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Field Trip Fridays: light at KANEKO

We’re exploring our community and experiencing the sights, sounds, creativity and tastes that typify our region. This month, Eric Francis and his son, Wyatt, take over the blog as they embark on their own Field Trip Friday.

light at KANEKO is an interactive and visual art experience that allows us to explore the emotional ties and science behind light. Each piece was hand-picked and curated in house.

Taking my youngest to art displays and museums is always an interesting exercise. We like to play a game where I ask him to identify one thing he likes about each exhibit and articulate what it is. No rules. No guidelines. It can be anything from a composition to a feeling.

Naturally, as a photographer, the light exhibit is very interesting. It pretty much covers every characteristic light can display. Audience participation is a must as you move throughout and interact with each display. Escape into a cocoon light hut or create your own masterpiece with UNO’s giant unofficial light brite replica.

The focal exhibit, and probably the most recognizable (it has been nicknamed the “selfie capitol of Omaha”) is Triph by Circus Family, an audiovisual design studio in Amsterdam. Inspired by Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, this installation allows you be immersed in the light and sound, creating a sense of peace and tranquility. Motion sensors placed throughout make the exhibit come to life. Each light pattern is uniquely coded with no two sequences being the same.

 

Another highlight includes Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room – a fully immersive experience where the state of consciousness and physical self is transformed.

light runs until March 23 and is free and open to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to see, experience and think about light in a different light (pun intended).

About Eric Francis

Freelance editorial and commercial content provider serving local, regional, national, and international clients ranging from the Fortune 500 to Mom and Pop around the corner. I’m a father, husband, friend, coach and a man who enjoys the simple, everyday things in life. There is beauty in all of the little daily moments that I fear most people miss searching for the big moments.

About KANEKO

KANEKO is an art & culture nonprofit with the mission to encourage and explore creativity through exhibitions, performances, lectures and education.

Posted in We Entertain, We Explore |

Nourishing Mind, Body and Spirit

Imagine if we all tried to not coast.
If we all did a little, think how much better we would all be.
Let’s make it a place where we lift others up, and help others over.
A place where We Don’t Coast.

Excerpt from 2016 We Don’t Coast magazine: omaha.com/wedontcoast
Photo: Scott Drickey

Providing a healthy meal to someone in need. It’s one of the most basic and most important ways we can reach out. Add a dash of innovative thinking – and two of our local nonprofits are showing how they can make a significant impact.

Beth Ostdiek Smith’s Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue partners with more than two dozen restaurants and grocery stores to “rescue” left-over food and channel it to almost 20 nonprofit agencies. They, in turn, use it to feed their clients. Since its founding in 2013, the organization has redirected more than 388 tons of food valued at more than $1.3 million.

One of Saving Grace’s food recipient partners is Table Grace Café, a downtown eatery that serves meals “in a graceful manner” to anyone who walks through the door. No bill at the end of the meal – just a free will donation if one is so inclined.

CEO Matt Weber, who attended New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute, opened the establishment in 2011. Situated at the intersection of two of his passions – food and local mission work – Table Grace Café serves about 350 patrons a week and offers on- and off-site catering services. Its menu includes scratch-made pizzas, salads and soups.

“Seeing people being nourished in body, mind, and spirit; seeing socioeconomic barriers being broken; watching people in difficult life transitions use Table Grace Café as a stepping stone to improve their life situations – those are the great rewards of what we do,” Matt says.


LOOKING FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS?

Posted in We Care |

We Are O.NE. – Chrisna Clark

We Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.

I’m Chrisna—just a burst of positive energy! I’m a professional encourager; one who gives support, confidence and hope to others. Building people up and spreading positive vibes is what I love to do. I want to be able to mentor people and provide encouragement so they can acknowledge their personal worth!

I’ve always done things the non-traditional way. It was like I saw the world through a different lens. As much as I tried to change myself to get others to accept me. The idea of conformity kept reminding me of my originality. When you believe in your potential, that’s when you achieve greatness! Through life lessons and prayer, I discovered grace, self-love and confidence which allows me to continue to push for my dreams and live life to the fullest.

I’m a creative nutcase, in a nutshell! – I’m a creative director, producer, videographer, host and singer-songwriter. I see my life as a sketch book. I can draw anything! What will you create in yours?

How has living here shaped your life? 

I remember when I first moved to Omaha, I told myself that I was staying for only 5 years tops. It’s been nearly 10 years now! I fell in love with this place, simply because of the people. Omaha is the “land of opportunity”! I have had the opportunity to make long-lasting friendships and wonderful professional relationships throughout the years. I love the diversity and authenticity of this city. People truly genuinely care for one another in Omaha.

How do you make a difference in this community? 

I’m the Marketing Manager for the Salvation Army Kroc Center and I can put in very long hours. But that doesn’t phase me. I love what the Kroc stands for…”People are inspired to discover their God-given talents and develop their potential through artistic, educational, physical and spiritual experiences in a Christ-centered atmosphere.”

I’m able to work at a place that aligns with my morals and beliefs. I even get to share my musical talents during our Kroc Sunday Worship Services.

The time and marketing work I put into the Kroc Center has a positive impact on our members. Sharing stories on how people’s lives have changed because of a video I produced or a print piece I created, means that I’m making a difference and supporting the Kroc mission.

Posted in We Live |

Field Trip Fridays: Orpheum Theater

The Greater Omaha Chamber marketing team is on the move – experiencing the sights, sounds, creativity and tastes that typify our region. We’re exploring our community and encourage you to check out these Greater Omaha gems – because best-kept secrets are best uncovered.

It was Field Trip Friday on foot when the Greater Omaha Chamber’s marketing team took the two-block walk through the region’s historic Downtown Omaha district to visit the Orpheum Theater, home to Omaha Performing Arts, as well as host to a variety of celebrated local, and traveling, productions.

Built in 1927, on the site of the former Creighton Theater, the Orpheum Theater has a storied past that includes a 16-month, $2 million inaugural budget, and authentic French Renaissance touches, fully restored in 2001 by Omaha Performing Arts.

From the mainstage, where vaudeville acts have taken a bow to Broadway performances, 2,600 orchestra, loge, grand tier and balcony seats greet guests. The hanging Czech crystal chandelier is original to the building.

Backstage, rigging (hundreds of levers and pulleys) controls the theater’s curtains and drapes. At one time, exclusive dressing rooms, reserved for production stars, extended multiple stories stage left, behind the curtain, and were accessible by elevator. Theater renovations ultimately removed the private rooms, clearing a path for a high-performance HVAC system, and further modernization. Currently, performers prepare in spaces adjacent to, and below, the mainstage.

As vaudeville tap-danced into obscurity, and motion pictures gained ground, the Orpheum Theater added screens, projectors and film. In the theater’s renovated light booth, vintage projectors eye the mainstage as a throwback to a bygone era. No longer a movie theater, Omaha Performing Arts has invested more than $20 million in the venue since 2002.

In 2017, the Orpheum Theater celebrated its 90th anniversary, complete with more than $3 million in 2016 renovations funded by Omaha Performing Arts. Updated seating, fresh paint and new carpet ushered in the organization’s ninth decade, and set the stage for continuation of the region’s largest Broadway series, as well as home to a host of dance, comedy, operatic and theatre performances.

Check out some more behind-the-scenes photos.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”5″ gal_title=”Orpheum”]

 

It’s a wrap!

Posted in We Entertain |

We Are O.NE. – Edward Saunsoci

We Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.

I am the oldest of 7 and grew up in North Omaha. Coming from a harsh background and tough upbringing, I never knew the opportunities I had here in Omaha. Of course, we are in a segregated city (North, South and West Omaha) but understanding that now, we’re on the cusp of making Omaha a destination for minds everywhere – and this has me pumped to help create that destination. I’m Native American and African American. Having those two cultures has shaped my creativity which has been so valuable.

The Omaha community is expanding and accepting the different cultures – it’s amazing to see!

How has living here shaped your life? 

Seeing the expanding of cultures in Omaha, and seeing other neighborhoods embrace those cultures has been such a dope community collaboration.

How do you make a difference in this community? 

I work for a nonprofit Abide and our mission is to “build culture to transform broken communities”. In working there, I’ve learned that where ever I am, I bringing my culture everywhere I go. So, with that in mind, my upbringing, my city and my culture has me operating in a loving and understanding mode with everyone I come in contact with.

Posted in We Live |

We Are O.NE. Edward Saunsoci

We Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.

I am the oldest of 7 and grew up in North Omaha. Coming from a harsh background and tough upbringing, I never knew the opportunities I had here in Omaha. Of course, we are in a segregated city (North, South and West Omaha) but understanding that now, we’re on the cusp of making Omaha a destination for minds everywhere – and this has me pumped to help create that destination. I’m Native American and African American. Having those two cultures has shaped my creativity which has been so valuable.

The Omaha community is expanding and accepting the different cultures – it’s amazing to see!

How has living here shaped your life? 

Seeing the expanding of cultures in Omaha, and seeing other neighborhoods embrace those cultures has been such a dope community collaboration.

How do you make a difference in this community? 

I work for a nonprofit Abide and our mission is to “build culture to transform broken communities”. In working there, I’ve learned that where ever I am, I bringing my culture everywhere I go. So, with that in mind, my upbringing, my city and my culture has me operating in a loving and understanding mode with everyone I come in contact with.

Posted in We Live |

Using a beautiful thing – to do a beautiful thing.

Excerpt from We Don’t Coast magazine: omaha.com/wedontcoast
Photo: Admiral District

Every September, to celebrate national Good Neighbor Day, Alisa Roth and her team at Bloom Works Floral give away 10,000 roses – one dozen to each person who walks through the door. Here’s the twist: They ask that each person give away 11 of those roses to 11 people to create many, many random acts of kindness. Bloom Works has been doing this for 13 years now.

“It’s by far our favorite day of the year,” Alisa says. “We see lots of our loyal customers, but we also see a lot of new faces that just want to join in the giving. … Flowers make people happy, and it’s awesome to see the great response the community gives to us and each other in return.”  

Alisa won the 2017 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award presented by America’s Small Business Development Centers Iowa. She was praised in her nomination for “putting her heart and soul into making Council Bluffs the best place it can be.”

Posted in We Care |

We Are O.NE. – Keegan Korf

We Are O.NE. Series. Let’s make this a place where I get to be me and you get to be you. Let’s make this a place where together, we are O.NE. Put your hands in the middle and share your story.

I’ve been getting in trouble for talking too much since I was a kid. I turned that desire to gab into a speaking career. I want people to know that everyone has a voice and ideas to share.

If you’re too afraid to share your voice, seek out someone you trust to share it for you. Advocacy is a collaborative effort.

How has living here shaped your life? 

I fight for what is right while still being “Nebraska Nice.”

How do you make a difference in this community? 

As an advocate for Educational Technology for all students, I work in the Omaha Public Schools community and the Nebraska region to educate students, teachers, parents and community stakeholders in a dialogue about digital citizenship and media literacy in order to help children foster technology use to its full potential.

Posted in We Live |

Super powers united!

Excerpt from We Don’t Coast magazine: omaha.com/wedontcoast
Photo: Megan Smith

We Care – Iowa League of Heroes

The cowl. The scowl. It’s all there. But this Dark Knight isn’t foiling the Joker or going one-on-one with Two Face. This Dark Knight travels the region bringing the light, rallying the entire Iowa League of Heroes to elevate the lives of children and families facing the most daunting foes: sickness, family trauma, bullying…

“The biggest celebrities are those junior heroes who are fighting the difficult battles,” says The Dark Knight (TDK), aka Matt Morgan, League co-founder and sanctioned character actor.

Just last May, he and the League’s recently-acquired Batcar rolled up at Harlan Community Intermediate School to surprise student Jaxson Rold. Now a fourth grader, Jaxson’s arch-enemy is brain cancer.

“I think the coolest thing is the car and everything else he had,” Jaxson says. “He’s pretty amazing.”

Schools, children’s hospitals, special needs causes… Send up the signal and League members, including Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Captain America and Super Girl, are there. Each has invested hundreds or thousands of dollars to ensure an authentic look.

“We want to make sure children don’t see a person in a costume but a hero in a suit,” Morgan says.

Balancing hero duties with hard-working alter-egos, each member lives the oath that Jaxson and his class recited with TDK: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

“It’s extremely difficult to put into words,” Morgan says, “but when a child looks up at you with amazement and wants something as simple as a hug from their favorite hero, the toughest of us can get overwhelmed.”

Posted in We Care |

Our Holiday Bucket List

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Omaha is no exception to the magic. Here is our holiday bucket list, sure to warm your hearts and make the season merry and bright.

Carriage Rides

Jingle all the way with a carriage ride through the Old Market.

Menorah Parade

A tradition originating from New York, the parade shares the beautiful message of hope and light to our community and the world around us.

Hot Shops Winter Open House

This is truly the best time to see the Hot Shops in all its fiery, creative glory. Meet the artists, see their work and partake in live demonstrations.

See a show

Big name plays and musicals, local productions and acoustical wonders surround us. There are plenty of holiday classics to see at one of our venerable venues.

The Durham Museum

Santa himself says this is the place to be – featuring a Holiday Concert Series, Ethnic Holiday Tree Exhibit and of course the forty-foot-tall twinkling tree.

Christmas in the Village

A holiday tradition in the heart of North Omaha. Get into the cheerful spirit with horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, a living Nativity, toys from Santa and a holiday boutique.

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show Aglow

Lauritzen Gardens is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree, twinkling lights, glittering displays and the holiday express model train.

Holiday Island

Take a stroll through Gene Leahy Mall to see Holiday Island and hundreds of thousands of dazzling lights.

Ice Skating

Discover your holiday tradition on the ice at NRG Energy Ice Rink in The Capitol District or The Rink on Farnam at Midtown Crossing.


Photo by JHD Photography

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular

Ring in the new year with one of the largest fireworks displays in the region, drawing over 30,000 people.

 

 

Posted in We Entertain |