Hot Shop Workshops with VODEC

Partnering with VODEC, Why Arts? Artists led a series of workshops for adults with disabilities ages 18-21.  The workshops were held at the Hot Shops Center in downtown Omaha and specifically were focused on theatre and visual arts.

Each week, the students participated in engaging theatre activities with three Why Arts? theatre artists, Kim Carlson, Matthew Pyle, and Brian Priesman!  The students participated in interactive stories, role-playing, and improvisation exercises – that pushed most of their shell and into a fascinating, confident world!

The students also focused on visual arts with workshops taught by Lisa Kalantjakos and Jessica Davis.  Students focused on international arts, learning about Japanese triptych painting, African printmaking, Native-American clay medallions, and Japanese design through ceramics.


“I loved working with those amazing young people! Their energy and heart and their sheer enjoyment in trying new things was inspiring. As someone who is (still) going through a major life transition myself, their willingness to accept each other (and us), to support each other (and us) and the kindness they showed to all was a great thing to see and the joy they seem to take in the big and little things of life was a true inspiration!”
– Brian Priesman – Acting

“From the very beginning, the high level of enthusiasm and engagement of the Transitions group was evident. What really made an impression, though, is how artistically talented they all were. They took to new mediums like professionals, and created great pieces. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with them.”
– Lisa Kalentjankos – Art