WhyArts, founded in 1990, is dedicated to providing Omaha’s underserved populations with access to inclusive quality arts programming. We believe each individual, no matter their circumstance, has unlimited creative potential. We also believe the arts are an incredibly powerful means of communication for the nonstandard learner. That’s why we meet each individual at their level and work from there.

We contract with professional teaching artists to conduct workshops, residencies and activities for our partners in the visual arts, theatre, dance/movement, music, the spoken word, literature, storytelling and animation. We build original arts programming for nonprofits, schools, social service agencies and others that enriches their missions and curriculums, and advocate for the arts by sharing best practices at local, regional and national trainings and conferences.

We also:

  • Advocate for the value of the arts for everyone
  • Collaborate with community partners on mission-relevant public art projects
  • Develop safe learning environments that encourage self expression
  • Train our artists how to work with our partner audiences, some of whom face physical and intellectual challenges.

It’s arts our way.

In 2021, WhyArts merged with Arts in Motion (formerly known as The ARTery), an Omaha nonprofit incorporated in 2005 that focused on all-inclusive dance-based programs with a strong social-emotional learning component. Its biggest program, Dancing Classrooms (and Saturday Academy, its extension), operates in more than 60 classrooms across Omaha, reaching more than 2,000 students annually. Golden Ballroom, a program created by Pamela Dutton that focuses on inclusive dance-based programs in long-term care facilities, was also added to the WhyArts repertoire in the merger.

WhyArts does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation or economic status in any of its programs, activities and employment. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our partner organizations, artists, volunteers and staff.

Governing Board of Directors

Jon Flower, President
First National Bank Omaha

Lucia Milone Williams, Vice President/President Elect
Veterans Administration, Ret.

Mary McHale, Secretary
Community Volunteer

Liz Akert, Treasurer
Union Pacific

Matt Bross

Tiffiny C. Clifton
Gotta Be Me

Leigh Campbell Joyce
Baird Holm

Jim Stevens
NorthStar Foundation

Kristine Swain, Ph.D.
UNO College of Education

Sue Weidner
Community volunteer

Debora Basier Wisneski, Ph.D.
UNO College of Education

Gwynn Williams
Consulting Firm




Executive Director



Program Director

Kim Clark-Kaczmarek


Program Director

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