A Look Ahead

It’s tough saying goodbye to the warmth and casual nature of summer, but we’re looking forward to another arts-filled year. Take a look!

Exploring Color Through Creative Play
If you work with early childhood or special needs children, we’re offering a unique program opportunity you won’t want to miss. “Exploring Color Through Creative Play” is a free, three-day workshop series that engages students in a multi-sensory experience using primary colors as a foundation. The workshops were developed by a team of our artists from “A Palette of Possibility,” a play created by University of Northern Iowa Professor Gretta Berghammer that debuted at the Rose Theatre in 2015. In early 2016, a group of our actors adapted “A Palette of Possibility” and performed it for school audiences across Omaha.

The workshops, which will be offered through November 2016, focus on red, blue and yellow. Through creative drama, music and pretend play, they challenge students to use their imaginations to go on journeys, build crackling campfires, play in puddles and more. To schedule a workshop, contact me at carolyn.o.anderson@gmail.com.

Tactile Art Initiative
This fall, we’re partnering with the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media and Outlook Nebraska on a tactile art initiative that includes workshops, an exhibit, a lecture and a middle school component. “Sensory: Please Touch the Art” opens Oct. 6 at the UNO Art Gallery. It will feature work created by low vision adults via a series of UNO workshops as well as work by local artists. A group of our artists is assisting UNO faculty with the pre-exhibit workshops. The Oct. 6 opening reception will feature a WhyArts sponsored lecture by tactile artist Ann Cunningham. Our artists are also working with middle school students across Omaha to create tactile art works that will be exhibited at UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center in October.

Heartland Family Service Collaboration
We’re continuing our work with Heartland Family Service via a series of Family Nights, Art Mondays, workshops and residencies.

WhyArts Artists In Residence
Jennifer Radil will be in residence with the Heartland Family Service Family Works program, Stephanie Anderson will be in residence at the JP Lord School, and Courtney Stein will be conducting a residency with the OPS Transitions Program (the latter two residencies are made possible by funding from the Nebraska Arts Council).
– Matthew Pyle, Kim Clark-Kaczmarek and Richard Chung will be in residence at VODEC this fall, bringing a series of art opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities.

After School Programming
Our artists will provide a wide variety of after school programming at seven middle schools, more than 13 elementary schools, the NorthStar Foundation, Completely Kids, Kids Can and other youth organizations.

Other Activities
Katie Temple will be working with the street outreach program at Youth Emergency Services.
– Stephanie Anderson will be a resident artist at Educares of Omaha.
– Several artists will provide a full slate of arts activities for Quality Living Inc., including drawing, writing, a poetry slam and a partnership with Opera Omaha in late fall.
– We will explore opportunities to partner with our friends at the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, our home base.
– We will engage our board members and others in a strategic planning effort that will set the direction for WhyArts in the years ahead.

Want to learn more about what we do? Attend a WhyArts event, apply to become a WhyArts artist, sponsor a WhyArts project or like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

– Carolyn

About WhyArts

WhyArts, founded in 1990, is dedicated to providing Omaha’s underserved populations with access to inclusive quality arts programming. We contract with professional teaching artists to conduct workshops and activities in visual arts, theatre, dance/movement, music, the spoken word, literature, storytelling and animation. This programming is designed to educate, entertain and inspire our audiences. 

WhyArts does not discriminate on race, ethnicity, religious preference, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, military service or gender in any of the arts activities we provide to the community. Additionally, we no not discriminate in contracting with artists or individuals providing services to WhyArts.

Our Community Office

WhyArts is supported by the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.