Tag Archives: Do Space

Do Space

August 15, 2018 by

Mission Statement

To empower the Omaha community through access to technology and innovative learning experiences. 

Wish List

  • Program and equipment sponsorships
  • Monetary donations
  • Volunteers

Upcoming Events

  • Littles Lab
    Tuesdays and Saturdays
  • Tech Help Tuesdays
    Tuesdays
  • Cyber Seniors
    Wednesdays

Do Space offers between 50-60 tech programs and events every month. 

Register for free on the website.

Background

Do Space is a technology space, a digital workshop, and an innovation playground. It was designed to tackle the digital divide in Omaha, as well as to boost digital skills and drive innovation, creativity, and invention in the region. Free to the public, Do Space is a place where community members can interact with cutting-edge technology and receive assistance and instruction in its use. It’s more than just a building—it’s a community technology movement.

Brag Lines

  • Located at 72nd and Dodge Streets
  • Open 90 hours a week
  • Average of 465 visits per day
  • Over 60,000 members
  • Membership, programs, and services are free

At Do Space, Omahans have access to powerful fiber Wi-Fi internet, high-end computer stations and devices, 3D printers, and technology-focused learning opportunities. Do Space has a little something for everyone, but aims to make a significant impact on two key groups: underconnected, low-income individuals; and entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators. 

Pay it Forward

Every day, Do Space works with hundreds of Omahans to help them achieve their technology education goals. With help from the community, Do Space hopes to host over 700 free programs and events this year, welcoming 15,000 new members to the space. A decade from now, thanks to supporters, the organization is confident that its young members will enter the workforce with a passion for technology. Help make Omaha future-ready with a gift today.

Do Space

7205 Dodge St.
Omaha, NE 68114
402-819-4022
dospace.org


The Big Give was published in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Wicked Omaha

April 27, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Musty newspapers, photos, archives, public records, presentations, and endless hours of research. Sure, the life of a modern folk historian sounds glamorous, but it’s not all like Raiders of the Lost Ark. In many ways, history is an occupation reserved only for those obsessive truth-seekers disconnected from their place on the space-time continuum.

Local historian, author, teacher, and Glenwood native Ryan Roenfeld has been making history entertaining for nigh on two decades. The 44-year-old nontraditional UNO student describes himself as a “hick-from-the-sticks.” A quasi-Luddite with a passion for the past, he doesn’t have a cell phone but he uses Facebook.

“I don’t know how I got so interested in history,” Roenfeld says. “Most folks see history as dry and dull, but it’s not. It really is—good, bad, or indifferent—the story of why things are the way they are.”

While decrying the modern age, Roenfeld helped popularize one of Omaha’s most frequented social media sites: Chuck Martens’ “Forgotten Omaha” Facebook page.

As one of three administrators, Roenfeld has seen “Forgotten Omaha” grow to more than 45,000 likes over the last year.

“I was surprised at the interest. Omahans didn’t know as much of their history as I thought,” says Roenfeld, who also teaches classes on Omaha history for Metropolitan Community College at Do Space. “History really is the story of us all, and I like telling people their stories.”

A folksy populist with an encyclopedic knowledge of colorful locals and criminals, Roenfeld tells the lesser-known tales of underrepresented populations, colorful characters, and swept-under scandals. He has self-published a dozen books and contributed to many articles on topics ranging from old postcards, railroads, steamboating, and local 19th-century brewers. To date, his most popular book has been Tinhorn Gamblers and Dirty Prostitutes, a colorful history of vice in Council Bluffs, which offers a glimpse at the city’s exploitation of prostitutes in the late 19th century.

“The highlights are always the lowlifes,” Roenfeld says. “People like hearing stories of cowboy shoot-outs in the street. People think the Old West happened in Arizona, but this area was really the archetype for every Wild West trope.”

The popularity of Western depravity was also obvious to Roenfeld’s publisher, The History Press. Roenfeld’s latest book, Wicked Omaha (not to be confused with David Bristow’s book, Dirty, Wicked Town [Omaha], published by Caxton Press in 2000), looks closely at “Hell’s Half-Acre,” Omaha’s red-light district in the 1880s.

Hell’s Half-Acre stretched from the Missouri River to 16th Street and from Douglas to Cuming streets. The city portrayed in Roenfeld’s Wicked Omaha makes all the stereotypes of Deadwood seem trite.

“People don’t realize that anything went in Hell’s Half-Acre,” Roenfeld says. “It was a different Omaha, when the saloons ran all night and strangers were victimized by every scheme going, all right downtown, nothing secret about it. Brothels were illegal, but ran in the open. There was drug addiction, suicide, and systematic exploitation. Prostitutes paid ‘fines’ monthly to keep operating. If they couldn’t pay, the city gave them a few weeks before they were hauled in front of a judge to either pay up or get shut up.”

Wicked Omaha made its debut Thursday, March 9, at the UNO Criss Library’s Read Local Author Showcase. Roenfeld plans to present his book at Omaha’s W. Dale Clark library May 6. The book is sold at The Bookworm, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and elsewhere.

Visit arcadiapublishing.com for more information.

This article appeared in the May/June edition of Omaha Magazine.

Roni Shelley Perez

October 13, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“I never told my parents about having a fake sex scene. I just let them watch the show.”

-Roni Shelley Perez

Roni Shelley Perez wonders whether she should have warned her Catholic parents about a certain scene in the recent Blue Barn Theatre production of Heathers: The Musical.

“I never told my parents about having a fake sex scene. I just let them watch the show,” she says with a laugh.

Her parents, Ranilo and Selena Perez, never mentioned that scene to her, but Roni says they liked the play. They weren’t the only ones. Heathers received rave reviews and a lot of local recognition, including award nominations for Perez. It’s an impressive achievement for a 20-year-old who entered college only a few years ago with limited musical theater experience.

Perez is now a junior at UNO studying music with a theater minor. She burst onto the Omaha theater scene in 2015 when she played Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Omaha Community Playhouse. That debut earned her the Elaine Jabenis Cameo Award and a nomination for an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award.

roni-shelley-perez2However, performing the lead role of Veronica in Heathers was the watershed moment in her
budding career.

“I wanted it so bad. So bad. That was definitely a breakthrough role for me,” she says. “I ran here (to UNO) every morning and sang just to get that role down.”

Perez says that working in the Blue Barn’s new space on 10th Street was “inspirational” and that she was determined to live up to her artistic surroundings. “Well, the venue was going to be beautiful. I felt like the performance should be, too,” she says.

A musician since she started studying guitar at the age of eight, Perez entered college planning to major in music composition or music technology. She was involved in theater at Marian High School, but thought it was a vocation better suited to others. Her parents, who own a physical therapy practice in Omaha, were skeptical about the viability of a music career and suggested actuarial science or engineering as practical occupations.

“Music scared them because they’re immigrants from the Philippines that had their mind on an American dream to get money, and now I’m going backwards,” says Perez with self-deprecating humor.

A Goodrich scholarship covers her tuition, and being free of student debt will certainly help Perez, who plans to eventually relocate to New York City to pursue a theater career.

In addition to her tour-de-force performance in Heathers, Perez thinks that her second-place finish in a national singing competition this summer went a long way toward convincing her parents that she is on the right path.

She is also not resting on her laurels. After studying at New York University in the summer of 2015, Perez returned to New York City this past summer for an intensive audition workshop with The Open Jar Institute. Upon returning to Omaha, she was rehearsing a play called Love and Information at Do Space, and she is slated to appear in Hand to God! at Shelterbelt Theatre, which runs Nov. 18 through Dec. 11. Oh, and she also has a part-time job.

Omaha has produced several notable Broadway performers in recent decades. With her buoyant personality, stellar voice, and work ethic, it is not hard to imagine that Perez could be the next.

Visit snapproductions.com for more information.

Encounter

ron-shelley-perez-1

3D Printing Adds Depth to Omaha Businesses

August 26, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Five years ago, there was little in the way of 3D printing in Omaha. Today, there are options for anyone with the desire to transform an idea into a tangible thing. Although still an emerging technology, 3D printing is garnering greater attention for its mainstream commercial and industrial potential.

Local 3D printing resources can still be counted on one hand, but they are springing up on college campuses, as hobbyist organizations, and in a few commercial outfits with some real engineering chops.

The long view points toward a day when the idea of shipping becomes a quaint notion, perhaps similar to how contemporary businesses view the telegraph. In the future, a consumer might buy a product online, then the neighborhood manufacturer prints the parts and assembles the final product. Even better, people might design their own thing—whether a coffee table, an auto body part, or a customized smartphone case—and then click “print.”

It is a fantastic possibility, but still a long way from reality, says Shane Farritor, who left MIT in 1998 to join the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Mechanical Engineering department. The robotics engineer helped NASA design the Mars rover and co-founded a surgical robotics company, Virtual Incision. He is also the faculty adviser for the UNL 3D Maker Club.

“(3D printing) is like printers in the ‘80s right now,” he says. “If you bought a printer in 1985 and brought it home to print things, that’s kind of like if you had a 3D printer today and brought it home to make things.”

As 3D printing grows, researchers continue developing new materials and methods for more efficient systems. Out of the pages of science fiction, scientists are printing actual human tissue. That is an accomplishment worth repeating: The technology exists, right now, to 3D print some complex, living tissues compatible with the human body.

A little closer to mainstream business interests, 3D printers are pushing the envelope with glass, wood, and even food. Applying the tech developments to the construction industry, some enterprises have begun experimenting with 3D printing concrete structures.

Locally, Sympateco’s Kül 3D (an Omaha-based 3D printing outfit) is partnering with area schools, inspiring youngsters and college students to consider the potential for the technology. Along similar lines, the 3D lab at Do Space is a playground for the 3D-curious, young and old. And then there’s the innovative Tethon 3D, which holds the keys to a proprietary system called Porcelite, which makes it possible to print high-fidelity ceramics.

It took more than eight years of research at Bowling Green State University to create a “resin” and bonding agent that would cure using the same hardware available in common 3D printers already on the market. Developed and patented by well-known artist John Balistreri, Tethon 3D’s Porcelite is a more complicated version of an ink jet refill. But instead of replacing ink with a new color, the 3D printer’s plastic capability is swapped for ceramic resin. The printed object could then be fired in a kiln and come out as porcelain.

That sounds great for artists, but the breakthrough signals more than just a new way to churn out curious tchotchkes. For one, the organic materials could be used to produce optimal structures for encouraging growth of oyster and reef habitat. More than that, the level of detail allowed in the new method is limited only by the designer’s imagination. Even the most detailed mold or most skilled artisan could not match the intricate and intertwining weaves the ceramic printer can produce.

“That’s what we’ve always looked for,” says Greg Pugh, Tethon’s director of technical operations, “making objects that can’t be made in any other way.”

Before any revolutions in manufacturing and shipping can begin, 3D printing still has some growing to do.

Its relatively high cost still makes 3D printing a hard sell for much more than specialized one-off projects or rapid prototyping. Small projects and prototypes are dirt-cheap when compared to traditional options. But when large-scale production enters the equation, injection-molding remains king.

Striking an efficient balance between 3D printing’s current strengths and weaknesses appears to be the real trick. An unlikely source has apparently found that balance: a local company with roots in building cabinetry for hair salons.

“(3D printing) is changing the way manufacturing works. It changes the way people think,” says Paula Crozier, Kül’s director of business development. “So we wanted to be on top of that technology.”

Sympateco moved far beyond its beginnings in the beauty industry, and created what is believed to be Omaha’s first commercial 3D printing company.

The range of design and projects include the novel and curious: A modern take on imprinting a child’s handprint in plaster of Paris is now a full-scale replica of the actual hand.

Sympateco has made the practical: reverse-engineering vintage parts that are either impossible to find or impossible to afford. And they have made the inspiring: printing customized prosthetics, including parts fabricated into a bionic Iron Man arm. The same bionic arm created a small media stir last year when actor Robert Downey Jr.—who portrays Iron Man in the blockbuster Hollywood movies—presented the arm to a gobsmacked 7-year-old Florida boy, Alex Pring.

Entrepreneurs and budding inventors also bring ideas to Sympateco. Sometimes the ideas are scratched out on scraps of paper; the company then turns the scribbles into three-dimensional things.

Anyone with the inclination—and the ability to use computer-assisted design software—could run down to Do Space, and design and 3D print to his or her heart’s desire. More artistic visions could be realized at Tethon 3D. Or join the Omaha Maker Group and really dive into the whole process.

Nice thing is, Omaha has options now.

Visit kul3d.com, tethon3d.com, dospace.org, and omahamakergroup.org for more information. B2B

3D-Business

TOYO! 2016

April 5, 2016 by
Photography by Contributed

Outstanding is a word that is used often to describe an ideal situation or person. The Omaha Jaycees uses it to describe the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans (“TOYO!”), individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who have exemplified the ideals of their communities and exhibited extraordinary leadership qualities.

Visit omahajaycees.org to learn more.

01Heidi-MausbachHeidi Mausbach

President and CEO, Ervin & Smith Advertising
and Public Relations

Mausbach has won such awards as Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, the Silver Beacon International Award for excellence in financial services advertising, ADDY Awards from the Nebraska Advertising Federation, and several awards from the Public Relations Society of America’s Paper Anvil Merit and Excellence Awards. Passionate about helping women and children, she has served such non-profit organizations as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Go Red for Women, Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, and ICAN. She’s developed new programs at Ervin & Smith to keep women in the workplace and transition them into leadership roles and is a mentor for several organizations that are committed to the advancement of women.

02David-ArnoldDavid Arnold

Managing Director, Straight Shot

Arnold serves on the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Omaha Public School’s Career Education Advisory Council, the Advisory Board for The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law, as well as the Metcalfe Park Neighborhood Association. In 2012, after serving as deputy communication director for the Omaha Mayor’s Office, Arnold joined MindMixer–a civic tech startup founded by two Omahans. As account manager, he helped create and lead the company’s Client Services division. He saw Straight Shot, a business accelerator, as an opportunity to combine community building and new venture creation, becoming Managing Director in 2013.

03Shonna-DorseyShonna Dorsey

Co-Founder, Interface: The Web School

Dorsey is currently involved in Web Developer Training at Do Space, Flywheel, the Omaha Public Library, and various other venues, as well as managing website development for Nelson Mandela Elementary. She also coordinates the website and web application development for local nonprofits and small businesses via students of Interface: The Web School. Interface helps people build skills for the web, supplying startups, small businesses, and corporations in the Midwest with technology talent. In addition to her TOYO! award, she has also been recognized by the Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 (2014) and as an AIM Tech Community Builder of the Year (2015).

04Mosah-GoodmanMosah Goodman

Corporate Attorney and Business Development Parter, Gavilon

Goodman serves on the board of directors for the Child Saving Institute, is a co-founder of 24 Hours of Impact, served on the metro area board for TeamMates, and is a graduate of Leadership Omaha. Upon graduating with a J.D./MBA from the University of Iowa, Goodman accepted an offer to join Gavilon, where he currently serves as counsel. He has managed the construction of the company’s downtown headquarters, supported various business development efforts, and has worked on a variety of legal and compliance issues. Goodman is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a former nationally ranked chess player.

05Roger-GarciaRoger Garcia

Student, Theology

While at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Garcia became involved in various leadership opportunities, earning him the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Award and the Student Leader of the Year Award. He has also been involved in the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Family Violence Council, the YWCA, and Justice for Our Neighbors—Nebraska. Garcia has been working in the nonprofit and public sector for more than 10 years and is now serving as the executive director of Centro Latino of Council Bluffs, Iowa. He also has served within public office as a member of the Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors since 2013.

06AndresTorresAndres Torres

Engineering Project Manager, Valmont Industries

Torres is actively involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers and has held different roles, including President of the Nebraska Section and co-chair of the Younger Members Group. Since 2013, he has also served as Council Member for the Greater Omaha Young Professionals and is one of the founders of the Valmont Professional Network. Torres received the Greater Omaha 40 under 40 Award in 2012 and ASCE’s Young Engineer Award for Professional Achievement in 2014. As an engineer, he designs tubular steel structures that are used to support transmission lines, highway lighting, and traffic lights for customers in more than 25 countries around the globe.

07Julie-Sebastian-(1)Julie Sebastian

President and CEO of New Cassel Retirement Center

Aside from New Cassel Retirement Center, Nebraska’s largest assisted-living community and a nonprofit provider of services for the aging person, Sebastian also founded the Franciscan Adult Day Centre, one of few adult day service programs in Nebraska. She has volunteered with youth at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church for nine years and also serves as chair of the board at LeadingAge Nebraska, where she participates in LeadingAge’s national public policy congress. In her leisure time, Sebastian mentors young people she met through St. Andrew’s youth group, including spending a week each summer on the annual high school mission trip.

08Eric-WilliamsEric Williams

Natural Resources Planner, Papio-Missouri River NRD

In 2008, Williams founded the Omaha Biofuels Cooperative to recycle used cooking oil into local biofuels and reduce the use of fossil fuels in our community. His work with nonprofit organizations includes helping found the Dundee Community Garden, serving on the boards for the Green Omaha Coalition and Mode Shift Omaha, and serving as chair for Earth Day Omaha in 2014. Williams is president of Nebraskans for Solar for 2016 and has worked with the Office of Sustainable Development at the City of Omaha on climate legislation. At Papio-Missouri River NRD, Williams manages trail construction for active transportation and recreational access to natural resource areas, as well as urban stormwater management projects.

09Beth-MorrissetteBeth Morrissette

Treasurer, Westside Community Schools Board of Education (WCS BOE)

Morrissette recently left her position as executive director of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Network, a collective impact that works with community partners to provide a continuum of care for individuals with mental health and substance abuse needs. In 2013, the network received the NACo (National Associations of Counties) Achievement Award for the Alternatives to Incarceration project. Today, Morrissette continues to provide consulting and strategic planning services serves as the WCS BOE representative on the Learning Community Council. Since 2013, Morrissette has served on the United Way of the Midlands Community Impact Cabinet and is a member of the Women’s Fund Circles.

10Butch-Burgers

Butch Burgers 

Associate Athletic Director, Creighton University

Mark “Butch” Burgers is involved with Special Olympics of Nebraska, the American Heart Association, the Kyle Korver Foundation, Community Health Charities, Angels Among Us, the Omaha American Cancer Society, the Knights of Aksarben, and the Jaybacker Executive Board at Creighton. Before returning to his alma mater, Burgers served as associate athletic director at South Dakota State University for two years. At Creighton, he assists with day-to-day operations and oversees the operating budget, donor relations, and various sports. Creighton became the only university nationally to have top-10 attendance in soccer, baseball, and basketball and has reached record numbers in corporate sponsorship sales, season ticket revenues, and Jaybacker support.