofit Capacity Building program’s 24-month curriculum is designed Sara Boyd, Omaha-Community-Foundation to strengthen organizational and leadership capacity needs. Ten area nonprofits “For people living in poverty it’s not just one thing that’s are chosen each year to participate. Forty nine organizations going to fix it. Typically, there’s multiple things that need to be have gone through the program. Currently, 20 organizations addressed,” explained United Way Executive Director Shaware in the program (10 in their first year and 10 in their secna Forsberg. She said responding to complex issues means” ond year). being consistent but also flexible and nimble enough “ to Education is a core focus of the foundation, the United adapt as needed. “We’re blessed that we have really strong Way and the Chamber. networks and we work with so many different programs and “I think education is the base for the kind of develop- agencies that it lends itself to really a community-wide underment we’re going to have to see in the future,” Brown said. standing of where opportunities can arise.” “We’ve got to make sure our kids, whether the most affluent or the least affluent, whether in North Omaha, West Omaha, Council Bluffs or Sarpy County, are getting the best education they can get. We have a community with about 3 percent unemployment and yet we know there are pockets of higher unemployment. What causes that higher unemployment isn’t lack of jobs in many cases, it’s lack of preparedness, strong education or a high school diploma.

“There are some extenuating circumstances, such as lack of transportation, that keep people from being an active part of the workforce and we’ve got to mitigate those in some way or another. If we don’t, companies won’t find the people they need here and will look somewhere else. We’ve got to get as many people ready to work as possible in the areas where we know people can be hired and earn a great wage. So, education and transportation are things we’re paying a lot of attention to. Mass transit system improvement is pervasive in all of our conversations.” Alleviating the high poverty that persists relates back to education and workforce development, Brown said. Long the leading organization in fighting poverty and funding human services, the United Way is evolving from being more of a funding conduit to an accountability organization. With so many community problems intertwined and with so many efforts yielding such little success over the years, a new approach was demanded.

She said agencies like hers recognize the “need for more qualified individuals to hit the workforce.” “We want to work in concert with those who can provide those unique opportunities.” Meanwhile, the state’s budget deficit has cut into public education, services and programs. Possible federal cuts to arts and human services funding loom large. “It’s a very interesting time politically trying to understand what’s going to be coming regarding funding sources for many programs vital in the community,” Forsberg said. “It’s something we’re watching very carefully. It’s why advocacy and public policy is something we have to be involved with also.” “There are resource constraints today because of budget challenges at the state and federal levels that affect the sector at large and changes the dynamics of what funding might look like,” said OCF Executive Director Sara Boyd, “What is the affect of that on some of our more vulnerable populations? There are some people who are already vulnerable we don’t want to find in even worse situations. What does that mean for how we think about the work we do and how we invest as a community? Because of the uncertainty of some of the changes that may occur, it’s difficult sometimes to place a bet on where to invest. I don’t think there are answers yet.” continued on page 12 y

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Forsberg said United Way’s historic mission is to “help those neighbors that need assistance” through a “safety net of services.” She added, “United Way will never depart from providing funding for critical programs to help people in dire straits, whether it be food security, safe housing, access to health care, escaping domestic violence. That is core to what we do.” An example of United Way tracking and responding to such needs, Forsberg said, is its Financial Stability Work Task Force. “It identified a group of people being lost through the cracks called Opportune youth – 16 to 24 year-olds either not working or not in school. There was a myriad of organizations working with these individuals but it wasn’t a coordinated effort. Now we have 30 different agencies at the table doing essential intake. We’re partnering with Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and leveraging the work of Project Everlast to extend that work into new areas because people can end up in this category in multiple ways.” The resulting pilot Alliance program launches June 1.

“A systems approach is crucial because you’ve got to meet the kids where they’re at, but then figure out what you can do get them in a different trajectory. That may be helping ensure they get additional school, but also connecting them to a financially stable job and making sure they have the support they need to be successful in that. That can’t be one program – it has to be a multitude of programs.”

for kids if they’re going to get through school in a successful manner. When they hit high school, the supports are less and so to wait until their senior year it’s almost too late. It’s critical we give it earlier to identify a kid that needs some extra support.”

United Way also works across the community on education.

OCF’s Boyd pointed to the local Adolescent Health Project, led by the Women’s Fund of Omaha, with support from her foundation and other players, as another example of “a broader focus” with more partners at the table.

“The Chamber helped us convene a group conversation with superintendents from across the community,” Forsberg said, “We took a really take a hard look at how you measure whether a kid is progressing and what not-for-profit support could assist school systems with. “Where they really need help is in literacy and ensuring kids stay in school, and so those are the areas in which we’re investing. Instead of looking at just graduation rates we’re looking at ninth grade attainment. That’s a critical pivot point

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Forsberg said intervention can mean mentoring support, but also building awareness within school systems and families to keep kids in classrooms. “We’re going to measure progress, not only investments United Way is making, but as a community how we’re doing in these areas and bring that to light.”

“It’s not one foundation, nonprofit, individual driving that work and there’s some intentionality in the strategies being invested there. There’s work in juvenile justice, on the public service side, on the philanthropic side, on the nonprofit side and people coming to a common table to try and drive that.” Input from many sources is crucial, Boyd said, but even then solutions can be elusive. “The challenge is these are really tricky issues, so even when there’s focused attention, energy and investment there’s continued on page 14 y

Aksarben Cinema opened by the Barstow family in December 2010 at Aksarben Village (67th and Center Streets)

is Omaha’s only locally owned and operated first-run theater. Nothing beats seeing a movie at a theater as you watch the action play out on a larger-than-life screen and enjoy a complete digital experience and Dolby Digital technology. With a goal of providing a superior moviegoing experience to its patrons, Aksarben Cinema offers many amenities including a full-service bar, a wide variety of options at the concessions counter, and a party room specially designed for birthday celebrations. Best of all, the theater’s 1,700 seats in all 10 auditoriums are being replaced with Lux Lounger seating, with recliners making up a third of each theater’s seats.

The theater also hosts many special activities throughout the year to enhance the moviegoing experience along with a regular schedule of movie specials. Aksarben Cinema is even available as a venue for special events.

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MAY 2017

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and you then have an opportunity to bring people together because of that increased engagement and participation.”

Shawna Forsberg,

United Way now takes a systemic view as well.

United Way of the Midlands still stumbling blocks along the way and it doesn’t move quickly.” North Omaha redevelopment is unfolding at an historic rate and the giving community is investing heavily there. The Chamber’s North Omaha Development Strategy spurred the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan now being realized. Philanthropic dollars are pouring in to support efforts by the Empowerment Network, 75 North, Metro Community College and others. “When conversations come together sometimes there’s synergy that can create momentum,” said Boyd. “I do really like the energy and the amount of real interest and attention focused on North Omaha. It would be awesome to see a tipping point. I guess i don’t exactly know where that lies. To me it would be huge success to say not only are we seeing this accumulation of impressive dollars, but also a tidal wave coming behind that of all these other amazing things addressing what the people of North Omaha want that community to be for them.” She cautioned, “I’m not naive to think there aren’t structural issues as a community we will need to wrestle with in order to maximize some of these investments made there that affect more deeply the lives of people who live in North Omaha.” Whatever the project, nothing happens in isolation. Boyd feels funders are ever more attuned to “the relationship between it all.” “Something we continue to work at collectively as a community is looking at projects not just as coincidentally being in the same area, but how do they they relate to and complement one another.” Boyd said her foundation’s “mission is to inspire giving to create a thriving community for all. If you grow giving, you have the opportunity to strengthen nonprofits and to have more people participating potentially or at greater levels

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“We have been in the community for 94 years and the needs over that time have evolved,” Forsberg said. “We represent a large donor base. Part of our responsibility is to read that and have a community-wide perspective and understand where we can invest that’s really going to be meaningful. We see ourselves as convener, collaborator, information-aggregator. We really are trying to bring thought leaders in the community together to address these issues. It takes a system. “It means being honest and transparent about what’s going well and what isn’t as a community and trying to figure out the best ways to address that. It’s recognizing it’s never going to be one organization or one funder that’s going to be able to tackle this on their own. It’s very much a collaborative effort across the community.” That approach has recently become more formalized. “In 2012 a very robust strategic planning process initiated by some strong leaders in our community really drove United Way to take a harder look at how we did our investment. We initiated a community assessment in partnership with the Omaha Community Foundation and the Iowa West Foundation. ConAgra Foods stepped in for Phase II of it. It took a neighborhood-level look at where the greatest needs were.” That assessment led to United Way’s 2025 goals. By 2025, United Way aims to support the delivery of two million-plus services addressing basic needs of people living in or at risk of poverty through a more integrated, coordinated, precise and measurable system of basic needs supports. Forsberg said, “We pulled together task forces. Part of their focus was looking at who was doing what in these various areas. Based upon input from stakeholders and others in the community we discerned where we could make the greatest difference in supporting things like basic needs (for food, shelter). Metrics are key to the approach.

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“With support from the Sherwood Foundation and the Weitz Family Foundation, we’ve implemented an analytics and performance team to ensure we’re being efficient with that spend and not just looking at it from an individual program-level, but at the whole system. That’s allowed us to take best practices in analyzing whether or not the way you’re investing is driving the change you hope to make. What we’ve found is it helps programs we support improve and it gives them more of an understanding of whether the impact they hope to drive is also being accomplished. “We learned we definitely need to provide those solutions, but we also need to get into prevention. If you don’t have a full tummy, it’s really hard to do well in the classroom. But we also know it’s important we help people change the trajectory for themselves. Two areas identified are educational support and preparing people to enter the workforce.” Shaping strategic community goals in partnership with givers is part of the Chamber’s mission, said Brown. Everything the Chamber does, he said, is measured. “We incorporate most of the public and private foundations executive directors and staff into all of our strategic planning processes. We’ve invited them to be involved in all of our strategic foresight work. On the futurist side, they’ve been involved in our discussions for our economic development strategy and as issues come up in the community, we find ourselves working on those projects together, too. It’s not unusual for the Chamber and several of the foundations and other nonprofit groups to sit around the table with business leaders talking about how to solve a community problem. “The philanthropic community also tends to be funders of some programs and activities we do. We’ve been successful in finding those places we have in common and producing something the foundations help fund.” Brown said collaboration comes with the territory, but Omaha does it to an unusual degree. “A lot of collaboration happens in this community between philanthropists and businesses and the not-for-profit world to see what projects should move forward and which ones maybe not. I think Omaha has collaboration in its DNA. I rarely see an organization stand up and say we are going to work on this project by ourselves and not seek input or not


be “We “Wewanted wantedmore morepeople peopletotoparticipate participate be involved involved inin aa strategic strategic discussion discussion about about whether ininsome someofofthat thatthinking thinkingand andwe wewanted wantedmore more whetheritithas hasmerit meritor ornot. not. people to be able to iterate it,” Boyd said, “so people to be able to iterate it,” Boyd said, “so “When “When aa project project doesn’t doesn’t work work out, out, it’s it’s having something more publicly available having something more publicly available usually because collaboration and communiusually because collaboration and communiand and opening opening that that up up for for feedback feedback can can help help cation cation hasn’t hasn’t occurred occurred atat the the normal normal level. level. I I those of us who interact on personal levels those of us who interact on personal levels think we accomplish more together and that think we accomplish more together and that with with different different partners partners and and residents residents inin the the seems seemstotobe beaacommon commonthread threadI Isee seewith withmost most community.” community.” ofofmy mycolleagues colleaguesininthis thiscommunity, community,whether whether on “We’re “We’re looking looking more more and and more more atat how how onthe thebusiness businessside sideor orthe thenot-for-profit not-for-profitside.” side.” we align with some ofof these issues now we align with some these issues now OCF’s OCF’s Boyd Boyd said said working working with with partners partners spotlighted spotlightedininThe TheLandscape Landscapetototry trytotoreach reach like likethe theChamber Chamberand andUnited UnitedWay Wayhelps helpsthe the out in new partnerships and new out in new partnerships and newways. ways.We We foundation “learn what role we can play.” foundation “learn what role we can play.” have have aa donor donor base base that that She explained, “We’re She explained, “We’re isis community-broad, community-broad, placing placingsome somebets betson onareas areas many ofofwhom many whomare areplugplugwhere where we we think, think, given given our our ging into some ofof these ging into some these history history and and skills, skills, we we might might issues issues themselves, themselves, and and be beable abletotoadd addsome somevalue value we may we maybe beable abletotoserve serve inin partnership with things partnership with things them them better better inin their their givgivgoing goingon onininthe thecommunity.” community.” ing ingififwe’re we’refocusing focusingour our She Shesaid saidthe thediscussions discussions resources.” resources.” arising arising from from collaborative collaborative Greater Greaterimpact impactisisthe theultimate ultimategoal. goal. meetings meetings help help narrow narrow the the focus focus on on what what “We’re the “We’re hoping hoping the the project project will will assist assist inin the pressing pressing needs needs are are and and where where best best the the foundation bringingsome someofofour ourphilanthropy philanthropytotoanother another foundation can can help. help. Another Another way way the the founfoun- bringing dation level by by infusing infusing more more ofof that that curation curation with with dation gauges gauges what’s what’s happening happening isis through through level the thevoice voiceofofthe thecommunity community––personal personalstories stories thegrant grantapplication applicationprocess processfor forits itsFund Fundfor for the Omaha. that add add aa greater greater dimension dimension toto our our underunderOmaha.“We “Wesee seeover overthe theperiod periodofofaacoucou- that ple standing. It’s It’s not not toto say say by by any any means means the the plegrant grantcycles cyclespatterns patternsand andchanges changesininrere- standing. quests workofofthe thefoundation foundationand andThe TheLandscape Landscapeisis questsfor forfunding fundingthat thatgive giveus usaatemperature temperature work read goingtotobe bethe thething thingthat thatleads leadstotochange. change.ItIt readon onsome somethings thingsmoving movingand andchanging changinginin going has to be efforts we all pursue. This the community and what that might mean. It justhaphapthe community and what that might mean. It has to be efforts we all pursue. Thisjust pens to be our particular part we feel might be emerging needs or gaps of service.” wecan can might be emerging needs or gaps of service.” pens to be our particular part we feelwe play playininconversation conversationand andinteraction interactionwith withall all On behalf of donors the foundation has On behalf of donors the foundation has ofofthe other people invested ininmoving these the other people invested moving these granted granted$1.5 $1.5billion billiontotononprofits nonprofitssince since1982. 1982. issues issuesforward forwardininour ourcommunity.” community.” InIn2016, 2016,its itsdonors donorsgranted granted$149 $149million. million.Its Its She own Sheand andher hercolleagues colleaguesare aretrying tryingtotofind find own Fund Fund for for Omaha Omaha granted granted $294,176 $294,176 inin 2016. ways toto get get millennials millennials toto donate. donate. The The founfoun2016.As Asofofthe theend endofoflast lastyear, year,the thefoundafounda- ways dation’s tion’s tion’sassets assetsnumber numberjust justover over$1 $1billion. billion. dation’sfound foundsuccess successdoing doingthat thatthrough throughits its Omaha Gives campaign. Omaha Gives campaign. The foundation’s desire to broaden its The foundation’s desire to broaden its Increasingly, work Increasingly, Boyd Boyd said, said, “we “we work work toto work and and better better measure measure community community needs needs helped be an an organization organization more more inclusive inclusive ofof lots lots ofof helped lead lead toto the the birth birth ofof The The Landscape Landscape be project project –– aa public, public, data-driven data-driven reflection reflection ofof different differentpeople peopleand andinterests interestsininthe thecommucommuthe nity,I Ithink thinkwe’re we’recontinuing continuingtotobuild builddifferent different thecommunity communityacross acrosssix sixareas areasofofcommunity community nity, relationships and find new ways life: Health, Neighborhoods, Safety, Transpartner life: Health, Neighborhoods, Safety, Trans- relationships and find new ways toto partner with portation, withpeople peoplewho whocare careand andwant wanttotoinvest investrereportation,Workforce Workforceand andEducation. Education. sources.” sources.” Those markers largely came out of the Those markers largely came out of the Boyd, community Boyd, Forsberg Forsberg and and Brown Brown are are aware aware community perception perception or or assessment assessment study study that Omaha’s legendary legendary giving giving isis generational. generational. that OCF OCF did did with with United United Way Way and and Iowa Iowa Omaha’s While West While wealth wealth will will change change hands, hands, they they say say WestFoundation. Foundation. local philanthropists have been mindful creatlocal philanthropists have been mindful creat“There “Thereare arelikely likelyother otherareas areasover overtime timewe we ing inginstruments instrumentstotoensure ensurefuture futuregiving. giving. will willadd addtotoThe TheLandscape,” Landscape,”Boyd Boydsaid. said. Landscape Landscapeinformation informationgleaned gleanedfrom fromexexperts and residents are available online perts and residents are available online toto anyone anyoneatatthelandscapeomaha.org thelandscapeomaha.org

Read Readmore moreofofLeo LeoAdam AdamBiga’s Biga’s work at leoadambiga.com. work at leoadambiga.com.

June 17 June 17 June 18 June 23 June 24

Parade River Ride with Heartland Pride Pageant Heartland Youth Pride & Candlelight Vigil Heartland Pride Festival

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can we do? We must liveVanya. outshall our lives. Yes, live,shall Uncle Vanya. We shall live all through procession of days aheadWe of an ust live our lives. Yes, we live, Uncle Vanya. We live all through the endless procession of days aheadthe ofWe us, and through theus, lon e,Yes, Uncle weout Vanya. shall live, We Uncle shall live all through We shall the livewe endless allshall through procession the endless of days procession ahead of of us, days and ahead through ofthe us, theendless and long through evenings. long shall evenings. shall patiently the burdens that imposes onwithout us. We we shall work without forand others, both now andshall when we it are old. And when ourwe final houm ens fate imposes us.fate We shall rest for others, now when we are old. And when our final hour comes, shall work onthat us.without We shall rest work foron others, without both rest now forwork others, and when both now are and old. when And both when we rest are our old. final And hour when comes, our final we hour meet comes, humbly, we shall and meet it humbly, and ere beyond grave, shall say we have known and tears, thatus. our life was bitter. And God pity us. Ah, dear, dear ve, we shall say that wewe have known suffering and tears, that our life was And God will pity us.enter Ah, then, dear Uncle, we shall enteU we uffering have known andthe tears, suffering that our and life tears, wasthat that bitter. our And life God was bitter. willsuffering pity And us.God Ah, then, will bitter. pity dear, dear Ah, Uncle, then, dear, we shall dear Uncle, onwill we a dear, bright shall enter and onthen, a bright and tiful life. We shall rejoice and back upon our grief here. A tender smile -- and -- we shall rest. Ifervent, have faith, Uncle, fervent, passionate faith ejoice look back our grief here. AI-tender smile -- Iand -- faith, we shall rest. I have faith, Uncle, passionate faith. We shallWe rest. We here. upon Aand our tender grief smile here. --upon Aand tender -- look we smile shall --rest. and have we shall faith, rest. Uncle, have fervent, passionate Uncle, fervent, faith. passionate We shall rest. faith. WeWe shall shall rest. rest. WeWe shall shall rest. shall he shining a jewel. Weallshall see evil and that all our pain disappear in shall theOur great shall enfold the world. Ou seeangels. shining like aevil jewel. We see evil and our pain disappear in the great pity enfold thethat world. Our lifeand willgentle be as and pea ike aheaven jewel.We Weshall shallsee seeheaven and all shall ourlike pain disappear in the great pity shall enfold the that world. lifepity will be as peaceful

Great Plains Theatre Conference

Stranger from Paradise Produced in partnership with Opera Omaha

A world premiere chamber opera drawn from the lives and work of William and Catherine Blake. Friday, May 26 – 7:30 pm Saturday, May 27 – 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED THIS SHOW ONLY SEATING IS LIMITED www.strangerfromparadise.eventbrite.com Sponsored by

OMAHA’S FREE CONTEMPOR ARY THE ATRE FES TIVAL

PLAYFEST

2017 OMAHA, NEBRASKA

May 26 - June 2

south

by Michael John Garcés Wednesday, May 31 – 7:30 pm Omaha South High School 4529 S. 24th St. A play built from the dreams and challenges of the South Omaha community.

Worlds to Spare Featuring 3 short works

Friday, June 2 – 7:30 pm Scottish Rite Masonic Center 202 S. 20th St. An evening of three short plays celebrating the powerful, enigmatic work of GPTC Honored Playwright, Mac Wellman. MORE INFORMATION www.gptcplays.com/playfest

| THE READER |

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HEARTLAND HEALING

SOAP WITH SOUL:

HEARTLAND HEALING is a metaphysically-based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet by MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com and like us on Facebook. .

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Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap BY MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN

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ertain memories in our lives exist deeply embossed with a time and place. We remember precisely where and when we drove a car for the first time, that first kiss, the first time we heard a certain song or where we were the night of the moon landing. For fans of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, I’ll wager most of us remember in detail the first time we showered with that peppermint Castile liquid soap. Emanuel Hillel Heilbronner was a third generation master soapmaker. His family made soap near the German town of Heilbronn starting in 1858. Emanuel followed in the family business but by 1929, Nazi tyranny was fomenting in the Fatherland. Emanuel urged his parents to leave Germany. They resisted and he immigrated to the United States, leaving his parents and their soap factory behind. Hitler was rising in power and Emanuel dropped the “Heil” from the front of his name to become Emanuel Bronner. Two sisters later escaped Germany but both his parents perished in concentration camps. To say Emanuel Bronner was intense would be an understatement. In fact, while living in Chicago, while publicly speaking, authorities thought him a little too noticed that people would indulge a certain amount passionate and committed him to the Elgin Insane of his rants but invariably, they were more interested Asylum. Though he had not harmed anyone, he was in the high-quality liquid soap he sold. He desperately forced to endure the inhumanity of modern medicine wanted to get his message across so he began known as electroshock therapy for nine months. He printing his philosophy on the soap label. The most finally escaped the asylum (on his third attempt) and unique bottling label in the world was born. that was when he headed west. Soap and water. Through the 1950s, Bronner, Following those troubled times in Chicago, by now a widower with two young boys, struggled to sell 1947 Bronner made his way to Los Angeles virtually his eclectic soap, manufacturing and bottling it by hand penniless. There he frequented Pershing Square, a in Escondido, Calif. In the 1960s, though, something hotbed of activists and visionaries. Though of German happened that helped the soap gain ground: Hippies Jewish descent, his personal belief in universality and environmentalists recognized the all-natural soap, transcended all religions and he often orated in the made without chemicals or detergents. It was ecopark about the oneness of all humanity and the similar friendly and above all else, the label espoused the messages found in all the great religions. He called his very message that characterized the Age of Aquarius: ideals and guidelines the “Moral ABC” and he called Love, Harmony, Peace and Oneness. Spirituality was on words of wisdom quoting Jesus, Buddha, Rabbi not a dirty word to the children entering the age of the Hillel, Einstein, Thomas Paine, Spinoza and Thomas water sign, Aquarius. The soap was cheap, pure, all Edison among many others. natural, generic, homespun and could be used for “18 In Los Angeles Bronner took advantage of his different uses,” according to the label. proximity to Pershing Square to literally mount his Most of all, to the generation that was hoping to soapbox and voice his opposition to war, violence and make a difference in the world, the message was the to promote his vision of world peace. He taught his thing. Bronner’s “Moral ABC” saturated the label in “Moral ABC” passionately, expounding on his theme small print with phrases, sayings, quotes and even that we are “All-One-God-Faith” with all living things, quirky comments from Bronner: “Keep out of eye. the earth, and our brothers and sisters. Dilute! Dilute! Okay!” The majority of sayings was Meanwhile, he began producing a vegetable about the fellowship of mankind and protecting our oil-based Castile soap with essential peppermint oil “Spaceship Earth.” following his family’s historic recipe. He was, after “Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!” all, a master soapmaker. He sold the soap during his “Exceptions Eternally? Absolute None!” “Mason Hillel lectures at Pershing Square. After a while though, he taught carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free, come

| THE READER |

HEARTLAND HEALING

hell, hate, ban, you’ll enjoy God’s spaceship Earth & do great work within it, which is more my son, you’ll be man! A man! Sure, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet! But there is neither East nor West, nor border, breed nor birth, once the Moral ABC unites all mankind free on God’s spaceship Earth!” “6 billion strong, we’re All-One! As teach Abraham-Israel-Moses- Buddha-Jesus.” Making It Tingle. And it goes on, on the label. For 3000 words. These were the sentiments that Bronner drove home when he stood on his soapbox in Pershing Square. Now he found he didn’t need the box, just the soap. And it traveled well. Word of mouth was the key and nothing traveled faster than the counterculture of the ‘60s. To a generation into sensation it was a perfect match: The hallmark of the original formula was the crisp, peppermint oil that left your skin tingly all over. Emanuel passed away in 1997, leaving a four million-dollar business to sons Jim and Ralph. The company thrives still, under his grandsons. Try a bottle and you won’t soon forget that tingling feeling. Be well. Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others:


Celebrating Over 30 Years of Making Ice Cream The Old Fashioned Way Two Omaha Locations:

Old Market Downtown 1120 Jackston 402.341.5827

Benson

In the Heart 6023 Maple 402.551.4420

tedandwallys.com

First Friday Old Market

FRI MAY 5th 6-9 PM

First Friday is a free event celebrating local creativity in Omaha’s most historic neighborhood.

Visit galleries to explore fresh perspectives and meet the artists. Ride Ollie The Trolley No Charge!

For event information, go to FirstFridayOldMarket.com or email: mmgmetalsmith@cox.net | THE READER |

MAY 2017

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NO BEANS ABOUT IT:

Where to Feed Your Need for Coffee B Y TA M S E N B U T L E R

MUGLIFE - MATT BRENNA MCCRARY

AROMAS

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| THE READER |

maha certainly does not have a shortage of places to get a great cup of coffee. A few years ago I wrote a piece on the best coffee places in Omaha, but seeing as our city has changed and evolved so much in those few short years, it felt like it was time for an updated list. Now don’t get me wrong – the coffee places I listed years ago still thrive and offer some of the best cups of coffee in the most interesting ambiance (I’m talking to you, Dundee Double Shot, Caffeine Dreams and Tripointe Coffee), but as time passes, so does the need to expand our caffeinated repertoires.

transparency in the supply chain. “We’re passionate about upholding the work of the farmers,” added McCrary. And the coffee itself? Quite good, as a matter of fact. The menu’s simple and people wanting some sort of liquid dessert conglomeration characteristic of popular coffee chains will likely be at a loss as far as what to order. But those who love coffee – I mean, really love coffee – will appreciate the offerings here. 2452 1/2 Harney St http://muglifecoffee.com/

Muglife

Aromas

Walking into MUGLIFE I was greeted by Finely, a friendly, large dog. Or was it Ferguson, his twin brother? I wasn’t sure – though I spent quite some time there sipping my coffee, I wasn’t able to tell the two dogs apart. I asked Brenna McCrary, who is one of the owners and was the barista on duty, if the dogs belong to her and her husband. She said that the dogs belong to a couple of her favorite customers. One of those customers looks up at me with a big smile and a friendly wave. Everyone there seems amused that I think the dogs belong to the coffeehouse. It’s a friendly place. “People are what make it work,” said McCrary. “We’re not in the coffee business, serving people; we’re in the business of people, serving coffee.” Adjacent to Greenstreet Cycles, Mug Life shares the space and calls it “A good partnership,” said McCrary. “People waiting for the coffee will go browse around in the bikes and people waiting for bikes will come order some coffee.” MUGLIFE utilizes single-origin coffee and believes in

I’m a fan of the Aromas Coffeehouse downtown on Jones Street, so the first time I walked into the Aromas in Benson I had mixed emotions. Would it live up to its eclectic sister location? Would I be wowed by the assortment of pastries and expertly-crafted coffee drinks like I am when I venture downtown? The first thing I noticed with the Aromas on Maple was the setup; it’s as if little separate stories are happening all over the café. People-watching is prime here. On to the coffee – oh, the coffee! I don’t know why it delights me so much when a barista swirls little designs onto the top of my coffee, but it’s an extra touch I enjoy and experienced here. The coffee’s great – if you enjoy black coffee you’ll appreciate the complex taste, made from beans that were roasted expertly. If you enjoy syrupy drinks, you’ll like that the coffee taste comes through loud and clear. By the way, there’s an Aromas at Flagship Commons nowadays too. I, for one, am grateful for a locally-owned

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VOLUNTEER for this Summer’s Big Hit!

Professional golf is back and we want you to join in the fun! Whether you’re a golf lover or want to give back to charity, get involved in this year’s Pinnacle Bank Championship! Volunteers are a key component of the tournament’s success, and help maximize our contributions to TeamMates Mentoring Program. Opportunities range from Marshals, Admissions, Pro-Am and much more. Be part of this inaugural event! Learn more and register at: thepinnaclebankchampionship.com

Presented By

The Club at Indian Creek July 17-23, 2017 | THE READER |

MAY 2017

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y continued on page 20 coffee shop that spreads itself out around town, but not so thinly that quality suffers. Benson Location: 6051 Maple St. http://www.aromasbliss.com/

Threat Level: Walmart While we do live in an agriculturally rich community, big box stores are offering organic produce cheap and easy. The idea is to slowly suffocate the family farm, eventually cornering the market and having sole discretion over what is bought and eaten, and at what cost. Nebraska is currently home to just north of 790,000 households. If each household spent a measly $10 a week on locally sourced foods, we would manage to keep more than $410 million here in our local economy. That’s without considering the environmental impact of reducing our carbon footprint by not shipping food halfway across the country.

Archetype Coffee If you’ve ever wanted to drink coffee prepared and presented by a nationally-ranked barista, go to Archetype Coffee and ask for Isaiah Sheese. He’s readying to head to the semi-finals of the United States Barista Championship after having placed in the top six of the U.S. Coffee Championships.

NO MORE EMPTY CUPS - NANCY WILLIAMS

Despite this impressive distinction, Archetype manages to maintain a laid-back vibe. “We make coffee as fun and approachable as possible,” said Sheese. “We’re not pretentious here. Specialty coffee should be fun.” He added that both “syrup drinkers and coffee geeks” will feel at home at Archetype Coffee. Sheese is also passionate about ensuring coffee farmers are paid what they deserve. “We pay well above fair trade prices,” he said, adding that the “traceability” of the coffee is important to Archetype Coffee too. As for the coffee, it’s quite good, although I wish I would have had Isaiah make me my coffee after I heard about all his awards. I suppose I’ll have to go back in the interest of investigative journalism. 3926 Farnam Street http://www.archetype.coffee/

Green Beans As a military veteran I was already familiar with Green Beans Coffee, but I had to wonder if the coffee that so many service people enjoy in deployed locations is as good as everyone remembers, or if it was actually not so good but kind of tasted like home, making it better than it actually was. Long story short: it’s good. After visiting their Omaha location I can say that Green Beans

Free Events all weekend Friday,May 26

DURING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

TOM HANAFAN RIVER’S EDGE PARK

May 26 TO may 29

Council Bluffs

Free concert Fri

Presenting sponsor:

KC

Saturday,May 27

Free concert

AND THE

Country

Sunshine Band

River

Rocks

the

Bluffett

JIMMY BUFFETT TRIBUTE BAND MAY 2017

| THE READER |

Trent Harmon with special guests

BELLES & WHISTLES MAIDEN DIXIE

with special guest

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AMERICAN IDOL CHAMPION

SAT EAT

Presenting sponsors:

Loessfest is proudly presented by:

Learn more at LOESSFEST.com

SUNday,May 28

Free concert

Omaha Symphony followed by Free Fireworks Presenting sponsors:

Symphony Fireworks

sUN


Coffee isn’t solely good when deployed – it’s tasty when you’re a civilian just popping in for a drink too. The Omaha location is the first independentlyowned [in this case, by John Sievers] Green Beans Coffee in the U.S. Walking into the café it’s abundantly clear that this is a business owned by some patriotic folks, but not so much so that people without a military background will feel out of place. Rather, it’s a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of seating and friendly baristas. I tried a frappe while I was there because it was a warm day and I wanted something cool and refreshing. It was delicious – Scott the barista was very specific with his questions to make sure I’d get what I wanted. By the time I got my hands on the drink it was just what I wanted, and I was quite happy to have it. Green Beans supports a variety of militaryrelated charities. Their motto is Honor First, Coffee Second! It’s a coffee purchase you can feel good about. 6831 S. 167th Street http://greenbeanscoffeeomaha.com/

Symphony Pops Series Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor

No More Empty Cups Nancy Williams, co-founder of No More Empty Cups, has a vision of a community coffeeshop that is an inclusive space, serving locally sourced products and offering programs that help make the surrounding neighborhood more prosperous. Oh, and they serve up some pretty good coffee, too. Folks who remember Echo Coffee, and appreciated it for the unique vibe it offered, will be glad to know that No More Empty Cups kept that unique, come-as-you-are vibe when they took over the space. Developed under the No More Empty Pots program, the goal is to educate people on the business of owning a business, leading to selfsufficiency. By teaching people the ins and outs of business ownership, the entire community benefits. “People soon learn that most of the work in owning a business is behind the scenes,” explains Williams. Their coffee is locally sourced Archetype Coffee (Isaiah helps out with training the baristas too) and their pastries come from the nearby Olsen Bake Shop. It’s truly a community effort. Many of the baristas who work there are from the neighborhood and have benefitted from the programs offered. They’re awfully friendly too, making it a comfortable, welcoming place to sit and enjoy some coffee. 1502 S. 10th Street http://nomoreemptycups.org/ http://nmepomaha.org/ Every single coffee shop listed here makes good coffee, each with their own personality. Try them all out to decide which one best suits your taste buds.

Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 pm • Sunday, May 14 at 2 pm Holland Center Ted Sperling, conductor | Broadway Cast | Omaha Symphonic Chorus | River City Mixed Chorus 402.345.0606 | OMAHASYMPHONY.ORG

Great Seats Still Available - starting at $19! EAT

| THE READER |

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April 28, 2017 with an opening reception from 6-8 pm. Chávez will be in Omaha for the opening of the exhibit which continues through June 30, 2017. Un Día de Pan (A Day of Bread) features the tradition of baking bread as an art form through color photography taken at the International Bakery in South Omaha. This exhibition features the owners of the International Bakery master baker Jose Gabriel Gonzalez, his wife María and their family, as they create the specialty breads from Mexico and other countries of Latin America. Over all, the exhibit documents the great diversity and variety of traditional breads that had origins in different regions of Mexico as well as the different types of bread that are baked for special celebrations such as “Pan de Muertos” (bread for day of the dead) at the end of October and “Rosca de Reyes” (kings bread” baked in January for Epiphany Day. The exhibition also explores the role of bread in creating or maintaining an ethnic identity, the rituals of the bakery as a public space, and the nature of the interactions between the community and this business that makes this bakery a traditional space of Latino life.

On view Now through June 30

Staff of Life & Art El Museo Latino www.elmuseolatino.org

El Museo Latino features photo exhibit ‘Un Dia de Pan’ by conceptual artist Humberto Chavez Mayol In the past decade alone, Mexican artist, author, curator and educator Humberto Chavez Mayol has been a constant visitor to Omaha exhibiting a number of significant conceptual installations and photography shows at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Moving Gallery and El Museo Latino where he has served this venue as mentor and curator. Those exhibits include, Tiempo Muerto, Instructions to cross a street, and Calle 24 (24th Street), all of which have challenged the viewer to connect or relate to his variations on time, memory, location, culture and yes, even death. This multi-talented artist returns to Omaha with a new exhibition at El Museo Latino titled Un Día de Pan (A Day of Bread) this Friday,

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Mayol, formerly the Deputy Academic Director General of the National Center for the Arts in Mexico, now lives in Mexico City and Merida and spends his time researching and writing his latest book, Witness, an apt title it seems for the role he shares with the viewer as a “street” photographer. In the course of his artistic career, his production has moved from the field of conceptual photography to the installation to this new venture of “giving witness” to a community’s local color and cultural diversity. Un Dia de Pan is Mayol Chavez’s latest slice of the staff of life. The museum is located at 4701 South 25 Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Regular museum hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Regular museum admission is $5 for adults, $4 for college students, $3.50 for students and seniors and free Admission for museum members and military families. For more information about this exhibit, please call (402) 731-1137.

| THE READER |

~Mike Krainak

pickS

May 1 - June 4

William Blake: ‘In the Infernal Method’ Gallery 1516 www.gallery1516.org/events/ Blake scholar Phillips brings an exhibit of the artist’s provocative prints to Gallery 1516 Marilyn Manson did a performance reading of his poem, “The Proverbs of Hell.” T.S Eliot wrote of his “peculiar honesty,” and Wordsworth envied his “madness.” His influence is felt from Dante (Rosetti) to Dylan (Bob), from Percy Shelly to Patti Smith, and many consider him the “father” of the anti-war and free-love movements. It’s William Blake season in the Omaha area. Amongst Blake’s numerous talents, he was master of both relief etching and the more commonplace intaglio. In collaboration with other arts groups, Gallery 1516 is currently showing William Blake: Printing in the Infernal Method curated by Blake scholar Michael Phillip featuring more than 60 of his own recreations of the artist’s work. Phillips has spent much of his life researching and mastering Blake’s plate making and relief etching processes. An experienced and skilled printmaker himself, his re-creations and facsimile editions are in several prestigious public and private collections.

May 4 through May 25

Mary Stuart

Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport Street www.bsbtheatre.com/ Struggles for national power have gone on for centuries. England’s Elizabeth I had such a major problem: Mary Stuart. The Queen of the Scots claimed Elizabeth’s throne and was considered by many people to be the legitimate sovereign, rather than her first cousin onceremoved. Elizabeth wanted to have Mary permanently removed. She did so. That history is the foundation for Friedrich Schiller’s enduring play, peopling the halls and corridors of Joslyn Castle, presented by Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company. One of the most famed aspects of the play is a passionate encounter between the two women, which never actually happened. You may wonder on whose side you’d be.

This version of the 1800 play comes from British playwright Peter Oswald and was nominated for seven Tonys in 2009. “One of the most unsettling studies I know of the captivity in which heads of state are condemned to live,” said The New York Times.

This display of historically accurate prints will coincide with the Great Plains Theater Conference/Opera Omaha’s preview and world premier of Strangers in Paradise,” an opera by Nebraska’s own Kevin Lawlor, about the life of Blake and his wife Catherine.

Showtimes for Mary Stuart are as follows: Weds. May 10, 17, 24 : 7:30 p.m., Thurs May 4, 11, 18, 25 :7:30 p.m., Fri. May 12, 19 : 7:30 p.m., Sat. May 6: 7:30 p.m.

Phillips has curated Blake exhibits at prestigious venues such as the Tate Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has won several awards for his scholarship.

May 4 - June 3

This exhibit runs through June 4. Concurrent demonstrations and workshops are planned with UNO and the Union for Contemporary Arts. Contact those venues and Gallery 1516 for further information as well as for gallery hours. ~Kent Behrens

May 5 - June 4

Superior Donuts 30 Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass www.OmahaPlayhouse.org Director Susan Baer Collins presents Superior Donuts, A love letter to Chicago

~Gordon Spencer

Art Springs Eternal Gallery 72, 1806 Vinton Street www.gallery72.com It’s the season of hope for college art students in exhibits on and off campus One sure sign of Spring in the world of academic art are the college exhibits that pop up on campus that recognize their graduating thesis students in working toward studio arts degrees whether Bachelor or Master of Fine Arts. Locally, current examples include: works by Elisa Wolcott and Katy Baker, both receiving Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in May, currently on on display at the UNO Art Gallery in the Weber Fine Arts Building until May 6; Selected works by fourteen graduating Bachelor of Studio Arts seniors will augment the above shows


2017 GUIDE

TICKETS ON

SALE NOW

All Ages Permitted. Tickets available at Stircove.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Schedule and artist subject to change. Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF (In Iowa) or 1-800-522-4700 (National). © 2017, Caesars License Company, LLC.

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4/17/17 2:38 PM


MAY 20

P The Shins with special guest Tennis

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Aaron Lewis with special guest Frankie Ballard Brantley Gilbert

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n the road for the The Devil Don’t Sleep Summer Tour, Brantley Gilbert adds Stir Cove to the ticket with his swanging southern country music sets. With a little new school energy and modern day swag, he takes over the stage and would probably make your girlfriend reconsider her plans for the evening. Brantley is definitely a ladies man but offers a competitive edge to his performances. He is known for his car fetish driving classic old school cruisers, dirt bike 4-wheelers and occasional motorcycle rides. While his fan base is growing, Brantley makes an effort to make them feel included in his experience showing content consistently on his social media pages while on tour. He’s sure to perform his recent Billboard charted singles including “The Weekend” which made Top 20 during this career-changing tour.

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aron Lewis sings odes to classic country music performing from his latest album Sinner with special guest performer Frankie Ballard. Aaron commits to expanding the lifetime of country music with a few songs like “Country Boy” which was released on his first EP in 2011. He’s taking it to another level with this new album offering music with lyrical power backed by the production of country legend Buddy Cannon. His voice is a raw tale of the candid intent behind true country music so fans are sure to love his approach. Frankie Ballard follows with the release of his second album titled El Rio. Ballard will be coming off of a Europe tour once he touches the midwest shaping a concert for fans who love the storytelling ballads of country living. If you have an affinity for the blend of guitar strums with a steady bass then you will love Frankie’s sound. Frankie makes it known that he hopes to continue to bring the honest element of his songwriting to the stage and promises to remind you how to have a good time.

www.stircove.com

JUNE 29

JUNE 9

erforming new releases from the current album Heartworms, The Shins will bring their American band style to kick off the series. Led by James Mercer who helms from Albuquerque, NM, the band will also perform a few favorites for the fans to hear including “New Slang” and “Phantom Limb.” Followers of their sound might call it indie rock due to their melodic presentation. Now with five albums under their belt, the band has garnered attention from Rolling Stone and the Entertainment Weekly, in addition to their #3 Billboard Top 200 charted single from their last album, Port of Morrow. Mercer will be joined by Yuuki Matthews (bass), Jon Sortland (drums), Mark Watrous (guitar, keys, vocals), Casey Foubert (guitar) and Patti King (keys).

resented by Z92, Omaha’s radio home for rock music, is pumped to bring together a triple headliner with performances from Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche and Special Guest Sebastian Bach. With Vince Neil’s 35-year career and international namesake, he will surely deliver some of the greatest rock songs you can recall like “Home Sweet Home,” and “Wild Side.” The band that Vince played lead vocalist for has albums reaching multi-platinum status as they recently finished their final tour in 2015. But Vince continues to perform as a solo artist and fill the desire of nostalgy for his fans. Queensrÿche will also make you reminisce taking the stage next. For the love of a good drum set lyrical poise and head swinging, you will not be disappointed with this five person band powerhouse. Todd La Torre leads with vocals, Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren on Guitar, Eddie Jackson on Bass and Scott Rockenfield playing the drums. Their 30-year triumph in hard rock has provided a legacy of its own with more than 30 million fans globally. To tail the evening, the concert brings Sebastian Bach, a classic addition to the history of rock music. While half of his career is known for his membership in the band Skid Row, Sebastian still leaves his fans with passionate hits even after leaving the band. His music also transfers to fans across both hip hop industry and television. If you’ve never heard his music, chances are you heard about him from the show Gilmore Girls or on major hip hop radio shows like Sway’s Universe.

JUNE 2

Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe & Queensrÿche with special guest Sebastian Bach


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Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Phillip Phillips

oo Goo Dolls return to the Stir Cove concert series while on their “Long Way Home” tour. The group features singer and guitarist John Rzeznik plust bassist and singer Robby Takac both now on their 11th album called Boxes. Songs like “Name” and “Iris” have held slots on the Billboard Charts in the No. 1 position for 17 consecutive weeks. In addition to global tours, Rzeznik was honored with the Songwriters Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award, a recognition never to be ignored. Accompanying them on this tour is Phillip Phillips who released “Home” in 2012 reaching a five-time platinum status. Due to his soulful sound, Phillips brings his Georgia upbringing to performs songs from the past three albums. With both of these groups on stage, the audience can bet on having a fun-filled evening.

JULY 19

londie consists of singer-songwriter Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, guitarist and writer plus drummer Clem Burke. The group is often attributed to being pop icons having laid the foundation for indie rock and pop since the 1970’s. They have amounted over 40 million albums sold and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Experiencing their show is not one to be missed. Sharing the stage next is Garbage, a fourperson band now working on their 6th album which was recorded in the basement of Butch Vig. The band originally debut in 1995 with a studio recorded album Strange Little Birds known for its dismal lyrics and hypnotic beats. After reissuing old music as a remastered 20-year deluxe anniversary album, the group is excited to be on tour again performing for fans who felt the impact of the life-changing songs unmatched by the sound of Garbage.

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igh energy is what you’ll get all night from Kesha and the Creepies. The pop rock stars come together after a world tour in 2016 to perform songs like “Your Love is My Drug,” and “Cannibal.” She’s been given a few coveted performance opportunities doing cover songs at the Billboard Music Awards, Coachella along with headlining countless music festivals. If you’re not as familiar with her sound, you might know her from her songwriting having written for artists like The Veronicas, Miley Cyrus, Alice Cooper and Britney Spears. Next up is Atlas Genius, an alternative rock band stemming from South Australia. The group started in 2009 with four band members: Darren Sell, Keith Jeffery, Michael Jeffery and Steven Jeffery. Most famous for the song “Trojans,” Atlas Genius was a band that originally worked as a cover band to pay the bills. With years of hard work, the group was later featured on platforms like MTV’s 120 Minutes and Sirius XM’s Alt Nation channel.

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ith five albums to his credit, Chris Young has amassed eight No. 1 singles, and 14 Gold/Platinum certifications. Among the RCA Records artist’s hits are “Gettin’ You Home,” “Voices,” “Tomorrow,” “I’m Comin’ Over” and “Think Of You,” a duet with Cassadee Pope, Young’s latest No. 1 and fastest-rising single of his career. Released in November of 2015 and debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, Young’s first co-produced album, I’m Comin’ Over, also includes the new single, “Sober Saturday Night” featuring Vince Gill and the three-week No. 1 smash title track. The single and album earned him four ACM Awards nominations, including his first in the coveted Album of the Year category as both the artist and producer, and a Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top Country Song. This fall he’ll embark on the second leg of his headlining “I’m Comin’ Over Tour,” with 25 shows from coast-to-coast.

www.stircove.com

The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show BRIT FLOYD

Immersion World Tour 2017

Kesha and the Creepies with special guest Atlas Genius

Chris Young

JULY 27

Blondie & Garbage with special guest John Doe and Exene Cervenka

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his performance is dedicated entirely to Pink Floyd fit with laser and light show and video animations. Brit Floyd and band take you back to all of your favorite moments jamming out to music by the acclaimed Pink Floyd group. “Run Like Hell” if you don’t like rock and roll tributes because this one will guarantee to excite the truest of fans. Acclaimed as the world’s greatest live tribute to Pink Floyd, Brit Floyd has managed to bring thousands of fans back to life with the Immersion World Tour.

JULY 20

JULY 21

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WOLNATION has an international following with its alternative new wave rock and roll having performed at places like Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show and MTV Live. Led by Aaron Bruno, the band is signed to Red Bull Records with two albums currently under belt. Formed in 2010, AWOLNATION has a few anthems including “Sail”, “Woman Woman” and “Burn it Down.” Aaron revealed in an MTV news interview that the background of the band name stems from his high school nickname, “Awol.” He said he always enjoyed the option of leaving social circumstances in order to be himself. The metaphor plays well into this genre of music meant to help you either get away or celebrate the good times with friends. PVRIS (pronounced ‘paris) - features three funky alternative rock artists Lynn, Alex and Brian. While still young, their sound is reminiscent of Effervescence with a twist of Pink. They have already taken stages between the United States and Europe.

JULY 8

JULY 7

AWOLNATION with special guest PVRIS


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aving performed over 40 years and counting, Lynyrd Skynyrd is remembered as a a southern-style hard rock band since the mid 70’s that usually has at least eight members at at time intermingling a plethora of sounds through their music to include blues, jazz and country. While a few of the original members have passed, their music still reigns in the personal libraries of vinyl and records shops across the country. With over 60 albums produced, fans are sure to be lined up for autographs at this performance in hopes to hear hits like “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Free Bird” and “Simple Man.” The group members include Gary Rossington Guitar, Johnny Van Zant - Vocals, Rickey Medlock - Guitar, Mark “Sparky” Matejka - Guitar, Michael Cartellone - Drums, Johnny Colt - Bass, Peter Keys - Keyboards, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase - Honkettes Backing Vocals.

The Cranberries

he Irish band reigned in the 90s with hit songs “Linger” and “Tomorrow” will take over the stage for the Stir Cove Concert Series. With an acoustic pop sound, The Crandberries are now touring with tunes from their eighth album featuring acoustic versions of some of their greatest hits. This album will be hard to match as they incorporated the Irish Chamber Orchestra to back them up. Their sound is just as timeless as their over 40 Million album sales prove them to be even after taking a six-year break. Band members include Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor.

SEPTEMBER 3

AUGUST 4 Lynyrd Skynyrd

lassic country singer and guitarist Darius Rucker has been rocking souls for four albums since parting from his former role as a guitarist and singer with Hootie and the Blowfish. He won his third Grammy award in 2014 for the song “Wagon Wheel” and continues to win over fans. He currently has 1.54 million followers on Twitter (@dariusrucker) where he keeps alive his love for music sharing a song of the day while educating the readers.

EEDTOBREATHE joins the stage with Gavin DeGraw to perform a new sound for alternative rock touring as a christian rock band from South Carolina. The band’s newest single “Hard Love” has everybody on social media claiming their own tough love experiences using #HARDLOVE to start the conversation. They are also a group that shows philanthropic endeavors with their non-profit NEEDTOBREATHE Cares focused on opening medical centers in Nicaragua. Gavin DeGraw is also performing songs from his die-hard alternative rock discography of 11 albums to date. If you are unfamiliar with his sound and can’t sing along to his popular hit “I Don’t Want to Be,” you might instead recall his performances on Dancing With The Stars last fall and fall in love with his ability to command attention on stage.

Darius Rucker

NEEDTOBREATHE with special guest Gavin DeGraw SEPTEMBER 21

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or the past 30 years, Pat and Neil have made history with their rock and roll ballads. Famous hits like “Love is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot!” always remind you of what true rock and roll is about. Pat can claim four Grammy awards along with two multi-platinum albums and 19 Top 40 singles. People remember her hits as unforgettable having a singing career since she was in elementary school. While Pat is the vocalist, Neil brings years of experience as a musician, producer and songwriter with a catalogue of more than 100 top songs. The two partnered up in 1979 with the debut album In The Heat of The Night taking them into stardom. With a dynamic career behind them, life is only just beginning as the two set stage for a memorable event.

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Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo with special guest Night Ranger

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW www.stircove.com

All Ages Permitted. Tickets available at Stlrcove.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000


in the Weber Art Gallery with their display in the Osborne Family Gallery in UNO’s Criss Library; In addition, there is Creighton University’s BFA Thesis Exhibition on display till May 7 in its Lied Art Gallery featuring work from Elizabeth Ann Lowery, Ilisa Ayuindi Walter, and Emily Eleanor Fisher; and the College of St. Mary’s Student Art Show opening Thursday, May. 4, with a reception from 5-6 p.m. The exhibit continues in CSM’s Hillmer Gallery until May 19. For a variation on the theme of student exhibits, Gallery 72’s May exhibition will feature University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Master of Fine Art printmaking program. Two UNL art professors, Karen Kunc and Francisco Souto will join four students in the program in G72’s exhibit Dreams | Identity |Alive | Human: UNL MFA Printmaking. Included in the show are prints and drawings on paper by Stephanie Wright, Kyle Nobles, Pecos Pryor, and Nicholas Sheldon—all students of the MFA program. Kunc and Souto will also have work in the exhibition. Dreams | Identity |Alive | Human, a UNL MFA Printmaking exhibit opens Friday May, 12 with a reception from 5-9 p.m. and On view through June 3.

literally and figuratively through his critical point of view. If you’ve ever wondered what the sound of philosophical speak overlaying an urban beat would look like on canvas, you can get a feel for this alternative perspective at his current exhibition. The title of it somewhat speaks poetically to this notion encouraging you to rethink how you experience an artist’s take on issues like politics, individuality and human rights. If you miss the opening, catch it on Fridays from 6-8 p.m. or by appointment by contacting petshopgallery@gmail.com. ~JoAnna LeFlore

May 5 - Through May 26

‘Glass Works’

Corey Broman Cathedral’s Sunderland Gallery, 701 N. 40th Street www.cathedralartsproject.org/

April 23 continues its run through May 26. There is also a First Friday reception on May 5 from 5-7pm. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from noon-4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm. There is no admission charge. ~ Janet L. Farber

May 6, 8 p.m.

McCarthy Trenching and High Up Scott Recital Hall, 1200 Douglas Street www.omahaperformingarts.org Nebraska’s sound is quite unique and for the past decade has shaped into presenting itself on stages that usually share internationally renowned names and groups. This month, the 1200 Club, an auxiliary of Omaha Performing Arts, features alternative music from both McCarthy Trenching and High Up. McCarthy Trenching is comprised of two gentlemen, Dan McCarthy and James Maakestad, both Nebraska bred and recorded with Saddlecreek Records.

~Melinda Koze

May 5, 2017

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal Tour 38 Zoo Bar (Lincoln) www.zoobar.com Hoyer returns home to play with his band Soul Colossal

Opens Friday, May 5, Through June 30

Jeff King: You’re Beautiful, and nobody cares.

Benson Petshop Gallery, 2727 N. 62nd St fb.com/bensonpetshop/ First Friday in Benson continues with a reunion exhibition of work by Jeff King at Benson Petshop Gallery. Jeff is known for his unique and rogue visual street style art which usually sheds light on human and social issues. This month he presents some heavy artillery as the regards for political commentary stand. It’s not your typical posturing of political candidates into horrific photographs or the literal use of activism-themed phrases posed as typography on canvas. What stands out with Jeff, however, is his ability to candidly paint thoughts both

Fans of Omaha glass blower Corey Broman have come to expect several things from an exhibition of his work: sculptural presence, refined elegance, intricate patterning and, quite often, bold color. Glass Works will reward visitors with a renewed consideration of these defining characteristics, minus an emphasis on color. Of late, Broman has been working through a fascination with the bell jar, a familiar type of clear glass dome or cloche that has a history in service of both decorative and scientific purposes. Useful for their dust-free display properties, bell jars were an especially popular way in the Victorian era to arrange small treasured items or mementos into little still life arrangements— a kind of homey craft still employed in interior design. Science had also developed the ability to vacuum seal such domes, clearing the way for any number of significant experiments. Broman reimagines this form and its contents in this exhibition, which features 25 mostly cloche-shaped sculptures, each with something special inside, ranging from botanical and geological specimens to such direct scientific references as the alarm clock experiment, wherein it was proved that sound needs air in which to travel. The new works demonstrate the artist’s ongoing play with the nature of his materials and their functional history, and his preferred balance between bold form and delicate detail. Glass Works by Corey Broman, which opened at the Sunderland Gallery Sunday,

Kolar is a former Fellow with the Union for Contemporary Art. Her focused and exhaustive woven sculptures and installations are explorations into the dynamics between a consumer society and forms made from the actual consumables.

High Up is the recent band made up of two sisters Christine and Orenda Fink, also native Nebraskans. Their sound is a mix of indie rock with soul. Orenda is a well acclaimed songwriter whose albums dig deep into the layers of death and spirituality. Her debut album centered around haitian mysticism followed by an album exploring gothic subconscious. Meanwhile Christine can carry a range of vocal appeal with her soulful push. The two have gone on tour to perform at festivals and big stages alike including a recent show at South by Southwest (SXSW). ~JoAnna LeFlore

Friday May 6th through June 30th

Subtle and Sublime: Sarah Kolar and Brian Wetjen

Her current medium, shredded fabric from discarded t-shirts, is woven into massive nonrepresentational and sophisticated forms, often mimicking the original process of knitting used to make the shirt. By using something as pedestrian (and stained) as a used t-shirt, she also provides evidence and raises questions about the previous owner’s life and use of the shirts. Wetjen is one of the Collector Level artists in the Omaha Creative Institute’s 2017 Community Supported Art program, and is also a web design and business development consultant. His watercolor, charcoal, and graphite images and subtle use of color are both bold, stand-alone graphic signage and renderings of ideas and dreams; blueprints for exploring the concepts in three dimensions, or through other mediums. The work becomes a non-specific trigger to elusive and precarious memories, providing a schematic for future applications. The public is invited to meet and talk with the artists at an informal reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 6th. For information about this or future shows at the Michael Phipps Gallery can be obtained at omahalibrary.org or by calling 402-444-4800. Further information about the artists can be found at sarahkolar. wordpress.com and brianwetjen.com ~Kent Behrens

May 10, 9 p.m.

Chance the Rapper Century Link Omaha www.chanceraps.com

Michael Phipps Gallery omahalibrary.org/browse_program/ michael-phipps-gallery/ Kolar, Wetjen explore human psyche and condition in exhibit at Michael Phipps Gallery The Omaha Public Library continues to promote the artistic/community dialogue by bringing together Sarah Kolar and Brian Wetjen for a dual exhibition of their individual work.

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What you may know already about Chance the Rapper is as follows: Yes he’s won three Grammys and yes he’s been to parties at the White House. Yes he started a clothing line exclusively for the Chicago White Sox and yes he has declined every major record label deal since starting his career. But did you know that Chance started his own music group in conjunction with Donnie Trumpet and the Social

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Experiment instead? The group is made up of his pals from the early days of growing up in Chicago. Did you know that he is so loved by his fans because he releases all of his music for free? Did you also know that he got his musical drive from a youth program he joined as a teenager at a public library and started producing music at age 13? Ten years later, Chance is known to his fans as a happy rapper who comically inserts himself into conversations in order to ensure that you remember him. Just google his interviews on YouTube and you’ll understand. If you have no idea who this guy is, then you might as well google him after you read this. But to all of his real fans out there, let them confirm that if you don’t have tickets yet to this concert, you may not have as much fun anywhere else. Chance is sure to imprint new memories into your brains as his performances are known to be full of life and swag. ~JoAnna LeFlore

May 12

Tim Kasher plays with Allison Weiss and Campdogzz 46

Presented by radio power house 89.7 The River, Rockfest brings together the buzzing rock bands of the region. Many fans who’ve attended in the past should know that ticket prices are slightly increased but various options for seating are available. Not to mention the event is celebrating its 10th year with eight bands to include Soundgarden, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Sum 41, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Biffy Clyro. You can bet there will be head bobbing, mohawks, loud speakers, and the biggest mosh pit you’ve ever seen in the midwest. ~JoAnna LeFlore

May 14, 7 p.m.

Belles & Whistles’ Mother’s Day Concert with Mary Ruth

For only seven bucks you can attend this Mother’s Day evening celebration filled with sensual exploration, performance art and dancing hosted by Omaha’s only burlesque traveling troupe. While a typical idea of a burlesque is meant to satirically shed light on social identities, this troupe wants to make it known their focus leans more toward creative expression through the intersections of art, sexuality and social issues. The event also focuses on bodypositive and gender-inclusive experiences but you must be at least 18 to enter. ~JoAnna LeFlore

Slowdown, Front Room www.theslowdown.com/listing/

Waiting Room waitingroomlounge.com/events/ Tim Kasher is a creative powerhouse having produced 17 LPs and EPs over 20 years. He’s known for crafting intricate concept albums and transforming songs originally conceived as a soundtrack for his self-penned screenplay into a standalone album. Now on his third solo album No Resolution, the work seems to fit the scenes of a cinematic film as intended. The album was recorded between Omaha, LA and Chicago. Also joining the stage is Allison Weiss, an indie pop artist from Georgia. Traveling from Omaha to Australia after this performance, Allison has an international appeal making her songs believable due to her transparent lyrics. The show starts at 9 p.m. and cost $12 to enter. ~ Salvador S. Robles

May 12

Rockfest 2017 Westfair Amphitheater www.897theriver.com

May 16-21

Something Rotten! Slosburg Hall, Orpheum Theater, 409 S 16th St. www.omahaperformingarts.org

Belles & Whistles is an award winning mother-daughter duo, blending energetic contemporary country original songs and a homespun yet rockin’ stage show that will delight the youngest to oldest fans. Led by 18-yearold Kelli Jones, Belles & Whistles takes you on a musical journey that borrows from the best of strong female country trendsetters and original country music. Belles & Whistles has opened for Brett Elderidge, Lee Brice, Old Dominion, Kenny Rogers, Dan + Shay and many more. The duo’s debut EP, recorded at prestigious Legends Studio in Nashville. Be sure to bring your girlfriends and sisters to this funfilled event. ~ Salvador S. Robles

May 14, 8 p.m.-2 p.m.

Dream of Venus Burlesque: Mother’s Night Reverb Lounge www.reverblounge.com/events/

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A musical about The Black Death? It stinks. But what can you do when Shakespeare gets all the praise and bright candlelight? Zounds! What about a play with lots of ditties and ballads? With the right quill and foolscap, a fellow of infinite jest and most excellent fancy could set tongues a-wagging, hands a-clapping and feet a-stamping with something new. Behold! A musical! Something Rotten! It had Broadway groundlings laughing for 20 months.

May 17, 8 p.m.

Oddisee

Slowdown www.theslowdown.com/listing/

Currently on a North American tour with GOOD COMPANY and Olive Street, Oddisee showcases his lyricism through thoughtprovoking messages and a piercing voice. He speaks through the mic as if this might be the last time you ever hear hip hop music again and would want you to remember it for the classic storytelling that it was meant for. With titles like “That’s Love” and “You Grew Up,” both shedding light on the varying dynamics of friendship and loyalty, Oddisee proves with these songs that he truly is in love with his craft. As candid as his stories are, he also makes it known that sharing the creative process is just as important as performing the craft itself. Oddisee and his band show videos of doing public rehearsals while preparing for their tours as a way to tell the entire story about being a hip hop artist group. This will be his first time in Omaha performing and it will pretty much change your views on what the future of rap music can become.

May 19-20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Strangeland 2017 Three Hills Event Center, 6251 G Road (Nebraska City) www.whatisstrangeland.com

Ripe, not rotten. | For details on showtimes visit www.omahaperformingarts.org.

Strangeland, an Electronic Dance Music and Camping Festival, has returned to satisfy all of your escapism and live music desires. Presented by a collective called Old Skool Underground, full of Deejays and cultural producers, Strangeland was created to get people back into the meaning of fun. The collective invited 35 artists and bands to perform along with a few eclectic activities for the curious minds. Anyone interested in fire breathing? If that doesn’t meet your fancy, you can try a little suitcase music making, inflatable sumo and joust competitions, body painting, or play games on a 30-foot parachute. The entire experience is offered for only $60 per person for ages 18 and up. The festival also encourages camping so be sure to get there early if you want to claim your spot.

~Gordon Spencer

~JoAnna LeFlore

In 1595 the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, struggle to find success in the theatrical world, competing with Master Will. Set to tunes and words by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick plus John O’Farrell. The New York Times cites “puns, giggly double-entendres, lip-smacking bad taste and goofy pastiche numbers,” akin to Mel Brooks’ The Producers and The Book of Mormon. Sending up musicals “fueled by the bold-asbrass music, ingenious lyrics and sheer lunacy” saith Variety.

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May 18-June 25

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The Musical Bluebarn Theatre 1106 South 10th St. Thurs.-Sat.: 7:30 p.m., Sun. June 4, 11,18,25: 6 p.m. www.bluebarn.org

Mercer, the band has been making music since 2007 with the hits that earned attention for multiple Grammy nominations. After a few years of self-financed singles, demos and van tours, the band was signed by Sub Pop Records who subsequently released its first three full length records. The indie rockers hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico and are currently based out of hipster haven Portland, Oregon. “New Slang,” their most memorable song, garnered their claim to fame as the new indie band on the scene. As the band grew, a few of the members tailed off and James continues to tour as a one-man show. He began touring with a new backing band consisting of performers from other popular indie bands. The Shins’ indie pop hits border on the folk side and are perfect for enjoying under the stars on a late spring evening at this Council Bluffs concert at Stir Concert Cove. ~ Salvador S. Robles

May 24, 2017

Omaha Gives! 10 www.omahafoundation.org This road trip at Bluebarn is really a trip. Three performers set off to stage a drag show at Alice Springs in the remote Australian desert. Aboard their bus, Priscilla, they find that their arrival turns out to be more than show biz. Tick, Bernadette and Adam encounter dangerous homophobia but also love and acceptance, with complications due to Tick’s former family life. New horizons take shape.

A New Approach to Addressing Community Needs

May 24, 9 p.m.

Cool Ghouls Brothers Lounge fb.com/brothersloungeomaha/

They sing and dance 23 songs in what certainly personifies a “jukebox musical.” They are disco and karaoke hits made famous by Tina Turner, Village People, Dionne Warwick, Petula Clark, Donna Summer, John Denver, Brenda Lee plus. In this production, the cast takes on some numbers live.

May 20

The sound of Cool Ghouls may remind you of a 60s band especially with their free spirited lyrics and shaggy hairstyles. You might wonder what in fact is a ghoul? It could be a person who is fascinated with the concept of death or the title one receives for glory and honor in an anime cartoon series. In this case, it’s a group of

The 1994 stage version was no mere replica of the 1991 movie. The Oscar-winning songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman remained, bien sur, but six more were added with Tim Rice’s lyrics. Plus Linda Woolverton, who wrote the original script, adapted and altered the new one, adding depth to the Beast and expanding story lines about the castle staff under a spell as household objects. No doubt Beaumont would have been pleased. She believed in making moral and educational tales entertaining. Be her guest. ~Gordon Spencer

Neighborhoods USA Conference

May 27 - June 3

Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayFest 34-36

Downtown Hilton Omaha www.nusa.org This national conference is expected to bring in over 800 attendees traveling from all over the country in hopes of building stronger communities. Local residents are especially encouraged to register as NUSA chose Omaha to serve as the host city for this annual affair. Through a competitive process, Omaha was chosen to create a platform for keynote speaker Fred Kent, Founder of Project for Public Spaces, and Joseph Porcelli, a senior city strategist for Nextdoor; in addition to 56 other presentation tracks. Sessions will convene on topics like Creative Inclusion, Growing Green Neighborhoods, preserving local culture and neighborhood initiatives. Participants also have the option to attend tours of 18 neighborhoods between Omaha and Council Bluffs. Since 1975, NUSA has proven efforts of bringing together people in hopes of encouraging information sharing and community development. Omaha has been chosen more than once for this popular event so we can only imagine how impactful the experience will be for local residents. If you’re curious about the speakers list and how to register, research more at www.intheneighborhood.org/2017-nusa-conference/

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

~Gordon Spencer

Performing a mix of new material and fans favorites, The Shins makes a stop to the Stir Cove for their Concert Series. Led by James

transformed, so too was this story. Behold! A Disney animated musical film. A stage re-working for Broadway. Now a film version with actual actors. Praise. Fame.

May 24-27

May 26-June 25

Expect a vast array of costumes made from other recyclables.

Stir Cove, Harrah’s Casino caesars.com/harrahs-council-bluffs/shows

~JoAnna LeFlore

~JoAnna LeFlore

This is a 2006 recycling by Allan Scott and Stephan Elliott of the 1994 film which Elliott wrote and directed. It ran 15 months on Broadway and has been produced world-wide.

The Shins

cool guys who just want to be known for living life to the fullest. Based out of San Francisco, the group formed in 2010 and only claims one website they maintain: their Bandcamp Profile. They do not really care for the hype and famed, but rather the enjoyment they get out of the music and traveling. Their music is such a reflection of this that when you listen, you kind of slip into a mental dream state. I think that is their pure intention, to help you get away. On this Wednesday night, they bring their guitars, chill-out vibes and classic jams to the stage at Brothers Lounge to give you a taste. To get in, you must have five bucks and be at least 21 years of age.

South Omaha takes center stage

May 27, 9:30 p.m.

Nebraska Left Coalition Fundraiser O’Leavers Pub, 1322 S. Saddle Creek Rd. fb.com/TheNebraskaLeftCoalition/ The Nebraska Left Coalition, an organization that champions the need to build a leftists reform and resistance movements in the Age of Trump, have partnered with a slew of local artists for a fundraiser. The night ranges from Hardcore music to Hip Hop with bands R0ACH, Jocko, Articulate with DJ Really Real and the entertaining lyricist Black Johnny Quest. Entry is only five dollars as long as you are of legal age for drinking. The Nebraska Left Coalition, while newly formed, has a membership of knowledgeable activists and welcomes new voices to the table. ~JoAnna LeFlore

Hawks Mainstage Theatre Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Weds.-Sat.: 7:30 p.m., Sat. June 17, 24: 2 p.m., Sun. : 2 p.m. www.omahaplayhouse.com When 18th Century French writer JeanneMarie Leprince de Beaumont completed La Belle et la Bête, adding it to her 13 other fairy tales, she could not have imagined that it would become a classic. Just as the Beast was

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Metro Community College, South Omaha Campus 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave. www.GPTCplays.com/playfest/

May 28, 2017

Blues Society of Omaha Summer Kick Off 40 River City Star 151 Freedom Park Rd. www.omahablues.com/events/ Legendary rock-blues band the Cate Brothers

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VALUE ADDED ATTRACTION

KANEKO

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ART

ooking for art in all the wrong places”: at Lauritzen Gardens, UNMC campus and the Hilton Omaha Omaha’s art lovers craving the objects of their affection generally know where to find them: museums, local art centers and galleries. And as Spring beckons us outdoors we are naturally drawn to public art in all the right places: civic squares, city parks and university campuses, as well as on the sides of many commercial buildings, given the Metro’s current muralist craze. Yet, as we come out of our long winter’s nap and begin to traverse the city again, it might surprise you to know there is a great deal of public 2D and 3D art to be enjoyed “in all the wrong places.” That is, publicly accessible art where you might least expect it, a sort of value-added attraction. Three sites with a concentration of interesting contemporary work have emerged in the last decade: Lauritzen Gardens, Hilton Omaha and two buildings on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus. What follows is a peek at the offerings of each. Since it opened its Visitor and Education Center in 2001, Lauritzen Gardens has included various forms of art in its offerings, both in its gift shop-adjacent gallery and, on occasion, in other indoor and outdoor areas of its sprawling

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facility. Currently featured are the ever-popular LEGO sculptures of Sean Kenney. In addition to its growing collection of botanical specimens, Lauritzen Gardens also has an expanding collection of permanent artworks. Many are, as you’d expect, traditional types of garden sculpture: fountains, birds, children and such. But others await observant visitors. Lining the front windows of the Visitor’s Center is a suite of 6 black wooden sculptures by Catherine Ferguson. Characterized by silhouetted natural forms and undulating linear elements, “Nile River Foliage” stems from Ferguson’s designs for the 2008 Opera Omaha presentation of Aida; the screen-like sculptures were added to the garden’s collection after a related exhibition there. Similarly, the 2011 exhibition Outdoor Kaneko prompted the purchase of 3 of the ceramic artist’s signature humansized Dangos. You will find them arranged in the Tree Peony Garden where their bright colors and vivid patterns enliven the space long after the showy spring blooms have faded. There are other hidden gems in the gardens, including works by Deb McColley, Iggy Sumnik and Dan Whetstone. And be sure to check out the Children’s Garden for its growing grove of charming Lithuanian wooden folk sculptures, part of an effort with the sister of city of Šiauliai. “Egle-Queen of the


Snakes” by Aurimas Šimkus was completed on site in 2015. art at two of its recent buildings: the gathering spaces Despite its art programs, Lauritzen Gardens is a little shy in both the Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science about its permanent holdings. Ferguson’s sculpture has no Education (2008) and the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer obvious label, maps do not flag sculpture locations and art Center for Public Health (2011) are filled with work from tours only happen as parts of specific events, such as the the region’s finest and are accessible on weekdays. These recent International Sculpture Day. But the gardens are open privately funded initiatives, whose principals are active in to be explored by the public daily (there is an admission the art community, certainly represent a culture shift from charge for non-members). the near debacle that was the dismantling of a publicly Hotels aren’t generally known for having thoughtfully funded Alice Aycock sculpture, in the way of campus curated art displays. Big corporate hotels tend to make décor expansion in the late ‘90s. purchases whose aesthetics range from merely inoffensive to Most of the accessible art in the Sorrell Center is found annoyingly trite. on its second and third floors. Some works are obviously When the city-owned and bond-financed downtown commissioned, including a Steve Roberts painting of Hilton Omaha was in development, a different idea was the building’s namesake and a Neil Christensen still life hatched: why not put regional artists to work as well as local “The First Year”, featuring items pertinent in the life of a contractors? medical resident. On its opening in 2004, Hilton Omaha boasted a Among other works of note are an abstract geometric collection of about 50 artworks by 22 artists, nearly all painting by Lincoln’s Marjorie Mikasen, a dreamlike accessible to the public 24/7 in entrance, lobby, restaurant watercolor by Creighton professor John Thien, and an and 2nd floor meeting room lobbies. With a building intricate fantasy etching by Kearney’s Victoria Goroexpansion in 2012, more works have been added. Rapoport. Unfortunately off view were four large paintings The list of artists is reasonably familiar: Jacquie Kluver, by Mark Gilbert that stemmed from an earlier UNMC art Karen Kunc, Larry Roots, Terry Rosenberg and Colin Smith, initiative, Portraits of Care. among others. There’s a balance between artworks which The collection is also enhanced by loans from Nebraska speak specifically about Nebraska and those that are simply museums. Joslyn has lent a selection of mostly historical non-representational. works by artists associated with the region, including Karl Your expectations to see several works by Jun Kaneko will Bodmer, J. Laurie Wallace and Allan Tubach. The Museum be rewarded: 6 wall slabs hang over the front desk and a of Nebraska Art has a changing exhibition program in pair of bronze and stainless heads is an east lobby feature. another hallway, currently devoted to contemporary art It’s worth remembering that the Hilton provided Kaneko’s from its collection. first local outdoor commission: 5 trademark Dangos sit on Walking up the hill separating the Sorrell and Maurer striped plinths in a circular plaza at the Cass Street entrance. Centers, there are several sculptures to enjoy, including a The great lobby also highlights six canvases of Iowa Kaneko installation, a Fletcher Benton steel alphabet letter. painter Rein Vanderhill. His suite features sun-dappled Hardest to miss, however, is the 120’ tall perforated steel close-ups of fruits and flowers dangling from trees and and light “Hope Tower” by James Carpenter, accomplished plants. Their arrangement in the north lobby seating areas artist/architect/designer based in New York. This feature on opposite sides of angled walls encourages viewing from wows during both daylight and evening hours. near and far. Next door at the Maurer Center, an impressive selection Throughout, there’s a generous selection of Larry Sosso’s of art from artists with Nebraska ties is found on all levels whimsical work. A small sculptural trio of human figures and building stairwells. Glass artist Therman Statom, a fashioned from bent and welded steel, located near the California transplant with a national following, is well 2nd floor elevators, reflect the business types you might represented with both wall-mounted works and functional see at a convention hotel. Elsewhere, Sosso’s drawings benches. Look also for works by “Omaha alums” Leslie outline torsos of men and women. For better or worse, his Iwai, Jim Krantz and Claudia Alvarez, whose haunting art been employed as a wayfinding device, located outside painting “Boy Smoking” is perhaps the most provocative restrooms or as signposts at elevator banks. work on view. On the whole, the collection is satisfying and well Once opened, neither facility has widely trumpeted the presented, though it will never be accused of being the existence of these collections, though they get props for daring program offered by the 21C boutique hotels. There labeling them appropriately. Perhaps that will change is a small collection guide available at the concierge desk (if with the dedication of the Buffett Cancer Center at the you ask), though it has not been updated. Hilton would be end of May, which features a Dale Chihuly sanctuary, a well served to mount labels next to its artworks to overcome Kaneko glass tower, four commissioned artworks through this deficit and call attention to the fact that it has created the Nebraska 1% for the Arts program, and other objects an intentional display. as the opening salvo of its Healing Arts Program. Visual culture lovers anticipate finding art on university One can only hope this trend continues. MoNA has campuses, but it’s probably safe to say that we don’t extended its art program to the Methodist Women’s think of the Med Center in the same way, as most of us Hospital. Principals with the new Capitol District Marriott experience it via the services it offers: doctors, labs and have been seen shopping for art. MCC’s Ft. Omaha hospitals. campus has an open call for submissions for some large In the last decade, however, a concerted effort has outdoor work. Just goes to show, art is all around, if you been made to engage the public with contemporary keep your eyes peeled.

ART

SOSSO

LITHUANIAN FOLK ART

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FACING THE TRUTH

Donuts Don’t Nourish, but Sweetness Delights BY GORDON SPENCER

THEATER

SUPERIOR DONUTS

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SUPERIOR DONUTS

I

n an almost -transitioning contemporary Chicago kind; he just has to realize that. neighborhood the Superior Donuts shop has just been An unlikely cross-racial, cross-generational relationship vandalized. The not-so-prosperous family business is run develops. Take it from there, as developments transpire at by its only survivor, ex-hippie and no-longer young Arthur Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of Tracy Letts’ 2008 Przybyszewski. A challenge, given that his overall approach to Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Superior Donuts.” life is ruled by being so laid back as to almost lie down and Director Susan Baer Collins sees the setting as relevant to accept whatever befalls. And what else is he going to do? us here due west of Sandburg’s hog butcher for the world. Investigating policewoman Randy empathizes; she might This takes place where people of various roots cross paths, even want to get closer to Arthur, if he’d let her. In his emotional immigrants, street people, black youth in trouble. “A rich vein fog, he doesn’t see his way to reach out and grab her. Oh well, of feeling runs through the drama,” commented the Los Angeles back to business. Fix up and move on. Times. Then something else unexpected happens. An optimistic, Collins thinks that the idea of family underlies this story. seemingly happy young black man from another neighborhood, “Family isn’t necessarily the people that you’re related to by Franco Wicks, asks Arthur for a job. Brash Franco brushes aside birth. We should never turn down an opportunity for friendship, Arthur’s contention that he doesn’t need help and immediately even from the least likely sources. It’s about community and starts suggesting more modern improvements, in effect pointing accepting.” out that the city needs more than sugary fats and warmed over Letts certainly has become known for writing about family. His coffee. Arthur takes him on, but really needs help of a different Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award- winning August: Osage County continued on page 32 y

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y continued from page 30

dwells on a tightly intertwined clan whose veins run with poisoned vinegar, while scratching and clawing at each others’ souls. Adding to the image of a rep for nastiness, Letts also gave us Bug and Killer Joe. Wha? Where did this potential heart-warmer come from? Letts calls Superior Donuts his “love letter to Chicago.” He spent creative years in that city from age 20, staying for 11 years with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he is still an active member. He often writes about struggles with moral and spiritual questions, citing inspiration especially from Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner. Letts explained what ties his plays together. Writers should “write from a place of empathy, get into another character’s shoes and experience things both mundane and tragic.” He points out that some people “aren’t necessarily the most eloquent when trying to express their emotions,” and that they “deserve a voice,” articulate enough for them to identify with. Witness Arthur’s voice in soliloquies, trying to find a way to explain who he is and how he got to be that way, turning towards the shadows outside the framework of his surroundings, facing us, trying to face himself. Yet don’t think that this play is some kind of heavy load. Much of the first act introduces fascinating characters who say lots of colorful things, sometimes salty, bound to make you laugh and to like them. And the next hour, as Franco’s own troubles emerge and threaten, amid surprises and tensions, deeper meaning and warm tenderness emerge. Everything moves towards awareness of what these people and we have in common, worth remembering in these turbulent days. The New York Times describes Superior Donuts as “a gentle comedy…a warm bath of a play that will leave Broadway audiences with satisfied smiles rather than rattled nerves.” It says that the style and setting strongly, comfortably resemble Norman Lear’s groundbreaking TV scripts with “smart jokes and social understanding.” However, be alert, you could be rattled when graphic physical violence emerges. “I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude on stage,” Director Collins says. “It’s a challenge to make it real when the audience is so close, as in this theater.” Plus there is an adult language warning. Collins thinks that’s a valid given. “This is how these people would sound, their urban and ethnic ways of speaking.” As for other authentic elements, expect some olfactory enhancements. There will be actual donuts on stage as well as real coffee brewing. Perhaps even donuts on sale in the lobby, should the urge emerge. Speaking of authenticity, Collins wanted her two actors in the roles of Chicago police to have a solid sense of what it must be like in shoes on patrol, especially in a racially tense time and place such as in this neighborhood on stage. She invited local officers to talk to the performers, assisted and advised as well by Greg Scheer, backstage production coordinator and part-time member of OPD, supplemented by former production team member Mark Blice, now a full-time wearer of the badge. Collins hopes that her fictional police feel the presence and effect on their bodies of day-long wearing of 30 pounds of equipment. And, given that the two characters are male and female, can learn and show how such relationships work. Letts not only got a Pulitzer for August: Osage County, he was also nominated for another with 2003’s Man From Nebraska seen here at Bluebarn in 2008. He wrote screenplays for film versions of Bug, Killer Joe and August: Osage County. Letts did not do so for this year’s CBS series’ lighter take on the characters and situations of Superior Donuts; he’s been busy as an actor. He’s become known for portraying CIA director Andrew Lockhart in Showtime’s Homeland, for which he has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards as a member of the ensemble. Letts has also had roles in TV shows such as Judging Amy, Seinfeld, Early Edition and Home Improvement. In feature films, Letts has been in Guinevere, U.S. Marshals, Chicago Cab, Straight Talk, The Big Short and Indignation, and often on stages, including Broadway, was nominated for a Tony portraying George in a 2006 Broadway production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Re Man from Nebraska, it too is quite different from August: Osage County. The man from Lincoln struggles with a heartbreaking loss of religious faith. Searching for his soul, he eventually finds it. You may hope that Arthur Przybyszewski finds his. Superior Donuts runs May 5th to June 4th, Howard Drew Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Thurs--Sat.: 7:30 p.m. Sunday: 2 p.m. Tickets $22-$36. www.OmahaPlayhouse.org


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THEATER

SOUTH OMAHA TAKES CENTER STAGE

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MAY 2017

BY LEO ADAM BIGA

SOUTH OMAHA PLAY FEST

W

hen applied to Omaha, the word refers to a neighborhood and a school where cross-cultural intersections happen every day. South is also the working title and setting of a new play by Los Angeles playwright Michael John Garces. His original work is having its world premiere at South High on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the May 27-June 3 Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC). South Omaha’s a landing spot for migrants, immigrants and refugees. South High’s a microcosm of the area and its range of social-racial-ethnic diversity. Garces spent time in South O researching his play. He visited there in 2015 for a similar project. His new drama expresses fears, aspirations, issues and traditions of the two primary populations comprising the area today – Anglo-Americans and Mexican-Americans. Other ethnicities are represented in the piece as well. The GPTC production is part of the conference’s communitybased PlayFest. The free show featuring South High students will

| THE READER |

THEATER

be performed in the school auditorium. South High is at 4519 South 24th Street. The annual conference hosted by Metropolitan Community College takes turns exploring aspects of inner city Omaha through its Neighborhood Tapestries. Last year’s focus was North Omaha. This year, it’s South Omaha. Garces visited last fall garnering the raw material for the play from story circles convened with people who variously live, work and attend school there or otherwise identify as South Omahans. “Community-based work creates a story vibrantly alive in the truths of the specific community participating in it,” said GPTC artistic director Kevin Lawler. “It allows for the community to share stories directly, in-person, and with the depth theater provides. With the annual PlayFest Neighborhood Tapestries we are creating a living history of the local neighborhoods of Omaha that is unlike any other that exists for the city.” For South, Garces created two fictional families. One, Lithuanian-American. The other, Mexican-American. The lives of


Lina, younger sister Gabija and their parents are juxtaposed with the lives of Lupe, younger brother Diego and their parents. The two households contend with things universal across cultures but also singular to their own family and life situation. Once Donald Trump got elected President, Garces returned for an extra story circle, this time with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who expressed concerns about antiimmigrant stands. “It just changed what it meant to write a play at this moment,” Garces said. “I appreciated how my colleagues at the conference stepped up to that and had me come back out to have more conversations with people, which was really necessary.” The threat of DACA’s repeal, wholesale deportations and a border wall were among the concerns shared. “There was definitely some trepidation expressed to me about what certain changes would mean for South Omaha, particularly for young people.” In the play Lina’s intensely curious about the legal status of friends Lupe and Diego, who avoid the subject until something brings it to light. The two girls wind up protesting on behalf of immigration reform. Garces said, “I talked to people with a very wide range of relationships to activism, so I wanted to represent young people who were activists like Lina and Lupe, and others, like Diego, who aren’t so much.” By play’s end, Diego’s run afoul of the law and he and Lina have grown apart. Lina and Lupe ponder their respective futures. Lina’s free to go and return as she pleases. Lupe and Diego don’t have that luxury. “Lina is frustrated with some things happening in her community and for her to leave is a different choice then for Lupe to leave because Lina knows she can come back,” said Garces, whose play intentionally explores who America is home to and isn’t today. “I think this notion of home is challenging and contested right now. What does it mean to live in the United States since you were 2 and be told you have to go back ‘home’ to a place you don’t have any memory of and whose language you may not speak and leave the place where you do speak the language and where everyone you know lives. There’s a high degree of precariousness and uncertainty for people.” Questions about identity and home resonate for Garces. “There’s definitely personal connections in the play for me of families being put under stress by political concerns and as a young person having to make those decisions. Some of the interpersonal stuff that happens both within the family and with friends resonates, too. “My father’s Cuban, my mother’s Anglo-American, and I grew up in South America, which has its own series of complexities. But at the end of the day I have friends who can’t make the same choices I can make. Regardless of how complex my life and how hard the choices may be, regardless of my convictions, there is always the simple fact I have an American passport, which unless I do something very specific cannot be taken away from me. And so I have the option of certain choices some of my friends don’t. Me choosing to leave the United States or stay is a vastly different choice than it is for someone who’s not a citizen.” In terms of how South Omahans view themselves, Garces sees a dynamic, healthy tension between permanency and transition.

It’s a working-class place with rich history and strong cultural ties, yet always reinventing itself. The one constant is aspiration. “When I talk to people in the taqueria or the school or the Lithuanian Bakery or wherever I go, there’s always this sense of people looking forward to what’s going to be possible for the next generation and what is the neighborhood going to be. It’s been so many things but what it’s going to be is always in question. “The sense of excitement and possibility around that is very real. The food, the murals, the sense when you’re on the street that lives are being made and that it’s a place of possibility – that’s what I’ve really taken away with me from South Omaha.” He said even apart from questions about how federal policies, laws or executive orders might crack down on illegal immigrants, currents of change fill the air. “I hear this from young people, old people, people from a wide range of backgrounds talking very consistently about how the neighborhood is perceived to be changing. People talk about what they think is positive about that change but also express concern.” He said he finds people there take a “great deal of pride in their origins. whether Lithuania or Mexico or other places, whether they’re first, second or third generation.” He added, “They’re very proud, too. of being from South Omaha. At the same time they feel South Omaha is not highly regarded by people not of South Omaha.” GPTC associate artistic director Scott Working, who’s directing the play, admires what Garces has wrought. “He artfully distills dozens of stories and hundreds of images into these beautiful collections of relatable moments. His characters absolutely feel like you ran into them on South 24th Street. Some of our younger cast were a part of the South High discussion and recognize moments in the play that were in that conversation.” Garces was still tweaking the ending in mid-April. Though he also directs and heads L.A.-based Cornerstone Theater Company, he’s put the production in the hands of Working, co-designers Bill Van Deest and Carol Wisner and costumer Lindsay Pape. “As a writer I tend to try to create a framework that’s pretty open for the designer and the director to interpret that physical world. I talked to Scott about how from my writer’s perspective I think the play needs to flow and there needs to be rhythm but beyond that I’m trusting in them to capture something sort of essential about what it means to be in South Omaha. I’m actually excited to see what they come up with.” Garces has enjoyed the experience of representing the former Magic City in a dramatic structure. “It’s been a really good process. I’ve felt really supported by the conference. I don’t mean to sound all Hallmark about it but you occasionally have those artistic experiences that just feel good and this has been one of them. This has felt really right.” He’s also come to feel a kinship for South O. Though he’s learned much over two years, he considers himself “more informed guest” than honorary South Omahan. For the complete PlayFest schedule, visit http://www.gptcplays.com/. Read more of Leo Adam Biga’s work at leoadambiga.com.

THEATER

SOUTH OMAHA PLAY FEST

SOUTH OMAHA PLAY FEST

SOUTH OMAHA PLAY FEST

| THE READER |

MAY 2017

35


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37


COLOSSAL STEPS

JOSH HOYER

B.J. HUCHTEMANN

J

osh Hoyer believes in the power of music. And in the last two Colossal onstage at the historic club. Hoyer was a favorite of TV months, his music has catapulted him onto TV sets across the audiences, with his “Blind Audition” performance of the classic country as part of “The Voice” and through a month-long Chi-Lites tune “Oh, Girl” logging over a million views on YouTube. European tour. He ended up on “Team Blake,” with coach Blake Shelton saying “To find solace in music is the closest thing to religion, other than “We’re all gonna say that there’s nobody like you on our teams, being submersed in nature, that I have ever experienced,” Hoyer because there’s nobody like you on the show.” says. “The spirit lives in music. After visiting Europe, the experience Hoyer and East Coast vocalist TSoul made a celebration of their further confirmed for me that music transcends all cultural and “Battle Round” rendition of Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.” language boundaries. It is, in fact, the supreme language. As a The duo’s soulful vocals and exuberance took the live crowd by performer, I rarely feel more alive than when I am playing music. storm. RollingStone.com weighed in the next morning noting that There is a fiery joy that consumes me. When it is really good, I Hoyer “sang with fire and exuded a natural joy.” But Shelton picked feel no doubt, I feel no fear, I feel the essence of life, and, man, is TSoul to continue forward on the program. it powerful. When a group of musicians come together to make Hoyer was on tour with Soul Colossal in Europe during the airing something as a whole, and are fortunate enough to have a crowd of the “Blind Auditions.” The Reader asked if there is a difference in that wants to have that experience with them, there is nothing more life before and after “The Voice?” potent on this earth that humans can do together. It’s like a volcanic “There is,” Hoyer says. “Getting off the plane in Boston from our eruption of love and joy. Hot damn! European tour, I was recognized by a woman who is a big ‘Voice’ “As a listener, music saved my life many times over,” Hoyer fan. Pretty funny. The show has a massive reach and I’ve definitely continues, “My teens, 20s and 30s all had their times of great despair been recognized a bunch more here in Lincoln since returning… and confusion. I unfortunately have suffered from depression and Some folks have the impression that I spent a bunch of time with anxiety most of my life. Music was always my haven. It was the Blake and the other judges...enough to form a lasting relationship. place I could go where I didn’t feel alone. It often served as my well But the reality is that I spent minimal time with Blake and none with of hope, served as a place of meditation, served as my reminder of the others. I am kind of a private person, so the added notoriety all the good things that I just couldn’t see at the time. As a writer, it has taken a little getting used to...but all in all, I feel very fortunate would be my ultimate honor to have any of my songs be that for a to have the opportunity to meet new people and hopefully interest listener, a fellow human.” them in checking out what the band and I are creating.”

MUSIC 38

BY

MAY 2017

Television Shot “The Voice” video package that introduced him to America included footage of Hoyer at home in Lincoln with his wife and daughters, working at the Zoo Bar and playing with his band Soul

| THE READER |

MUSIC

Soul Colossal’s First European Tour Hoyer and Soul Colossal were invited to play Europe through an agency called Teenage Head Music. “At first, I thought it was a scam and took the offer with a grain of salt,” Hoyer explains.


LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE - MAY, 2017. LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE - FEBRUARY 2017 MONDAY, MAY 1 Gooch And His Big Las Vegas Band 6:30 to 9:30pm FRIDAY, FEB 3

JOSH HOYER “’Goes to show how jaded a musician can become in this business. After investigating and asking 100 questions, I realized they were legit and it would be a great opportunity for us to grow in the European market. They are great guys and are very professional. They have over 400 requests for tours a year, and only book around 20, so it was an honor to work with them. We look forward to returning in August/September of 2018.” It was Hoyer’s first trip outside the U.S. “I went into it hearing that European music lovers are some of the best in the world. That they love American music and that they treat musicians and artists in general with more respect than most U.S. crowds do. “The reality of the tour was all that, and more. I was amazed at how music transcended almost all the language and cultural barriers between us and every new city we visited. Often times in America, it is very difficult for a band to go to a new city or market and have a crowd willing to listen and experience new, original music. You often feel a need, or are even required by promoters or venues, to play a certain amount of cover songs to keep the crowd happy. You also often play for four hours and rarely get dinner or lodging. In Europe, the listeners came to experience what you create. The venues by and large fed us nice, healthy meals and provided lodging. The people genuinely wanted to dig into something new and really allowed themselves to participate in a live music event. It was incredible START YOUR SPRING OFF RIGHT! and very validating for me as a writer and performer. Visit with hundreds of vendors in all areas “In Northern Spain,” Hoyer continues, “Every show we played was capped of by multiple encores, from landscape siding and windows. requested by the entire crowd boldly singing their soccer chant. It to was super-intense and humbling. Those folks know how to live!” Other highlights included enjoying strong European coffee and sampling fresh octopus in A Coruña, Spain. “Gazing out over the Mediterranean Sea was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It was spectacular!”

MID AMERICA CENTER

The Power of Music Daily drawing for gift cards along with daily “One gentleman came and saw us in three different cities. He is an architect who has had difficulty seminars the50s, Iowa State finding work featuring in his field speakers and now infrom his late is still roofing houses. He said our music gave him a Extension’s Master Gardeners, NP Dodge, Blackto see us as many times as he could before fresh feeling of strength to keep living and that he wanted & more! withexchange Zebediah Camel weHills wentEnergy home. That kind ofVisit genuine of T. spirit and soul is what music is all about for me. We and play the our all-new Kidslaughed. Area with Depot, face-painting hugged. We in raised fists. We AndHome said we’d see each other soon. & more! “At most of these shows, multiple people came up to us, and in broken English, told us how special the FREE PARKING! experience was for them and how it made them happy. Every place we played enthusiastically asked general 10love & under freeit home with me. It was incredible.” us$5 to come back.admission, I soaked upkids all that and took Military and the Seniors receive a $1 off discount theVoice” door. will help him land major artist Hoyer hopes exposure and interest generated byat “The Show yourand Disney onbooking Ice tickets/stub get on $1new off! management a solid agent. He’s and working songs and expects to release the band’s Tickets next albumavailable in 2018. online at Eventbrite or thru the Mid America Center box office If there was a downside to the time in California with “The Voice” or the European tour, Hoyer confides, “it was heartbreaking” from his wife, Sarah, his daughters, Avalee, age FRIDAY, March 17th being - first away 200 people in door getand FREE St. Patrick’s Day eight, and Clara, agebeef three,sandwiches for so long. Hoyer his wife and parents as his biggest personal beads. Corned andcites green beer onhistap! inspirations. In “The Voice” video that introduced him to the world, he brushed away a tear, concluding, “I wanna c b h o m es h ow. c o m show my girls that if you believe in yourself and you work hard enough, good things can happen.”

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35 39


SUMMERTIME BLUES

BY B.J. HUCHTEMANN

HOODOO

Then BSO teams with the River City Star to bring the legendary rockblues band the Cate Brothers back as part of a holiday afternoon of music Sunday, May 28. Also performing are Sailing in Soup, Voodoo Vinyl and Devon “Blind Dog” Fulton’s tribute to Robert Johnson. Look up the BSO Kick Off to Summer event at eventbrite. com and find details at Facebook.com/BluesSocietyOfOmaha.

HOODOO focuses on blues, roots, Americana and occasional other music styles with an emphasis on live music performances. Hoodoo columnist B.J. Huchtemann is a senior contributing writer and veteran music journalist who received the Blues Foundation’s 2015 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Journalism. Follow her blog at hoodoorootsblues.blogspot.com and on www.thereader.com.

40

MAY 2017

CATE BROTHERS

T

he BSO Presents shows in May start with storytelling songwriter, hearty vocalist, harmonica player and drummer Randy McAllister. In the great Texas roots music traditions, McAllister has got the goods as both a crowd-pleasing entertainer and a thinking man’s songwriter. He takes the stage at Chrome Lounge Thursday, May 4, 6-9 p.m. Then get set for a special Tuesday early show at Chrome Tuesday, May 9, 6-9 p.m., when BSO Presents the Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling. Nick Moss Band is nominated for Band of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year and Album of the Year for their disc From the Root to the Fruit in this year’s Blues Music Awards and Dennis Gruenling is a nominee in the Harmonica Player of the Year category. The band will be on their way to Memphis for the May 11 Blues Foundation awards ceremony when they stop in Omaha. Gruenling had a big year last year with his critically- and fan-acclaimed disc Ready or Not. Gruenling is recognized as one of the top blues harmonica players of his generation, combining historical depth with innovative licks. Catch videos of the whole ensemble in action at dennisgruenling.com and listen to From the Root to the Fruit at nickmossband.bandcamp.com. Andrew Duncanson from Kilborn Alley Blues Band will also be on board. This is a great combination of internationally recognized artists throwing down a show that will kick May into high gear! Thursday BSO Presents shows continue Thursday, May 18, with the classic blues of Washington D.C.’s The Nighthawks. Thursday, May 25, Chris Antonik is featured. He’s a rising star as a singersongwriter-guitarist on the Canadian blues-rock scene. Thursday, June 1, the entertaining Rev. Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys are featured. BSO Presents also take stages for a couple of other shows. On Saturday, May 20, BSO Presents showcases Kurt Crandall & the Confessors for a 7 p.m. show. Crandall is a respected vocalist and harmonica player specializing in Chicago blues, West Coast swing and Kansas City jump blues. See kurtcrandall.com. He’ll be backed by the late Lee McBee’s old band The Confessors for this gig at Bogie’s West, 14334 U St in Millard.

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HOODOO

Lincoln’s Zoo Bar The Zoo Bar has announced the headliners for its annual outdoor ZooFest anniversary celebration. Friday, July 7 features The Bel Airs, The Paladins, Ruthie Foster Family Band and Sidewalk Chalk. Saturday, July 8, the spotlight is on the Mezcal Brothers, Hadden Sayers Band, Big Sand & His Fly-Rite Boys, Charlie Musselwhite and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. Highlights of the Zoo’s May bookings include Hoyer & Soul Colossal Friday, May 5, 9 p.m. after Mezcal Brothers play FAC 5-7 p.m. Saturday, May 6, Texas guitarist Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch gig at 6 p.m. followed by Clarence Tilton and Jack Hotel at 9 p.m. Texas detective novelist, songwriter and former candidate for governor Kinky Friedman is featured Sunday, May 7, 6 p.m. Sarah Potenza performs Wednesday, May 10, 6-9 p.m. The Nighthawks play Wednesday, May 17, 6-9 p.m. Billy Bacon & the Lincoln Logs plug in Wednesday, May 24, 6-9 p.m. and Friday, May 26, 5-7 p.m. Mark Stuart & The Bastard Sons are featured Thursday, May 25, 6-9 p.m. Southern California’s The 44s rock the house Wednesday, May 31, 6-9 p.m. See zoobar.com for all the details. Local Festivals Celebrate Blues Lippy’s BBQ in Malcolm, near Lincoln, serves up their fifth annual Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, noon to midnight featuring, Sweeney/ Stearley, Hector Anchondo Band, Tijuana Gigolos, Billy Bacon, Kris Lager Band, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal and Tim Budig Band. See lippysbbq.com. Soaring Wings Winery hosts their annual blues event June 3 with Tim Budig Band, Frank Ace Band, Amanda Fish Band and headliners Mississippi Heat. See soaringwingswine.com. Hot Notes Waiting Room has some cool roots shows coming up including singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore Friday, May 5, and Drive-By Truckers Tuesday, June 13. Legendary roots-influenced punk band X plays Waiting Room Monday, Sept. 11, and Austin, Texas, roots music icon Alejandro Escovedo is announced for Friday, June 9. See onepercentproductions. com. Lincoln’s Pinewood Bowl has some great bookings including Willie Nelson & Family plus Dwight Yoakam and Robert Earl Keen Wednesday, June 9. July’s Playing with Fire is a two-night double-header at Midtown Crossing with artists including Dawn Tyler Watson and Tommy Castro Band on Friday and Saturday, July 14 and 15. See all the details at playingwithfireomaha.net.


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MAY 20173/16/17

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10:44 AM


I HOPE YOU GET SCURVY

Be a Patron Not a Pirate B Y R YA N S Y R E K

You’re a Criminal, Harry Justifications for the piracy of movies, music or other art are almost always utter nonsense at best and pretentious bantha poodoo at worst. One of the only understandable and defensible criticisms—that capitalism has sorted art into a class system, wherein the poor are left to starve for creative sustenance—is rarely invoked but very much worth discussing (which we’ll do below). But by and large, the logic passed off as permission to pirate is a balloon filled with farts waiting to be popped. Here comes the needle. A recent poll found that nearly 70% of consumers admit fully that piracy is illegal, but 32% said they do it anyway. All hail you daring rebels… What’s more, 39% said that knowing these behaviors directly result in less money being given in support of artists changes nothing. Another way of saying that is, “I like a thing. I want to consume the thing. I will directly act in opposition to supporting the thing.” Major studios—who are by no means truly victims or heroes here—overinflate the ever-loving crap out of estimates on piracy’s effect on bottom lines. Still, it does conclusively take at least $7-12 billion out of the global economy. Worse, it gives suits an excuse. They underpay writers and other behind-the-scene workers, avoid employing minority creators and women and favor remakes/reboots/sequels/adaptations to original content because “bottom lines are suffering due to piracy.” It’s a shitty excuse. You and I know that. But they get to make it because young white people with disposable income pirate buttloads of stuff out of entitlement and boredom. I’m not suggesting that boardrooms filled with chubby Cialis users would suddenly fork out the cash to diverse creators without piracy, only that it is giving them a gold-plated excuse why they don’t have to.

Robbing Hoods

FILM

ROBBING HOODS

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ith candles lit in adoration to the patron saint of entitlement, every pirated piece of content is a tiny prayer to Veruca Salt. “I want it,” the internet thief proclaims to an invisible daddy, “I want it now!” Enough already. Excusing and ignoring these behaviors by those affluent enough to afford to purchase art was always grating to those of us who are or who have loved ones trying to make a living via creative production. But we now live in an era when government funding for the arts is most assuredly under siege, when the presence of art in the classroom is no longer guaranteed protection and when the voices that may save our sanity and forge a way forward most desperately need our patronage. So how do we solve a problem like Maria, who totally torrented The Sound of Music? Not via shaming alone, even if that sounds like my approach. Sorry, you can take the snark out of the critic but you can’t take me too seriously, right? I do have a modest proposal to offset thievery. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than watching a wave of bogus Dread Pirate Roberts act the douche without remorse.

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FILM

Knowing that those who steal content do so without remorse while fully aware of the illegality brings us closer to my proposed “solution,” but we have one more logical hurdle, which is the best event at the Brain Olympics. There is something to be said about the oft-prohibitive cost of art. This part of the discussion requires playing footsie with a gigantic, hydra-headed beast that is the American economy, so I’m not going to wade too deep into those sewer waters. Let’s all agree, some people genuinely cannot afford art. Movies do not fill bellies, written words and illustrations cannot be used as clothing and music does not cure infections. With more and more Americans finding themselves playing a quasi-reverse limbo, trying to keep themselves above the poverty line, asking them to fork over cash to watch a movie seems cruel. So too does the alternative of forcing them outside the cultural collective, telling them to go without because of the same fetid, reprehensible logic that leads to cutting arts funding from budgets: “it’s not truly necessary.” But I’m going to blow your mind…provided you’ve never looked around and critically considered your fellow Americans. The people who steal ebooks? Most often well-educated professionals. The people


Boogie Night1997

PATREON SITE who illegally download movies and music? They are the ones who can most afford it. These thieves aren’t ersatz Robin Hoods. They are those who have benefited from the robbing of hoods and steal because they want to. Those who are impoverished, struggling or hurting are not the ones in need of reform. To those who understand the value of art, there is little difference between stealing food to sate the stomach and pirating content to sate the soul. The ones who need to listen are those who say things like “I wouldn’t have paid to watch it, so it’s not like they would have gotten my money.” Well, you did watch it, which means you were interested in watching it, which means “shut up.” The ones who need to listen are those who argue piracy is a “victimless crime” and wax poetic about taking money from megacorporations. This is the same logic behind bank robbery. If you’re also a bank robber, feel free to download movies on the way to your next stick-em-up, Sundance. The ones who need to listen are the middle-class, privileged brats who use justifications like not having immediate and convenient access to what they want to consume right when they want it. Y’all assholes are in debt. Time to pay up.

Omaha Steaks Classics

Julianne Moore: Selected Work The End of the Affair

Vanya on 42nd Street

Boogie Nights 1997 (R)

The Hours 2002 (PG-13)

1999 (R) April 29 & May 2 May 6, 7 & 10 Safe 1995 (R) May 13 & 18

1994 (PG) May 14 & 16

May 21 & 23

Magnolia 1999 (R) May 28 & 31

Your Penance is Due Back when reality bit, empires recorded and I was young and dumb, I pirated stuff. I realize it was a dick move, and now that I have the means, I not only pay for all my content, I pay for others to enjoy content and I back artists whose work I think matters whenever I can. My 2001 Mitsubishi Galant will attest that I am not some wealthy fatcat. I’d say my wardrobe attests to the same, but that’s just my almost impressive level of fashion ignorance. I do consider myself fortunate and try to be a patron. I dig the shit out of this term: patron. From the Latin patronus, the word means “defender” and “protector.” It’s one of the reasons I’m a big fan of the site Patreon. That site, along with the ubiquitous Kickstarter and Gofundme and many more, allow those of us who value artists to show them we care by giving them money, which is like giving them a hug without germs, sweat or unwanted touching. Beyond donating to artists and funding projects, buy content for friends and those who can’t afford it. Gift digital copies of movies or tickets, buy and send albums you think friends should hear or purchase hardcopies of books and comics for them to read. If you’ve engaged in piracy, this is a debt you owe provided you can afford to pay it. To flirt with the hydra again, America is immersed in a long-standing atmosphere of selfinterest and greed. We have a thriving, flourishing piracy culture. Nobody is afraid to admit it. Nobody feels bad about it. We are most likely not going to get it to stop. Maybe the answer is to create a counterculture of creative support, to spark an uprising of patrons. The patrons may never rival the pirates in sheer number, but I do believe that such a movement is a possible salve to the ills of art theft. If it’s that pirates generally dress cooler, we can start wearing jaunty hats, and I’m open to getting a parrot.

All showings at Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater. Info & tickets at filmstreams.org.

THE MARY RIEPMA ROSS MEDIA ARTS CENTER 313 N. 13TH STREET, LINCOLN NE

| WWW.THEROSS.ORG | 402-472-5353

SHOWING IN MAY

FILM

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MAY 2017

43


CUTTING ROOM

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

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• Now that winter has winted, spring has sprung. I know this because Film Streams has two spring events for their Science on Screen series, or as the Trump administration calls it “Fiction on Film.” On Tuesday, May 9 at 7 pm, catch a screening of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams. Well, it’s a movie he made called Dreams, not his actual dreams. We don’t have the technology to record those yet, and if we do, I do not volunteer to go first. Dr. Sanjay Singh, chair of the Department of Neurology at Creighton University School of Medicine, will participate in a discussion after the screening. If someone wants to ask him what it means that I keep having lucid dreams about David S. Pumpkins, I’d appreciate it. Then, on May 30 at 7 pm, The Man Who Fell to Earth will screen thanks to a team-up with The Nature Conservancy Nebraska and Aqua-Africa. The postshow discussion will include Mace Hack, State Director of the Nature Conservatory, and Buey Ray Tut, founder of Aqua-Africa. That latter organization has drilled numerous wells in Africa, saving thousands from disease and death. Also, it’s a Bowie movie! Bowie + Buey = Badass. • Just to confuse you, that last bit was about spring sprung but The Alamo Drafthouse has summer sums or at least some something for summer. Their Summer Kids Camp is returning once again! With films hand-picked by the programming team, tickets are just $1, $5, or $10 will all proceeds benefitting local nonprofits, including Project Harmony. From June through August, the family-friendly flicks are screened during matinee times almost every day, and offerings this year include baller choices like Zathura: A Space Adventure, The Iron Giant, Song of the Sea, Speed Racer and,

most importantly, Muppets From Space. This may be a kids camp, but the chance to donate to a nonprofit and watch Muppets has been this grown-ass man’s dream for a long time. Giving and Gonzo should really go together more often. • The first real details about the new Star Wars Land coming to Disney theme parks are here. They are also insane. Apparently, visitors are going to be a part of a new story and able to interact in an immersive way. There will be actors and animatronic aliens, and guests will be able to… They’re making Westworld. Okay? They’re making Star Wars Westworld, and that sounds absolutely terrifying and dangerous and we are all going to pay so much money to go. Like, I want to be morally opposed to the possibility of creating sentient robot life and enslaving them. But also, maybe I get to fight them with a lightsaber? I’m sure there’s no way this ends bad. • Will Smith is in talks to play the genie in a live-action adaptation of Aladdin, because the OMG success of the live-action Beauty and the Beast means we’re doing this with every single one of Disney’s classics. I just hope they get desperate and work through the “lesser” movies too. I complain now, but if I get to see a Black Cauldron with real human actors, they can let Kevin James be Mufasa for all I care. Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around

bbbinc.org 44

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Airplane reader.pdf

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3/27/17

11:09 AM

Friday, May. 26th 7:00 p.m. Joslyn Art Museum Witherspoon Hall On the stage-wide screen! Doors open at 6 p.m. 2200 Dodge St. Omaha, NE 68102 Tickets $23.00

On sale NOW at Omaha Hy-Vee grocery stores Limited tickets also available at the door A Benefit for the Nebraska Kidney Association

For more information call 402-932-7200

| THE READER |

MAY 2017

45


OVER THE EDGE OVER THE EDGE

is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Tim has been writing about Omaha and the local indie music scene for more than two decades. Catch his daily music reporting at Lazy-i.com, the city’s longest-running blog. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com.

46

MAY 2017

TIM KASHER’S RESOLUTIONS

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The Cursive frontman releases his third solo album on his own label BY TIM MCMAHAN

No Resolution is “kind of the guinea pig” for future 15 Passenger releases irst, let’s talk about the new record, because Tim Kasher and I didn’t talk beyond the Cursive back catalog, but the label isn’t looking for additional acts. much about it during our interview. No Resolution is the third album Kasher has released as a solo artist. In fact, Kasher couldn’t say whether The Good Life’s back catalog (released on Kasher, as most of you may know, is the frontman behind the seminal Saddle Creek) or future recordings would be part of the 15 Passenger mix. “I haven’t broached it with The Good Life and they haven’t broached it with me” Saddle Creek Records bands Cursive and The Good Life. Both acts are central to Kasher’s legacy as one of the most successful, prolific singer/songwriters to come Kasher said, adding, “Saddle Creek is a great label. We’re comfortable there. It’s not like there’s a lot of issues to that, but it’s something we will definitely look out of Omaha. His writing style has always lent itself to concept albums. Cursive’s best records at eventually.” Kasher said discussions with Saddle Creek over Cursive’s masters were — 2000’s Domestica and 2003’s The Ugly Organ, along with The Good Life’s 2004 release Album of the Year, are collections of songs based around a theme that amicable. “There was zero jockeying or legal squabbles as we tend to hear happen in stories with major labels,” he said. In fact, 15 Passenger won’t begin usual involves a relationship on the brink of falling apart. No Resolution continues in that tradition. The album chronicles the life of a couple reissuing Cursive albums right away. “That’s part of the friendly agreement (with Saddle Creek),” Kasher said. “It on the verge of either making a lifelong commitment or (more likely) spinning out of control. It’s that tension — and the revelations that come with recognizing that was like, ‘Well, you should sell through your inventory.’ Then we’re eventually, gradually, taking it over and doing represses ourselves.” tension — that drives the album forward, much like past Kasher records. Kasher said at this point Maginn and Stevens are doing most of the heavy Musically, Kasher hasn’t sounded this tuneful, this hook-laden since The Good Life’s 2007 release Help Wanted Nights. Songs like the yearning “Break Me Open,” lifting at 15 Passenger. “I can’t pitch in as much because I’m actually running this “Holding Out” and album closer “Not Over You” are designed to coax listeners to other business, which is being the first artist on the label,” he said. Kasher, and a band that includes Dylan Ryan, drums; Patrick Newberry, keys/ sing along (and upon the second listening, you will). Put it all together and No Resolution is my favorite Kasher-connected album trumpet; Jeff Dulce, violin and bass, and Megan Siebe, cello, hit the road April since Cursive’s 2009 album, Mama, I’m Swollen. (And for those of you lost in 26 for a tour that runs through mid-June. Some time after that — Kasher’s not this sea of album titles, get thee to a record store (or Spotify) and start listening to sure when — he intends to go on a different sort of tour. “I’m working out a way to do some sort of a tour where I take the No Resolution movie out myself and Cursive, The Good Life and Tim Kasher solo material. You’ll thank me later). I left out one important fact about No Resolution — the music is used in the show it around the country, and play a short set afterward,” he said. That would mean I would have to wait indefinitely to finally see his movie, I soundtrack to a movie of the same name, written and directed by Kasher. We’ll get whined. to that, and why you’re gonna have to wait to see it, in a sec. “I’m also going to put it out on places you expect, like iTunes and Amazon,” he What we did talk a ton about was the launch of a new record label owned and operated by Kasher and his Cursive bandmates Matt Maginn and Ted Stevens. The said, “but it’s all kind of just me doing it, you know? I’m kind of making up the announcement of 15 Passenger Records this past January said the label, distributed rules as I go.” And, he’d prefer that people see his movie in a group setting rather by INgrooves, not only would release No Resolution, but also will reissue Cursive’s than a living room. “I’m still old school in the sense that I really love the idea of a captive audience at a theater or gallery. It really can affect and shape how you entire back catalog. Kasher said the idea arose when Cursive was figuring out what to do with their experience the movie.” Film making has become Kasher’s second passion. He said he already has back catalog’s masters, which they acquired from Saddle Creek Records, the label that first released the albums. He said the band regained control of the recordings’ written two or three scripts since No Resolution and is wrapping up the latest, rights after Saddle Creek’s seven-year license expired (which is why 2012’s I Am which he plans shooting next. “I’m going to spend some time passing it around Gemini is not part of the deal — it’s still under license to Saddle Creek). Why not and seeing if there’s any interest,” he said. And what about the next Cursive record? “We’re working on stuff,” Kasher just renew the license with their old label and let them continue to put out the titles? “We’re in a unique situation because we’ve been doing this a long time,” Kasher said. “I guess there’s nothing official that we can really say yet other than we’ve said between rehearsals for his upcoming solo tour, which hits The Waiting Room been messing around and trying to see what comes of it.” Producing music under three different monikers, writing and producing films, stage May 12. “(Cursive) is an independently run business. Matt’s worked at record and running a record label (and let’s not forget O’Leaver’s, a bar he owns with labels for years, so for him, it’s a real no-brainer.” Yeah, but what about the built-in credibility, distribution and team of pros that Stevens, Maginn and others) is how Kasher has managed to make a living in a comes with Saddle Creek? “If it was a new band trying to cut their teeth, they music world that’s been in financial decline since the advent of the internet. “I like to write so much, and I just have a lot of output,” Kasher explained. should definitely look for a label for all those reasons,” Kasher said. But it’s not as if 15 Passenger is standing out in the cut-throat music-industry “Whereas most musicians have other jobs they do when they’re not on tour, I wilderness all by its lonesome. Their partner, INgroves, offers a full suite of just picked up other bands as my job. That’s how I’ve uniquely managed to stay distribution, marketing and technology services to help independent labels and afloat.” Tim Kasher plays with Allison Weiss and Campdogzz Friday, May 12, at The content owners manage their music with delivery to more than 600 destinations in more than 200 territories worldwide. INgrooves releases include the latest from Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Tickets are $12. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more Jimmy Buffett, Joe Bonamassa, Hope Sandoval, Esme Patterson, Violet Sands and information, go to onepercentproductions.com more. “(INgrooves) is one of the main machines behind the industry,” Kasher said. Over The Edge is a monthly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim “They have an entire team, so we have a myriad of people helping out. There’s a McMahan focused on culture, society, music, the media and the arts. Email Tim at tim.mcmahan@gmail.com lot of cogs other than just us.”

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