Tag Archives: Encounter Magazine

Alexandria 
Smith

July 24, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

After years of tenaciously applying, Brooklyn native Alexandria Smith got the news she’d been waiting for—the mixed-media visual artist had been accepted into the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency program. Her patience had finally paid off. 

“Jurors change every year, as does your work,” Smith says. “It’s important to keep pushing forward.”

Following the trek halfway across the country, Smith settled in on May 18. Her impression of Omaha is it’s “a pretty calm, laid-back city with a growing investment in contemporary art.” 

She would know. This is her second visit to Omaha, though she says she didn’t get to explore it much during her first visit in January of last year. She was here to install her piece, “The Pleasure Principle,” at The Union for Contemporary Arts. Smith was the inaugural recipient of the Wanda D. Ewing Fellowship, and the first to mount a solo exhibit in the space. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to experience much of the city since I was installing the majority of the time,” she says. 

Smith’s dreams of becoming a professional artist started when she was 3 years old. “I don’t think I chose art, it chose me. There was never anything else that I had as much love and passion for as I did towards creating.” 

“I was always interested in cartoons and comics and initially had goals of being an animator,”
she says. That interest is evident in her work.

Through her art, Smith aims to put a spotlight on femininity, race, sexuality, and cultural diversity while exploring the many transformative experiences she’s had as a young, black, middle-class woman.  

Although Smith says she’s influenced by a rotating list of different artists, she’s currently inspired by the work of Cuban printmaker/calligraphist Belkis Ayón and illustrator Aaron Douglas, an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. 

“I find Belkis Ayon’s and Aaron Douglas’ command of narrative and their use of a minimal color palette has resulted in a powerful body of work,” she says. “In both of their works, color is another character that transforms the viewer’s experience and relationship with the work.”

Like Ayón and Douglas, Smith pours every ounce of herself into her art, providing her the emotional and spiritual support she craves.

“For me, creating consumes every part of me,” she says. “It sustains me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. When I am not creating, I am filled with anxiety and discomfort. So, painting grounds me in ways that nothing else can.”

Smith is most proud of the collage installation she completed last year at The Union. It was an ambitious undertaking in terms of content and scale, considering it was a massive 10-by-40-foot piece. 

“The challenge of working on a site-specific commission provided me with an opportunity to conflate, in a more direct manner, my varied research interests with my work and that of another artist,” she explains. “It was the first time that I delved into the concepts and aesthetics of another artist’s work that had so many similarities as my own.”

However, she adds, “The biggest challenge of all was completing this work for a space that was still under construction, creating it in pieces in my studio and ultimately, seeing it in its entirety for the first time on site during the installation. The team at The Union was incredibly supportive and made the experience a positive, memorable one that I am eternally grateful for.” 

Smith, who normally splits her time between the Big Apple and Boston, is hoping the more isolated Midwest environment will give her the kind of stillness that provides more focus. 

Her bio on the Bemis website says her plan during her residency is to put her energy into an “immersive installation that incorporates freestanding mixed-media cutout paintings on wood, mixed-media sculptures, and large mixed-media paintings on canvas that employ various printmaking techniques such as monoprinting, silkscreening, lithography, and
digital printing.”

“I look forward to having an extensive amount of time working away from external distractions,” Smith explains. “I am excited to have access to sculpture facilities, and I look forward to embarking on ambitious projects that have been on hold due to limited equipment access.”

She adds that the Bemis and The Union offer valuable support and opportunities for artists. 

“Without the support of institutions like these, many of us would not be able to thrive as practicing artists. I hope that the local Omaha community and others continue to support both institutions for decades to come.”

Once Smith’s residency at the Bemis Center is completed on Aug. 10, she’s having a solo exhibit at the Stone Gallery at Boston University where she’ll debut a new series of paintings and sculptures, as well as a multimedia installation. While she admits “rejection” is the most challenging aspect of being a professional artist, she finds comfort in her rich creative community. 

“The hardest part about being an artist is holding onto your goals and remaining persistent in the midst of rejection,” she says. “The most important thing I’ve learned is that you have to trust yourself.

But rejection is certainly easier to handle (and move past) when you have a good
support system.

“It’s really important to develop a community, which can look like many different things, but ultimately it’s important to surround yourself with positive people that believe in you just as much as you believe in yourself.” 


Visit alexandriasmith.com to learn more about the artist. 
This article was printed in the July/August 2018 edition of Encounter.

Lookout! It’s a Launch Party Weekend

July 6, 2018 by

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Sunday, July 8: Naturally, the pick of the week is our July/August Launch Party for our latest Omaha Magazine (our food issue) and Encounter Magazine! Our second annual watermelon-eating contest is also going down, and it’s all happening at the Florence Mill Sunday Farmers Market. If you’ve never been, look forward to finding organic produce, local arts & crafts, seeing some farm animals (chickens and calves), and listening to some diverse music (flutes, folk guitar, and local rock band Daisy Distraction). There’s also an exhibition upstairs and maybe even a little fashion show in the works. (Check out Paige Modlin in the latest Encounter for a taste of what to expect.) The market begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. We will be there all day! Please RSVP here and bring the kids out for some tasty watermelon eating!

Thursday, July 5 to Sunday, July 8: It’s your last chance to catch Shakespeare On The Green this weekend. On Thursday and Saturday you can experience the comedy of Much Ado About Nothing. If you’re in the mood for a little more drama, head down to the green on Friday and/or Sunday (depending on how much Shakespeare you’re craving) to watch the historic classic King John. Grab a blanket, a picnic basket, and maybe even a bottle of wine and settle in for a relaxing evening of cunningly zany fun. Find out all the happenings here

Friday, July 6: Fridays are for family this week at the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs. So get out and Celebrate Summer with free admission for all from 5-7 p.m. (Donations are always welcome, though.) There will be crafts, games, and a sidewalk chalk party. Plus, if your kids (or, you know, you) have ever wanted to see a firetruck up close, this is your chance. Don’t worry about hangry showing up and ruining the fun. You can grab a very kid-friendly snack from the hot dog cart out front. Learn more about it right here

Saturday, July 7: Good food, good times, and great music—you’ll find all that at the Punk Rock BBQ at Lookout Lounge. This year’s lineup includes Jeff Rosenstock, Remo Drive, and Pseudo, plus too many incredible local bands to list. If you haven’t made it a point to get to Lookout for one of their punk rock shows, this one is a definite don’t-miss event. Get all that lightning rod, firecracker energy out in a nice, intimate mosh pit scene. Check here to find out if your favorite local instigators are in the lineup.

Saturday, July 7: If the noise, smell, and overall onslaught of real fireworks has you on edge, check out the Cosmic Fireworks—Astronomy Night at Indian Cave State Park this Saturday, hosted by Branched Oak Observatory. Enjoy the natural beauty (and silence) of the outdoors. This is a free, dark-sky astronomy event (no actual fireworks) for all ages. You will have the opportunity to observe dozens of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters in the night sky, including the chance to see planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Get your star-gazing on and learn more about this unique show here.

Kids, Cats, and Country Music—It’s a Playful Weekend

April 26, 2018 by

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Pick of the (next) Week—Monday, April 30: Keep the weekend going by attending the May/June Magazine Launch Party for Omaha/Encounter magazines at the Joslyn Art Museum from 5-7 p.m. next Monday evening. This free event includes admission to Ed Ruscha’s exhibition Word/Play: Prints, Photographs, and Paintings (normally $10) and brief performances by Edem Soul Music and Miwi La Lupa, both featured in the magazines. Pick up free copies of the latest issues and grab some tasty hot dog and sausage samples provided by featured restaurants. Please RSVP here so we can make sure we have enough to go around!

Thursday, April 26:  Why not start and end your weekend at Joslyn Art Museum? The Kent Bellows Mentoring Program is having a free showcase tonight at the museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall. The KBMP Teen Salon features original music, fashion, and animations by local teens. This is a great opportunity for them to connect with a live audience, so help them enjoy this experience by checking out this free, open-to-the-public event. Get more information on the program here.

Friday, April 27: If you’d like to have a great time while supporting a great cause, the CockTAILS & Cats fundraiser for Felius cat café should be a part of your weekend plans. There will be drinks, snacks, music, and giveaways, all to help raise money for their opening. Felius’ aim is to bring people and cats together through interaction and adoption, hopefully drastically reducing euthanasia rates for the animals here in Omaha. Find out more about the organization and get your tickets for this event here.

Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29: Ready for an adventure? PretzCon Pieces of Eight! is a tabletop game convention happening at Ralston Arena this weekend. Whether you’re into D&D or Apples to Apples, there’s bound to be a level of play for you. With vendors, tournaments, and a prize raffle, there’s plenty to get amped up about at this convention. To learn more and decide on your campaign strategy, get in on the action here.

Saturday, April 28: Think country music can’t have a punk attitude? Think again. Lavender Country was the first-known gay-themed album in country music history. While it proved too much for the music world of the 1970s to handle, Lavender Country has had a resurgence of interest since its self-titled album was reissued in 2014. Don’t miss Patrick Haggerty singing his songs of life this Saturday at Brothers Lounge. Learn more here.

2017 November/December Calendar of Events

Photography by contributed

Art and Museum Exhibits

Svenja Deininger at Joslyn Art Museum

Svenja Deininger, Through Jan. 7 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. This exhibit features the work of Austrian artist Svenja Deininger. Her abstract paintings are an intense and intimate exploration of color, form, and feeling. Admission: free. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Travels with Brian Floca, Through Jan. 14 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. See Caldecott Medal-winner Brian Floca’s numerous illustrations from more than 20 popular children’s books including Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo, Lightship, The Racecar Alphabet, and Locomotive. Admission: free. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Let’s go to town for Boys’ Town! 100 Years of saving children, healing families, Through Jan. 21 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Founded in 1917 in Omaha by an Irish immigrant, the Rev. Edward J. Flanagan, Boys Town today is a worldwide leader in child care. This exhibition will explore the organization’s history from its inauspicious beginnings in a rundown mansion at 25th and Dodge streets to now, when it provides assistance to over 2 million children and families each year. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Forever Forest at Omaha Children’s Museum.

Forever Forest, Through April 15 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. The national tour of Forever Forest begins right here in Omaha. Exploring the realities of forests through play, families will learn about sustainability, selective harvesting, transportation needs, and everyday products that are made from trees. Admission: $12 adults and children (2+), $11 seniors (60+), free for members and children under 2. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Lori Elliott-Bartle, Marcia Joffe-Bouska, and Tom Quest Gallery Reception, Nov. 3 at Michael Phipps Gallery, W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St. This exhibit, entitled Rivers, Roads, Remains, is a collaborative effort from three local artists. They use old maps of Omaha as well as the design of the Bob Kerrey bridge to explore the relationship between nature and manufactured structures. 4-6 p.m. Admission: free. 402-444-4800.
omahapubliclibrary.org

Camille Hawbaker, Nov. 4-Dec. 29 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. This exhibit features the work from local up-and-coming artist Camille Hawbaker. Her work is an eclectic blend of printmaking, weaving, dyeing, and bookmaking. Admission: free. 402-595-2122.
artscouncil.nebraska.gov

Pushing Boundaries: HDR at 100, Nov. 24-Feb. 25 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This exhibit is an homage to HDR founders and their innovations in engineering. Their work began in the Omaha area and has since developed a number of global projects that have impacted people around the world. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Bridges: Sharing Our Past at The Durham

Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future, Nov. 24-Jan. 7 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This exhibit is the outcome of a photo call asking amateur and professional photographers across Nebraska’s 93 counties to capture historical sites and other photos that help to tell the story of Nebraska. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Light, Dec. 1, 2017-March 31, 2018, at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. This exhibition will reinvigorate mystique and wonder into this ancient energy through conceptual explorations and creative endeavors. Artists will employ glass, sculpture, and light itself to showcase the beauty that light evokes aesthetically and thematically. Admission: free. 402-341-3800.
thekaneko.org

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly, Dec. 7, 2017–Feb. 24, 2018, at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. This exhibit uses the yearly migration path of the monarch butterfly as a metaphor for considering themes of place, home, immigration, and movement. The exhibition considers the aesthetic forms in which objects and images reveal their identities through mediums such as basket weaving, ceramics, dressmaking, plaster, and more. Admission: free. 402-341-7130.
bemiscenter.org

Performing Arts

Stupid F@#%ING Bird, Through Nov. 12 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. This “sort-of adaptation” of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov tells a story in which an aspiring young director battles against the art created by his mother’s generation. A young actress competes with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist and everyone discovers just how complicated life, art, and success can be. Tickets: $24. 402-553-0800.
ticketomaha.com

Point A to Point B, Through Nov. 12 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Point A to Point B is a unique nonverbal show in which two coworkers working in a lab of fun found objects have to get a ball from “point A” to “point B” without using the same path twice. With a bit of theater magic, they fill their work day exploring the excitement of the journey. Show times vary. Best for preschool- to second-grade students. Tickets: $12. 402-345-4849.
rosetheater.org

Tosca, Nov. 3 and 5 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Love, lust, religion, and politics fatally collide in Giacomo Puccini’s beloved masterpiece. The lecherous chief of police, Scarpia, will stop at nothing to possess the beautiful singer, Floria Tosca, who must give the ultimate performance in a desperate attempt to save the man she loves. Performed in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets: $19-$99. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Festival of South African Dance at the Holland

Festival of South African Dance, Nov. 5 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. The festival celebrates expressive dance styles created during the Apartheid era. Two companies featuring more than 20 dancers and musicians share their culture in high-energy performances. 8 p.m. Tickets: $15-$30. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Van Gogh & Me, Nov. 3-12 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. This show is written by Omaha’s own Matthew Gutschick. Based on actual events, the story follows painter Vincent van Gogh (creator of such iconic works as The Starry Night and Sunflowers) as he retreats to a French town and befriends a curious girl named Adeline. Appropriate for ages: 10+. Showtimes vary. Tickets: $20. 402-345-4849.
rosetheater.org

Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Nov. 7-12 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Re-experience the classic Disney animated feature film as a live-action production, featuring favorite characters and songs. The show has been described by The Chicago Tribune as “the most innovative production of the season.” Showtimes vary. Tickets: $35-$110. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Carmina Burana, Nov. 12 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Hear “O Fortuna” the music that adds thrills to movie blockbusters as an epic chorus of 500 elite singers from regional high schools join with professional soloists and the Omaha Symphony to perform Carl Orff’s choral masterwork. 2 p.m. Tickets: $19-$72. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Christmas with the Crawfords, Nov. 16-Dec. 10 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St. The campy comedy deemed “the Christmas Carol of the 21st century” is back. This nostalgic tribute to one of America’s favorite dysfunctional families highlights beautiful, funny musical numbers. Tickets: $20 adults, and $15 students, seniors (55+), TAG members, or military personnel. 402-341-2757.
snapproductions.com

The 39 Steps, Nov. 24-Dec. 17 at The Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St. The original cast returns in this retro award-winning flashback. Mix a 1930s Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy film noir and a dash of Monty Python for an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure. Packed with nonstop laughs, more than 150 characters, an on-stage plane crash, and romance, The 39 Steps is a riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft that’s guaranteed to thrill. Times vary. Tickets: $30 adults, $25 students, seniors (65+), or TAG members. 402-345-1576.
bluebarn.org

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Nov. 18 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to life on stage featuring beloved characters and Vince Guaraldi’s famous score. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets: $20-$56. 402-553-0800.
ticketomaha.com

“A Christmas Carol” at Omaha Community Playhouse

A Christmas Carol, Nov. 17-Dec. 23 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. It just isn’t Christmas without A Christmas Carol. Experience one of Omaha’s favorite holiday traditions as Ebenezer Scrooge takes on a life-changing journey filled with beautiful costumes, exquisite music, perfectly crafted sets, and special effects second to none. Show- times vary. Tickets: $38 and up for adults, $25 and up for students with ID. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

The Exterminating Angel, Nov. 18 and 22 at Filmstreams, 1340 Mike Fahey St. The Exterminating Angel has its Met premiere this season, conducted by the composer, Thomas Adès. Showtimes: 11:55 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets: $24 general admission, $20 members of Opera Omaha, Met Opera, and Film- streams, $10 students with ID. 402-933-0259.
filmstreams.org

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Nov. 19 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Along with this holiday favorite, the performance includes Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 and Holloway’s “Europa and the Bull.” Tchaikovsky’s suite from The Nutcracker brings to musical life the Sugar Plum Fairy and “The Waltz of the Flowers.” 2 p.m. Tickets: $33 general admission, $27 Joslyn members. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

PJ Masks Live, Nov. 20 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. Time to Be a Hero is a brand new live show, featuring the heroic trio from the cartoon series PJ Masks. Watch Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko as they try to save the day from their sneaky foes—Romeo, Night Ninja, and Luna Girl. 6-8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$45. 402-934-9966.
ralstonarena.com

Yesterday and Today, Nov. 24-Dec. 31 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Billy McGuigan and his brothers are back for the 10th consecutive year. This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. Showtimes vary. Tickets: $40. 402-553-0800.
omahaplayhouse.com

MJ Live, Nov. 25 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This Michael Jackson tribute concert returns to Omaha. The concert features all of Jackson’s biggest hits, including “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It,” performed by the MJ LIVE band and dancers. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35-$150. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Nov. 25-26 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Experience the first of the eight films as The Harry Potter Film Concert Series launches in Omaha. John Williams’ score is performed live as the entire motion picture is projected on the big screen. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $19-$79. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Shopkins Live! Shop it up!, Nov. 27 at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. All of Shopville is in abuzz as preparations get underway for the annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.” But no event is complete without a few hiccups. The Shopkins and Shoppies need your help—the show must go on. 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$100. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Cirque Musica Holiday Presents Believe, Nov. 30 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. Cirque Musica combines music, acrobatics, and beloved holiday music. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35-$95. 402-341-1500
centurylinkcenteromaha.com

The Nutcracker, Dec. 2-3 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This family favorite features a uniquely breathtaking “Waltz of the Flowers” scene and includes a cast of 130 professional and student dancers, lavish sets, and more than 250 beautiful costumes. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $27-$87. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Joyful Noise at the Holland

Joyful Noise, Dec. 3 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Omaha’s Grammy-nominated Salem Baptist Church features the soaring voices of more than 70 members. The concert includes special guest artists, theatrical performances, and choreography. 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets: $15. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Dec. 9 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. The Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines the classic through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen dancers, a DJ, and an electric violinist bring the traditional story to life in modern-day New York City. A holiday mash-up for the entire family, this performance is a contemporary reimagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. 8 p.m. Tickets: $20-60. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Holiday at Hogwarts, Dec. 9, 14-16, and 21-23 at The Apollon, 1801 Vinton St. During this festive and immersive foray into the wizarding world attendees will be sorted into houses and then join professors Flitwick, Snape, Sprout, and McGonagall for a few final lessons. After class there will be a grand celebratory feast. 7 p.m. Tickets: $35 (includes dinner). 402-884-0135.
apollonomaha.com

Symphony Christmas Celebration 2017, Dec. 9-17 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Ernest Richardson and the Omaha Symphony celebrate the magic of Christmas with Broadway singers and tap-dancing Santas performing Christmas classics and contemporary favorites. Times vary. Tickets: $19-$79. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Waitress at Omaha Community Playhouse

Waitress, Dec. 12-17 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker, who uses her skills to try to start a new life far away from her loveless marriage and the small town where she grew up. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $35-$100. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

John Waters Christmas Show, Dec. 16 at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. Legendary filmmaker and raconteur John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, A Dirty Shame) puts the X in Xmas with rapid-fire monologue, sharing his compulsive desire to give and receive perverted gifts, a religious fanaticism for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of true crime holiday horror stories. 8 p.m. Admission: $35 in advance, $40 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Concerts

Real Estate, Nov. 1 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. Real Estate’s fourth album, In Mind, retains much of their mellifluous, yet melodic, indie-rock sound. Fans will note that founding guitarist Matt Mondanile has left, and the band has undergone some big lineup changes. 8 p.m. $20 in advance, $23 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

The Wrecks, Nov. 1 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Heavily influenced by Weezer, The Pixies, The Strokes, and Vampire Weekend, this five-piece ensemble from Los Angeles is known for catchy choruses with bitingly honest lyrics. 8 p.m. Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 day of show. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Breaking Benjamin Unplugged, Nov. 2 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1999, this hard-rock band has since released five studio albums and are currently touring the United States. Tickets: sold-out. 8 p.m. 402-346-9802.
facebook.com/sokolauditoriumandunderground

The Urge at The Waiting Room

The Urge w/ Clever and Mandown, Nov. 4 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Formed in 1987, The Urge spans multiple genres and generations with their hard-rock and metal music. Tickets: $25. 8 p.m. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

The Drums, Nov. 7 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Indie-pop darling The Drums is on tour again to celebrate a fourth album, Abysmal Thoughts. This one-man band consisting of Johnny Pierce delivers a catchy sad- surfer sound. 8 p.m. $15. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Cold Specks, Nov. 10 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Toronto-based singer-songwriter Cold Specks (Ladan Hussein) is on tour for the release of her latest album, Fool’s Paradise. Her music has been described as doom-soul. 9 p.m. $10. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Hollywood Undead w/ Butcher Babies and Demrick, Nov. 10 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. On tour promoting their newest album , FIVE, this rap-rock band will be in Omaha one night only. Tickets: $35 advance, $40 day of show. 7 p.m. 402-346-9802.
facebook.com/sokolauditoriumandunderground

New Found Glory w/ the Ataris, Nov. 15 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. On tour celebrating “20 Years of Pop-Punk,” the band founded in 1997 is promoting their newest album, Makes Me Sick. Tickets: $24 advance, $27 day of show. 7:30 p.m. 402-346-9802.
facebook.com/sokolauditoriumandunderground

Jack Broadbent, Nov. 16 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. The English singer-songwriter was deemed “the new master of the slide guitar” by the Montreux Jazz Festival. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Chris Stapleton at CenturyLink Center.

Chris Stapleton, Nov. 18 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. This Grammy-winning artist brings his “All American Road Show” to Omaha to celebrate the release of his latest album From A Room: Volume 1. 7 p.m. Tickets: $35.75-$70.75. 402-341-1500.
centurylinkcenteromaha.com

The Deslondes, Nov. 20 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. The Deslondes are coming to Omaha to promote their new album, Hurry Home. The band’s sophomore release departs from the country-folk sound of their first release into one of psychedelic soul, with a stronger emphasis on organ and electric guitar. 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Grieves, Nov. 20 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Better know by his stage name, Grieves just released his latest album, Running Wild. Tickets: $14 in advance, $16 day of show. 8 p.m. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

The English Beat, Nov. 24 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Founded back in 1979 in Birmingham, England, The English Beat continues with vocalist/guitarist Dave Wakeling keeping the beat going after almost 30 years. Tickets: $25. 9 p.m. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Katy Perry, Nov. 28 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. One of the biggest stars of the Twenty-tweens comes to Omaha on tour to celebrate her fifth studio album, Witness. 7 p.m. Tickets: $30.50-$135.50. 402-341-1500.
centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Mogwai, Nov. 30 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. This Scottish post-rock band will be in Omaha one night only. 8 p.m. Tickets: $23 in advance, $26 day of show. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Whitney, Dec. 1 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Indie-rock newbies Whitney are making waves with their debut album Light Upon The Lake. The band’s songs vary from somber love songs to get-up-and- dance jams. 9 p.m. Tickets: $15. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Lindsey Stirling, Dec. 4 at Orpheum Theater, 409. S. 16th St. Lindsey Stirling dreams big. Since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut, the electronic music impresario (also a classically trained violinist, dancer, and artist) has become one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her groundbreaking vision of cinematic, violin-driven, electronic music. 8 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$269. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Straight No Chaser at Orpheum Theater

Straight No Chaser, Dec. 6 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Straight No Chaser is the captivating sound of nine voices coming together to make extraordinary music. Formed while attending Indiana University, the group has emerged as a phenomenon with a massive fan base and numerous TV appearances. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $29-$74. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Aqueous, Dec. 6 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. This groove-rock band has built a name for themselves touring and performing high-profile sets at major festivals. Aqueous mixes original songs like “Kitty Chaser” with covers of songs like Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy.” 9 p.m. Tickets: $10 in advance. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Dec. 22-23 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for the past 30 years. Grammy-award-winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $38.25-$78.25. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

String Theory: NYE 2018, Dec. 31 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. String Theory will be on hand to ring in the new year with performances from other local bands (TBA). 9 p.m. $7 in advance, $10 day of show. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Family and More

Reinert-Alumni Library WWI Lecture Series, Nov. 2 in Heider Hall at Creighton University, 2500 California Place. Two Nebraska authors discuss their books related to events during WWI in Nebraska. Karen Gettert Shoemaker, author of The Meaning of Names, and Ted Wheeler, author of Kings of Broken Things, will read from and discuss their books. 7 p.m. 402-280-4756.
humanitiesnebraska.org

UNO Native Film Festival, Nov. 4-5 at Roskens Hall, 6005 University Drive North. The fifth annual UNO Native Film Festival highlights films by Native American directors, producers, and actors. Among the films to be screened is Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, a new documentary about Native Americans in popular music history. Screening times TBD. Admission: free. 402-554-2248.
unomaha.edu/student-life/inclusion/multicultural-affairs

2018 US Olympic Curling Trails, Nov. 11-18 at Baxter Arena, 2425 S. 67th St. Omaha will host the Olympic Curling Trials for the first time. Athletes will compete for the chance to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Tickets: $70-$100 for all sessions, $30-$45 for the championships only. 402-554-6200.
baxterarena.com

Teen Poetry Workshop, Featuring Louder than a Bomb Artists, Nov. 11 at the South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St. These workshops for both novice and seasoned slam poets will be held by Nebraska Writers Collective’s Louder Than A Bomb coaches and other experts. The event will build up to the Teen Poetry Bash in December. 1:30 p.m. Admission: free. 402-444-4850.
omahapubliclibrary.org

Junktoberfest Holiday Edition at Southroads Mall

Junktoberfest Holiday Edition, Nov. 18-19 at Southroads Mall, 1001 Fort Crook Road North, Bellevue. This vintage and artisan market features collectibles, gifts, hand-made or repurposed furniture, and home décor. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $5 for both days. 402-669-6975.
facebook.com/junktoberfest

Holiday Lights Festival NRG Energy Ice Rink, Nov. 21-Feb. 14 at 10th St. and Capitol Ave. Portion of proceeds will go toward the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign which supports the Food Bank for the Heartland. Bring the whole family and create memories while supporting the community this holiday season. Admission: $8 (includes skate rental). 402-341-3700.
holidaylightsfestival.com

Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony and Making Spirits Bright Concert, Nov. 23 at Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets. This community-wide celebration held in Gene Leahy Mall culminates with the illumination of the 2017 holiday lights. The lighting display will blanket the Mall and surrounding area with more than 1 million white lights. Following the ceremony, head over to the Holland Center for Making Spirits Bright Holiday with Drew Duncan and the Nebraska Wind Symphony. 6 p.m. lighting ceremony, 7 p.m. concert. Admission: free. 402-345-5401.
holidaylightsfestival.org

Holiday Poinsettia Show, Nov. 24-Jan. 4 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. This floral display features a 20-foot- tall poinsettia tree, model trains, and other nostalgic decorations. On select dates (Nov. 24-25; Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 15-23, and 26-30; and Jan. 2-3) Lauritzen Gardens will be open until 8 p.m. and the gardens will be enhanced with lights in the evening. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free to Lauritzen garden members and children under 6. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Christmas at Union Station’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 24 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Kick off the holiday season with cookie decorating and holiday crafts while listening to live music. Santa Claus will be on hand to help turn on the lights on Omaha’s largest Christmas tree. 4-8 p.m., with the tree lighting at 7 p.m. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (60+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Lights of Aksarben, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 8, 15 at Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets. Enjoy complimentary coffee, hot cocoa, and cookies, and view all of the lights throughout the park. Events include music, face painting, horse and carriage rides, and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Countdown to the lighting begins at 6 p.m. Admission: free. 402-496-1616.
aksarbenvillage.com

Ethnic Holiday Festival, Dec. 1 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Learn how the world celebrates this joyful time of year. More than 20 local cultural organizations display crafts and traditional dress, while musicians and dancers perform throughout the evening. 5-9 p.m. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (60+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Wizard’s Yule Ball 2017, Dec. 2 at Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites Central, 7007 Grover St. A wizarding event for the whole family. Dress up as a Harry Potter character and enjoy music, food, dancing, prizes, live owls, and more. 6 p.m. Tickets: $15 adults, $5 children (4-10). 402-934-4900.
britishfest.com

Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass, Dec. 2 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Creator, producer, and host of NPR’s This American Life, Ira Glass talks about his life and the stories he’s collected over almost 40 years of working for NPR. During his presentation, Glass will mix stories live onstage and help his audience better follow his creative process. 8 p.m. Tickets: $20-$48. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Holiday Market, Dec. 2-3 at Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets. This German-inspired outdoor market features more than 55 local artisans, who will offer seasonal goods and activities. Santa will come to the market on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Please leave pets at home during this event. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 402-345-5401.
omahafarmersmarket.com

Holiday Lights Fun Run, Dec. 10 in downtown Omaha. View the holiday lights in this four-mile fun run. The event starts at 10th and Harney streets, and participants are encouraged to wear jingle bells and other festive clothing. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served after the run.
All paces welcome. 6 p.m. Admission: free.
omaharun.org

Penguins and Pancakes at Henry Doorly Zoo.

Penguins and Pancakes, Dec. 26-30 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St. Eat breakfast with some lovable “tuxedo-clad” animals during this annual event, which includes pancakes from The Pancake Man, crafts, and visits from the African penguins. The cost includes a breakfast, a plush penguin toy, and admission to the zoo. Reservations required. 9 a.m. Admission: $25 for adults, $20 for children (ages 3-11), and free to children 2 and under. Members receive a $5 discount. 402-733-8401.
omahazoo.com

Noon Year’s Eve, Dec. 30 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This Noon Year’s party includes live music, special crafts, and activities, culminating in a celebratory bubble wrap stomp and balloon drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Noon Year’s Eve, Dec. 31 at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St. Join the zoo animals at this event, which includes activities, entertainment, and a beach ball drop at noon. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission: $14.95 adults (ages 12 and over), $9.95 children (ages 3-11), and free to children (2 and under). $1 discount to seniors (65+), members of the military, and children of military members. 402-733-8401.
omahazoo.com

New Year’s Eve Bash, Dec. 30 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. Families can ring in the new year with kid-friendly activities at Omaha Children’s Museum. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase closer to the event. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular, Dec. 31 at Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets. One of Omaha’s favorite New Year’s traditions, the fireworks are choreographed to open on cue to a musical score developed specifically for this event. Spectators are encouraged to tune in to Star 104.5 for the full effect. 7 p.m. Admission: free. 402-345-5401.
holidaylightsfestival.org

Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

This calendar was printed in the November/December edition of Omaha Magazine.