Tag Archives: museum

Her Fountain of Youth

July 11, 2017 by
Illustration by Derek Joy

Few visitors who sneak a peak at Betty Davis’ treasure trove of soda fountain collectibles can appreciate their impact on generations of Americans who grew up before the 1950s.

The ice cream molds, dippers, five-headed malt mixers, banana bowls, trays, tall glasses, tin Coca-Cola signs, and a 12-foot-long counter with a gray marble top and marble frontage—stored in Davis’ spacious Council Bluffs home and garage—recall a more innocent age: a time when a boy and girl slipped two straws into one ice cream float and sipped as they leaned toward each other, and when soda jerks, in their white jackets and bow ties, had more swagger than Tom Cruise’s character in the movie Cocktail.

“The soda jerks were what bartenders are today,” says Davis, retired executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society in Omaha. “They knew everybody, they listened, they gave everyone personal service—mixing the concoction in front of you. They were the biggest big shots in town,” she says with a laugh.

From the early 1900s through the soda fountain’s heyday in the Depression-era 1930s, most jerks were men (no kidding!), until women filled in during World War II. “They got the name when they jerked the pull handles of the carbonated water in two different directions to regulate the flow into the flavored syrups,” she explains.

An unabashed romantic about the era, Davis grew up across the river listening to stories about how her parents “courted at the soda fountain” at Oard’s Drug Store, now Oard-Ross, on 16th Avenue in Council Bluffs.
And she vividly remembers holding the hand of her “tall, Danish” grandfather as they walked to the drug store to get ice cream.

Years later, in the late 1980s, while volunteering at the old Western Heritage Museum in what is now Omaha’s Durham Museum, those memories came flooding back when a group of former “fizzicians” from the region gathered for a reunion around the museum’s established soda fountain.

“Over 500 people showed,” she marvels. “I discovered that the soda fountain was implanted in people’s memories. The public came just to look at the soda jerks and talk to them. It was magic.”

The overwhelming success of that first reunion led Davis in 1990 to found the National Association of Soda Jerks. The association grew quickly, swelling to more than 1,000 members in less than two years. “I got a personal letter postmarked Washington, D.C., from a former soda jerk. It was from [former U.S. Senator from Kansas] Bob Dole. He’s a member.”

But age has caught up with the dwindling ranks of soda jerks, as it has with Betty Davis. Now 83 and experiencing mobility difficulties, she realizes the window of opportunity to open a soda fountain museum showcasing her happy hobby has closed. “This is of no value to me locked in a garage,” she reasons quietly.

After months of searching for a “worthy” home for her collection, Davis heard about a multi-pronged, ambitious nonprofit headquartered just a few blocks north of the Historical Society, where she worked for many years.

The mission of No More Empty Pots, located on North 30th Street in the historic Florence neighborhood of north Omaha, revolves around food. The organization not only provides access to locally grown, affordable, nutritious food, it offers culinary arts training in one of two commercial-grade kitchens, located in the labyrinthine basement of the renovated turn-of-the-20th-century row of buildings.

Another component of this food hub, the Community Café at 8503 N. 30th St., slated to open to the public in the fall, caught Davis’ attention on many levels because of its parallels to the soda fountains.

“Betty told us how drug stores started selling sodas and ice cream to draw people into the store to buy things, and the fountain was never meant to be a moneymaker,” says Nancy Williams, co-founder and executive director of No More Empty Pots. “This cafe will help our employees learn how to converse with people and really serve them, and not just with food. That will translate into many different career paths.”

Believing the cafe can become “a beacon…to unite all the ethnic differences we have,” Davis signed over her soda fountain collection and the trademarked National Association of Soda Jerks to Williams and No More Empty Pots. A display case in the middle of the cafe will house Davis’ relics of the soda fountain era, her contribution to the preservation of an American tradition.

The 12-foot-long World War I-era soda bar, which Davis picked up years ago in Soldier, Iowa, will stand behind the large windows of the storefront, beckoning people to come in, enjoy a freshly made soda, and socialize.

“We’re going to make our own soda syrups and extracts from seasonal fruits and herbs and then add the carbonated seltzer water,” Williams says. “And we’ll have local seasonal ice cream.”

Confident that her goals and the mission of No More Empty Pots align, Davis sees her soda fountain breaking barriers, inspiring conversation, and making people happy for many years to come.

Visit nmepomaha.org for more information about the nonprofit receiving the soda fountain and memorabilia.

This article was printed in the July/August 2017 Edition of 60Plus.

Calendar of Events: January/February 2014

December 18, 2013 by

ART AND MUSEUM EXHIBITS

From the Collection: Jun Kaneko’s Special Project – Fremont Dangos
Through January 10 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St.
This exhibit brings together for the first time a set of six 11-foot ceramic pieces created by Jun Kaneko known as “Dangos.” The exhibit will also include documentation of the art-making process including sketches, photographs, and video. M-F/9am-5pm; Sat/1-5pm. Free. 402-341-3800 – thekaneko.org

Celebrate Black History on Stamps
January 1- March 1 at Boys Town, 137th & W. Dodge Rd.
View stamps of famous Black Americans on display at the Leon Myers Stamp Center, located in the Boys Town Visitor Center. M-F/8am-5pm; Sat/9am-4pm; Sun/11am-4pm. Free. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

Lossy Group Exhibition
Through April 1 at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St.
Curator Stephani Syjuco brings together six former Bemis Center Artists-in-Residence. Their sculptural and image-based surrogates call into question the notion of ‘presence’ and use their unfaithfulness as a way to reorganize meaning and symbolism in the world around them. Tu-Sat/11am-5pm. Free. 402-341-7130 – bemiscenter.org

American Muralist Louis Grell
January 20 – February 20 at Weber Fine Arts Building, 6001 Dodge St.
Explore the works of Louis Grell, a 20th century painter and muralist born in Council Bluffs in this first retrospective exhibition.  M-Th/10am-3pm. Free. 402-554-2796 – unomaha.edu

Bill Hoover and Jerome Dubas, Mixed Media & Ceramics Exhibition
January 27-March 7 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St.
Bill Hoover has been making art and music in Omaha for over 25 years, beginning by exhibiting his oil-based drawings at Lisa’s Radial Café. He has had over 14 solo shows and exhibitions around the country. Jerome Dubas is a faculty member of the arts department at Grand Island Senior High and teaches a ceramics course at Hastings College. His early ceramic inspiration came from his family’s farm near the hills of Fullerton. M-F/8am-5pm. Free. 402-595-2122 – nebraskaartscouncil.org

Poseidon and the Sea
February 8-March 11 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
The realms of Poseidon encompassed virtually every aspect of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, from mythology and religious cult to daily activities.  This exhibition explores each of these three domains through more than 100 pieces of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art produced over more than a millennium. Tu,W,F, Sat/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; Sun/12-4 pm.  $10 general public adults, free for Joslyn members, ages 17 & under, and college students with ID. 402-340-3300 – joslyn.org

 Polar Obsession with Photographer Paul Nicklen
February 18 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Paul Nicklen’s award-winning photography takes audiences on a visual journey through the vast polar regions of our planet and gives them a glimpse of the animals that call it home.  7:30pm. $20-$40. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

CONCERTS

Life is Cool with the Brigadiers, All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
January 3 at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.
Life is Cool is a local band that piles on the theatrics for a fun-filled dance party.  A seven-person band that mixes funk, pop rock, and a fog machine, their live shows give audiences something to celebrate. $7. 9 pm. 402-345-7569 – theslowdown.com

Out of Control: Madness, Passion and Obession
January 12 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Conductor Ernest Richardson leads the Omaha symphony through a vivid portrayal of psychological thrills, burning desire, and destructive jealousy against the beautiful backdrop of the Joslyn Art Museum. 2 pm. $33. 402-340-3300 – joslyn.org

ELVIS Lives – The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Event
January 11 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
This multimedia musical journey across Elvis’ life features finalists from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, as well as iconic imagery from the Graceland archives. 8 pm. $35-$80. 402-345-0606 – ticketomaha.com

George Strait with Eric Church
January 17 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
George Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away Tour” will be his last. Known as “The King of Country,” Strait has had 60 No.1 hits, more than any other artist.  Joining Strait is Eric Church, who is hot off of two No. 1 singles—“Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen.” 7:30 pm. $75.50-$96.50 plus fees. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Behind the Mask: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
February 1 – 2 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Enjoy music from some of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits, including Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Cats.  Sat/8pm; Sun/2pm. $19-$83. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org $25-70. ticketomaha.com

The Expendables
February 3 at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St.
Originally from California, the Expendables have been making waves since 1997 with their West Coast style, blending reggae, punk rock, and more. 7 pm. $15. 402-884-5353 – waitingroomlounge.com

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
February 7 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Called the forefather of “acid jazz,” Dr. Lonnie Smith’s music draws inspiration from a little bit of everything—funk, jazz, hip-hop, and dance music—with a sound that will keep audiences wanting more. 8 pm. $30. 402-345-0606 – ticketomaha.com

Evening at the Oscars
February 8 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Stroll the red carpet to hear iconic music from Academy Award®-winning films, including Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, and Titanic. 8 pm. $25-70. 402-345-0202. ticketomaha.com

Justin Timberlake
February 10 at the CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St.
One of this generation’s most-celebrated entertainers, Justin Timberlake, is dominating the global charts with the release of his acclaimed new album, The 20/20 Experience. Timberlake will bring his electrifying live show to fans with a worldwide tour that will span the globe from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America. This is the Grammy® and Emmy® award-winning artist’s first headlining tour in six years. Tickets from $47 to $177 1-800-745-3000 centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Count Basie Orchestra
February 14 at Holland Performing Arts Center,1200 Douglas St.
The Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices reunite nearly 20 years after their Grammy® Award-winning collaboration to once again combine the best of big band sounds and vocal jazz. 
8 pm. $65-$25. 402-345-0606 – ticketomaha.com

Winter Dreams
February 16 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 324 S. Jackson St., Papillion
Orchestra Omaha presents the winners of their annual Young Artists Competition. 3 pm. Free. 402-681-4791 – orchestraomaha.org

Mardi Gras Cabaret
February 27 at Glo Lounge, 3201 Farnam St.
The Joey Gilizia Trio will present some of the upbeat and celebratory Latin sounds inspired by Carnival in Rio.  Presented by St. Cecelia Cathedral.  Includes dinner and a cash bar. 6:30 pm. $50. 402-558-3100 ext. 3007 – cathedralartsproject.org

FAMILY

Mozart’s Missing Memory
January 19 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
A part of the Omaha Symphony’s Family Series, this show gives kids a fun introduction to a classical music genius. Featuring a mix of humor and music, this show promises laughs for all ages. 2 pm. $12. 402-345-0202 – ticketomaha.com

Festival of the Americas – Programs 1 and 2
January 24 – 25 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Thomas Wilkins (conductor), Alyson Cambridge (soprano), and Oren Fader (guitar) explore the diversity of the Americas with two programs evoking the colorful landscapes and vibrant cultures of the New World. The January 24th concert consists of the first program, while the January 25th concert features the second program. F-Sat/8pm. $27-$80 plus fees. 402-345-0606 – omahasymphony.org

Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band
January 26 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q. St., Ralston
Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band is a live-action music series that teaches preschoolers about music appreciation and how to express their feelings through movement, song, and music. 5 pm. $39.50-$159.50 plus taxes & fees. 800-440-3741 – homepridetix.com

Sid the Science Kid Live!
January 30 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
Based on the Emmy®-nominated PBS Kids television show, Sid the Science Kid, this live show takes kids on an interactive journey to explore the world alongside their favorite characters.  Arrive an hour early for a Kids Zone featuring coloring, face painting, balloon artists, and more.7 pm. $25. 402-345-0606 – ticketomaha.com

The Grocer’s Goblin and the Little Mermaid
January 31 – February 16 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
Two classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales come to life in this inventive world premiere, combining original puppetry and projections to explore intertwined tales of loving, longing, and growing up. Best for ages 5-11. F/7pm, Sat/2pm & 5pm; Sun/2pm. $18 non-members, free members. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Things That Go!
Through April 14 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
Explore all the things that make the world go round in the upcoming special exhibit, Things That Go! In this exhibit, kids will move full speed into the idea of “GO” in everything from vehicles, water, energy, and more. Sun/1-5pm; Tu-F/10am-4pm; Sat/9am-5pm. Free members & under 24 months. $2 in admission to regular admission price adults, seniors, and children. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

RECREATION

Monster Jam
January 3- 5 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way
This “smashing” event features 10,000 pounds of monster trucks battling it out in both racing and an audience-scored “freestyle” competition. F/7:30 pm; Sat/2 & 7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $37 adults, $24 ages 2-12, free 2 & under. 712-323-0537 – midamericacenter.com

Cathedral Flower Festival
January 25-26 at St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N. 40th St.
This year’s 29th annual Cathedral Flower Festival is inspired by South Pacific, and will bring some tropical beauty to Omaha during the cold winter.

Bill O’Reilly:  No Spin Zone
January 31 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St., Ralston
A provocative face for over 30 years, Fox News commentator and journalist Bill O’Reilly brings his “no-spin” approach to the most current events and issues in our world. 8 pm. $79-$250 plus taxes and fees. 402-934-6291 
– homepridetix.com

Nebraska Buck ‘N Bird Classic
January 31 – February 2 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
You can find all kinds of outdoor recreation under one roof at the Buck ’N Bird Classic, a three-day expo on all things outdoors. Includes a rock climbing wall, seminars on hunting and fishing, and more. F/3-9pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/10am-4pm. $10 adults, $5 ages 7-12, free ages 7 & under. 402-707-4885 – nebraskabigbuckclassic.com

48th Annual Omaha Home and Garden Show
February 6 – 9 at Century Link Center, 455 N. 10th St.
Spring comes early with Omaha’s largest showcase of landscaping, home, gardens, and outdoor living.  Th/5-9pm; F/11am-9pm; Sat/11 am-8pm; Sun/11am-5pm. $8 adults, $4 ages 5-12, free ages 5 & under. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Lauritzen Gardens Valentine’s Day Dinner
February 14 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
Have a “green” Valentine’s day this year among the beautiful flowers and plants of the Lauritzen Gardens. Guests will receive a three-course meal and a glass of wine. Seating available from 6 pm-9pm. $50 per person. 402-346-4002 – lauritzengardens.org

Swing Under the Wings
February 14 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy.
The Strategic Air & Space Museum presents their 2014 Hangar Dance, this year with a 1940s theme.  Come dressed in your best vintage clothing and costumes to relive memories of a bygone era. 
7 pm. See website for ticket information.  
402-944-3100 – sacmuseum.org

THEATRE

The Church Basement Ladies in A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement
January 17 at Iowa Western Community College, 2700 College Road, Council Bluffs
The Church Basement Ladies are back in the fourth and latest installment in this popular series of musical comedies. The year is 1960, a reformation is underway, and once again the Church Basement Ladies are required to face change head-on. 2 pm & 8 pm. $35 adults, $31 seniors and students. 712-388-7140 – artscenter.iwcc.edu

Having Our Say-The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
January 17 – February 9 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
Meet sisters Sadie and Bessie Delaney in this biographical, two-person play. At ages 101 and 103, these resilient African-American sisters have lived through the historic Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow laws, and women’s suffrage. W-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 Adults, $21 Students. 402-553-0800 
– omahaplayhouse.com

 Martha Graham Dance Company
January 26 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. The Martha Graham Dance Company celebrates the vision of its namesake by performing her 1944 work Appalachian Spring. 
7pm. $20-$50. 402-335-0606 – ticketomaha.com

Dvorák’s Rusklka – The Met: Live in HD
February 6 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
The great Renée Fleming returns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting “Song to the Moon” in Dvorák’s soulful fairy-tale opera. This live telecast also includes a prelude talk from Opera Omaha.  11:55 am. $20 Opera Omaha and Film Streams members, $24 general admission, $10 students with valid school ID.  402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Next to Normal
February 7- March 16 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
The 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner, Next to Normal is a deeply moving rock musical and raw account of a family dealing with mental illness, tragedy, and the realities of modern society. Disclaimer: contains strong language and adult situations and is intended for mature audiences. Th-Sat/7:30 pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $21 students. 402-553-0800 
– omahaplayhouse.com

Duets
February 8 at Ballet Nebraska’s Encore Performance Space, 2819 S. 125th Ave. Part of Ballet Nebraska’s “Encore Series,” this fresh mix of partnered dance works includes a discussion with artists and refreshments. 7:30 pm. $25. 402-541-6946 – balletnebraska.org

Opera Omaha’s Agrippina
February 14 and February 16 at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
Delve into the sordid private lives of some of history’s most notorious figures. Agrippina is the ambitious and seductive wife of Emperor Claudius, who through shocking and often darkly comic machinations places her volatile teenage son, Nero, on the throne. Jeweled with Handel’s glorious melodies, Agrippina is the composer at his most theatrically visceral and musically stunning. Tickets from $19 to $99 402-345-0606 –operaomaha.com

 Million Dollar Quartet
February 18 – February 23 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
This Tony Award®-wining Broadway musical draws inspiration from the electrifying true story of the recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Tu-Th/7:30 pm; F/8pm; Sat/2pm & 8pm; Sun/1:30 pm & 7pm. $95-$30. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Gnit
February 20 – March 15 at Blue Barn Theatre. 614 S. 11th St.
Loosely based on Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, this American version focuses on self-involved Peter Gnit, who kidnaps a young women on her wedding day, falls in love with someone else, and embarks on a global journey. $25 adults, $20 students. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/6pm; no show Feb. 23rd and Mar. 16th. 402-345-1576 – bluebarn.org

Death by Design
February 26-March 1 & March 6-8 at Weber Fine Arts Building, 6001 Dodge St.
What happens when you mix the brilliant wit of Noel Coward with the intricate plotting of Agatha Christie? You have a delightful and mysterious mash-up of two of the greatest English writers of all time in this zany and macabre murder mystery. 7:30 pm. $15 general adult tickers, $10 UNO faculty and staff, senior citizens, and military. $5 students with ID and TAG member card. 402-554-7529 – unotheatre.com

Ella
February 28 – March 30 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
Ella is the powerhouse story and musical revue of iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. As this legend prepares for her most challenging performance, she recalls her life’s tribulations and how she found solace in music. W-Sat/7:30 pm; Sat/2pm. Ticket Prices TBA. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

Jackie & Me
February 28 – March 16 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
With the help of a vintage baseball card and a little bit of magic, average boy Joey Stoshack travels back to 1947 and meets Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues. Best for ages 6-13. F/7pm; Sat/2 & 5 pm; Sun/2pm. $18 non-members, free members. 402-345-4849 
– rosetheater.org

 

Calendar of Events: November/December 2013

October 24, 2013 by

ART AND MUSEUM EXHIBITS

Featured Artists Akers, Fetters, and Gaines
Through November 24 at Artists Cooperative Gallery Ltd, 405 S. 11th St.
New works by mixed media artist Sean Akers, painter Joan Fetter, and weaver Agneta Gaines. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – 
artistsco-opgallery.com

MathAlive!
Through January 5 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy.
Exhibit showing the real math behind what kids love most—video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more. Daily/10am-5pm. $12 adults, $11 seniors & military, $6 ages 4-12. 402-944-3100 – sasmuseum.com

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear
Through January 5 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Test yourself against four common fears. Observe how fear changes and learn simple ways to combat stress. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection
Through January 5 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A selection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from a historic gift pledged to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010 by Emily Fisher Landau. Her collection features some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Glenn Ligon, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, John Baldessari, Kiki Smith, and Ed Ruscha. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

American Royalty: The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Scholarship and Coronation Ball
November 2 – January 19 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Over 200 years after declaring independence from the British monarchy, Americans continue to be entranced by royalty, and this exhibit aims to examine this fascination by looking at the fictional coronation of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben through a historical lens. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors 62+, $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

First Thursday Art Talk
November 7 & December 5 at Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St.
Current artists-in-residence give presentations or performances of their work and discuss their creative processes. Always insightful, these discussions provide a rare opportunity to meet artists and learn first-hand about their inspirations, approaches and techniques. 7pm. Free admission. 402-341-7130 – bemiscenter.org

Travel Journaling & Sketching with Nancy Lepo
November 9 at Omaha Creative Institute, 1516 Cuming St.
Learn how to document your trips via journal with this workshop, which focuses on the ins and outs of travel sketching—quickly capturing scenes and jotting down the ‘feel’ of a place, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. 10am-12pm. $35. 785-218-3061 – omahacreativeinstitute.org

Closing Reception: Nate Burbeck & Joel Starkey
November 14 at UNO Art Gallery, Weber Fine Arts Building, 6001 Dodge St.
Through panoramic paintings of landscapes depicting isolated moments of the surreal, Burbeck challenges his audience to question reality within the context of contemporary culture. He is accompanied by fellow Minnesotan and contemporary artist Starkey. 4:30-6:30pm. Free admission. 402-554-2796 – unoartgallery.org

Open Studios
November 16 at Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St.
Open Studios represents a chance for the public to come meet artists-in-residence and experience the Bemis Center’s core mission firsthand. The artists will be available to show you their studio, talk about their process, and give you a look at what they’ve been working on. This event is free and open to the public. 1-4pm. Free admission. 402-341-7130 – bemiscenter.org

CONCERTS

Cold War Kids
November 4 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.
Los Angeles indie rock band Cold War Kids return to Slowdown in support of their new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9. $17 day of, $15 in advance. 402-345-7569 – theslowdown.com

Cameron Carpenter
November 7 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
The first organist to be nominated for a Grammy Award® for a solo album, Cameron Carpenter acts more like a rockstar than a traditional organist, creating live performances with the glitz and glamour not typically associated with organ music. 7:30pm. Tickets from $25-70. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
November 13 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
This orchestra’s performance is unlike anything other holiday show out there, combining classical, orchestral, symphonic and progressive music into hard rock and heavy metal, complete with a light show and other special effects. 7:30pm. Tickets from $33-60.50. 712-323-0536 – midamericacenter.com

Brad Paisley: “Beat This Summer Tour”
November 14 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Country superstar Brad Paisley returns again to Omaha, armed with new hits, serious guitar chops, and a down-home sound to keep country fans happy. Opening is Danielle Bradbury, winner of this season of The Voice. 7pm. $30.50-63. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

A Night in Treme
November 14 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Capitalizing on the popularity of the HBO series Treme, New Orleans group Soul Rebels will be joined by “The King of Nouveau Swing” Donald Harrison, Jr., trumpeter James Andrews, and others as they bring a little bit of Bourbon Street to the Holland Center. 7:30pm. Tickets from $30-70. 402-731-3140 – omahaperformingarts.org

Hunter Hayes
November 16 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
Grammy®-nominated artist, Hunter Hayes is a multi-talented performer, musician, producer, and writer, who won New Artist of the Year at the 2012 Country Music Association Awards. 7:30pm. $32.50-184.50. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Handel’s Messiah
November 24 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
The Holland Center’s 45th annual ensemble presentation of Handel’s Messiah is a feast for classical music lovers, featuring a 150-voice chorus, soloists, and orchestra. ASL interpretation and audio descriptions are available for those who are deaf or blind. Free admission. 402-312-8210 – voicesofomaha.org

Toby Mac
November 22 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Toby Mac, an American Music Award winner for Favorite Christian Artist, comes to Council Bluffs for his Hits Deep Tour, featuring Mandisa Colton Dixon, Brandon Heath, Chris August, Jamie Grace, and Capital Kings. 7pm. Tickets from $25-35. 712-323-0536 – caesers.com/casinos/mid-america-center

Brahms’ Requiem
November 22-23 at Omaha Symphony, 1200 Douglas St.
Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Creighton University Chamber Choir, and University of 
Nebraska-Omaha Concert Choir and Chamber Choirs perform Brahms’ first great symphonic work under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, a transcendent monument to the darkness of grief and light of hope. F-Sat/8pm. $27-80. 402-345-0606 –  omahasymphony.org

The Sounds of Christmas starring Elisabeth von Trapp with the Carolian Brass
November 29 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Elisabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of the famous Maria & Baron Von Trapp, along with the Carolian Brass will perform some celebratory holiday songs, including a medley from The Sound of Music. 8pm. Tickets from $20-65. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Creighton’s Classical Christmas
December 3 at Creighton University Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plz.
This performance by the Creighton Chamber Choir and University Chorus features a newer holiday tradition for audience-goers, showcasing the work of Benjamin Britten, in honor of the upcoming centennial of his birth. 7:30pm. Free admission. 402-280-2509 – creighton.edu

Christmas at the Cathedral
December 6-8 at St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N 40th St.
This 18th annual event, presented by the Omaha Symphonic Chorus offers both inspiring classics and beloved traditional carols. F/8pm; Sun/2pm. $30 preferred seating, $18 general seating. 402-398-1766 – omahasymphonicchorus.org

An Evening with the Priests
December 7 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Three Roman Catholic priests from Northern Ireland come together to blend sacred music and traditional Irish music in this performance by this pop stars-meet-holy men group. 8pm. Tickets from $20-55. 402-345-0202 –
 omahaperformingarts.org

Wynonna & The Big Noise
December 15 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St, Ralston
Five time Grammy®-winning country star Wynonna Judd will perform “A Simpler Christmas,” mixing classic Christmas favorites with her own holiday songs and backed by her band The Big Noise. 7pm. Tickets from $39-99. 800-440-3741 – ralstonarena.com

FAMILY EVENTS

Christmas Stamps
November 1 – December 31 at Boys Town, 137th & W. Dodge Rd.
View Christmas-themed stamps and covers from around the world on display at the Leon Myers Stamp Center, located in the Boys Town Visitors Center. M-F/8am-5pm; Sat/9am-4pm; Sun/11am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom 
with Peter Gros
November 8 at Holland Preforming Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street.
As a host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Peter Gros has captivated audiences, introducing them to exotic animals and breathtaking wildlife. Now, he shares his experiences with Omaha through video clips, bloopers, and travel tales. F/8pm; Tickets from $15-35. 402-345-0606 — omahapreformingarts.com

Big Nate
November 8-24 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
Lincoln Peirce’s book series, Big Nate, comes to life onstage, as Nate Wright, the kid with the highest detention record at P.S. 38, fights to win the Battle of the Bands and the girl of his dreams. F/7pm; Sat/2&5pm; Sun/2pm. $18 general admission, or free for members. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Disney Live! Three Classic Fairytales
November 23 at Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave.
Disney staple characters Mickey, Minnie, and Donald are at the heart of this family-friendly performance, featuring three classic fairytales that are woven together to create a heart-warming story that has no shortage of Disney magic. 1pm & 4pm. Tickets from $16.50-47. 402-341-1500 – omahacivic.com

Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival at Shadow Lake
November 27 at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 7775 Olson Dr.
Celebrate by welcoming Santa, helping him light the tree, and enjoying a fireworks display. Free admission. 402-537-0046 – 
shadowlakeshopping.com

Santa’s Magic
November 29 – December 22 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
This interactive holiday show begins with the entrance of the Snow Queen to lead children in song and ends with Saint Nicholas coming down the chimney to greet each kid himself in this unforgettable holiday experience. Tu-F/10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, & 2:30pm; Sat-Sun/3:30pm. $1 in addition to general admission. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

Christmas at Boys Town: Tree Lighting
December 1 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
Visitors can experience a true family-friendly holiday tradition at Boys Town to kick off the Christmas season, complete with lights, carols, and Santa Claus riding in on a fire truck. 7:45pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

Holiday Happenings
December 7-21 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Even the animals are getting into the holiday spirit at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, as special holiday characters will be diving into the shark tank in the Scott Aquarium. Sat/10:45am. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Supper with Santa
December 19-22 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 St. 10th St.
Come join Mr. and Mrs. Claus without having to trek all the way to the North Pole. There will be supper, crafts, pictures with Santa, and more. Daily/6-8pm. $20 non-members, $15 members, free for children 2 & under. 402-738-2038 – omahazoo.com

Penguins and Pancakes
December 27-29 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Enjoy pancakes, crafts, and animal visits from the African penguins. Daily/8:30-10 am. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-738-2038 – omahazoo.com

First Night of Play
December 31 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
This New Year’s celebration is perfect for the whole family, and leaves time for parents to celebrate afterwards too. Enjoy face painting, balloon artists, a dance party, food, goodie bags, and more. 6-8:30pm. $14 non-members, $10 members. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

Noon Year’s Eve
December 31 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
An earlier New Year’s Eve celebration that everyone can stay up for, Noon Year’s Eve is complete with activities for the whole family, a beach ball drop, and celebrations with your favorite zoo animals. 10am-1pm. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

FUNDRAISERS & GALAS

Raise the Roof Gala
November 1 at Creighton University, Harper Center, 2500 California Plz.
Habitat for Humanity’s annual gala chaired by Jessica Duce. 402-884-5957 – habitatomaha.org

Angels Among Us Fall Gala
November 1 at Embassy Suites Old Market, 555 S. 10th St.
Enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, and music by Chris Saub at Angels Among Us’ annual Fall Gala. $100 per person, $1,000 per table. 402-885-4840 – myangelsamongus.org

TeamMates Tailgate
November 1 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Tom Osborne, Larry the Cable Guy, and Warren Buffett sit down with a special guest at TeamMates Mentoring Program’s annual tailgate event. 6pm. 402-598-3163 – teammates.org

Wicker & Wine Basket Auction
November 7 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Lutheran Family Services hosts a fundraising event for the Pottawattamie County Center for Healthy Families. 5:30pm. 402-978-5646 – lfsneb.org

Purses for Paws
November 8 at Regency Court, 120 Regency Pkwy.
Shop for purses, enjoy silent auctions and raffles, and more at Nebraska Humane Society’s Purses for Paws event. 5:30pm. 402-444-7800 ext. 260 – 
nehumanesociety.org

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala
November 9 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala is “Believe in Happy Endings.” 6pm. 402-955-6851 – 
childrensfoundationomaha.org

Salute to Families – Iowa
November 14 at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs
Heartland Family Service honors four southwest Iowa families. 6pm. 402-552-7426 – heartlandfamilyservice.org

Merrymakers Annual Roast
November 14 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Help Merrymakers continue to provide entertainment for seniors by supporting their annual event. This year, Merrymakers will roast Father Tom Fangman. 6pm. Tickets are $200.  402-697-0205.— merrymakers.org

Salute to Families – Nebraska
November 21 at Happy Hollow Club, 1701 S. 105th St.
Heartland Family Service honors four Nebraska families. 6pm. 402-552-7426 – 
heartlandfamilyservice.org

Night of a Thousand Stars
December 1 at Magnolia Hotel, 1615 Howard St.
Join Honorary Chairs Dianne and Allan Lozier as Nebraska AIDS Project celebrates its 20th Annual Night of a Thousand Stars. Online ticket sales end Nov. 30th. 9pm. $60 general, $175 VIP, $475 platinum package. 402-552-9260 – nap.org

RECREATION

Anime NebrasKon 3-Day Anime & Pop Culture Convention
November 1-3 at Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 3321 S. 72nd St.
Over 200 scheduled activities are featured this year at Nebraska’s premier Japanese animation and pop-culture convention, including Taiko drumming, a costume contest, martial arts demonstrations, gaming areas, and much more. Doors open 2pm on Friday and close 3pm on Sunday. 402-658-6960 – animenebraskon.com

Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair
November 7-10 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.
This four-day fair, rated one of the top 100 shows according to Sunshine Artist Magazine, will feature hundreds of handicraft works from artists around the country and includes stage entertainment and hourly gift-certificate drawings. Th-F/11am-9pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/10am-5pm. $8 adults, $7 seniors, free for children 10 & under. 402-331-2889 – hpifestivals.com

Veteran’s Recognition Day
November 11 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Free admission for active or retired veterans and their immediate families. 10am-4pm. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Lewis and Clark Dog Show
November 16-17 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Furry friends abound at this show featuring participants from the Afghan Hound Club of Omaha, Borzoi Club of Greater Omaha, and Omaha-Council Bluffs Cocker Spaniel Club. There will be events for owners, dog-lovers, and pets alike, including a costume contest and fun match. 402-341-1500 – 
lewisandclarkdogshow.com

Holiday Lights Festival
November 21 – December 31 at Gene Leahy Mall, 14th & Farnam sts.
Join the Omaha community at the Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 21, which kicks off the six-week Holiday Lights Festival events. Then, ring in the New year with a fireworks display concluding the festival on Dec. 31. 402-345-5401 – holidaylightsfestival.org

Miracle on Farnam
Novermber 23 – January 1 at Midtown Crossing, 31st-33rd at Farnam & Dodge sts.
A season-long celebration of creativity, good cheer, and authentic holiday pleasures. Free admission. 402- 351-9546 – miracleonfarnam.com

Holiday Poinsettia Show
November 29 – January 5 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
This spectacular exhibit features a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree, ornate holiday trees, antique sleighs, and a 300-foot long track that includes several passenger and model freight trains swerving through displays of miniature Omaha landmarks. Daily/9am-5pm. $7 adults, $3 ages 6-12, free for members and children 5 & under. 402-346-4002 – lauritzengardens.org

Bellevue World Fest
November 30 at Lied Activity Center, 2700 Arboretum Dr.
This festival features a special Medieval/Renaissance where visitors can learn about, weaving, woodworking, metal working, and jewelry making along with other holiday entertainment from around the world. 12-4 pm. Free admission. 402-517-1446 – bellevueworldfest.com

Christmas at Boys Town: Historic Creche Display
December 1 – January 11 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
This historic display features three nativity scenes, including the main crèche, created by a Holocaust survivor, which adorns the historic Music Hall near the main entrance. Other nativities are at Dowd Memorial Catholic Chapel and by the Village Christmas tree. Daily/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste
December 3 at Regency Marriott Ballroom, 10220 Regency Cir.
Step back in time with this Renaissance-style holiday celebration hosted by the Lord and Lady of the Manor, complete with a multi-course feast, and a special appearance by the court jester. 6pm. $52 individual, $48 groups of 10 or more. 402-556-1400 – ibsencostumes.com

Irish Christmas at Father Flanagan’s Historic Home
December 9-16 at Boys Town, 137th & W Dodge Rd.
The Christmas spirit lives on at the former residence of Father Edward J. Flanagan with traditional Irish Christmas décor including Christmas quilts, antique toys, and ornaments from the 1920s to the 1940s. Daily/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1141 – boystown.org

RUNS

The Ugly Sweater Run
December 15 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Now grandma’s reindeer sweater can be used for more than just the annual office Christmas party in this fun 5K race that’s anything but pretty. Participants are also asked to bring one new toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Tickets from $34-50. 402-341-1500 – theuglysweaterrun.com

THEATRE

Brian Regan
November 7 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Comedian Brian Regan has distinguished himself as one of the premier comedians in the country, visiting more than 80 cities each year with material that relates to a wide audience. 7:30pm. Tickets start at $38.75. 402-345-0606 – 
omahaperformingarts.org

Theresa Caputo
November 13 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Theresa Caputo, psychic medium and star of the hit TLC show Long Island Medium, will give interactive readings to audience members throughout the show and will also share personal stories about her life and her unique gifts. 7:30pm. Tickets from $39.75-69.75. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.org

Larry the Cable Guy
November 15 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Born in Pawnee City, Neb., Larry the Cable Guy observes and celebrates the workingman and the redneck lifestyle. 7pm & 9:30pm. Tickets start at $35. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.org

The Met: Live in HD – Puccini’s Tosca
November 9 & 13 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
Puccini’s timeless verismo score is well served by an exceptional cast, led by Patricia Racette in the title role of the jealous diva, opposite Roberto Alagna as her lover, Cavaradossi. George Gagnidze is the villainous Scarpia. Nov. 9/11:55am; Nov. 13/6pm. $24 general admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Dickens Returns
November 15-16 at Field Club of Omaha & General Crook House, 3615 Woolworth Avenue. and 5730 N. 30th Street.
Come join Mr. Dickens—Gerald Dickens, that is—in his energetic readings of some of Charles Dickens’ classic novels. F/2&6pm; 402-555-9990 —  douglascountyhistory.org

Elf the Musical
November 19-24 at Orpheum Theater, 409 N. 16th St.
Follow the hilarious tale of Buddy the Elf as he ventures to New York City to meet his birth father and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas. Tu-Th/7:30pm; F/8pm; Sat/2&8pm; Sun/1:30&7pm. Tickets from $30-75. 402-345-0606 – 
omahaperformingarts.org

The Nutcracker
November 20-23 at Creighton University Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plz.
Enjoy this holiday classic ballet performed by the Creighton Dance Company and Department of Fine and Performing Arts. W-F/7:30pm; Sat/2pm. $18 general admission. 402-280-1448 – creighton.edu

Tribes
November 22 – December 15 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St.
The story of a deaf boy who comes from a Jewish family and is raised without the knowledge of sign language until he meets Sylvia, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself. Th-Sun/8pm. $12-15 on Friday and Saturday shows, $10 on Thursday shows. 402-341-2757 – snapproductions.com

A Christmas Carol
November 22 – December 22 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
Experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition as Ebenezer Scrooge goes on a life-changing journey through his past, present, and future. W-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $24 students. 402-553-0800–omahaplayhouse.com

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
November 29 – December 22 at Blue Barn Theatre, 614 S. 11th St.
This twist on Dicken’s original story picks up with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley, who must redeem Scrooge in order to discover his own heart. F-Sat/7:30 pm; Sun 6pm; No show December 5. $25 adults, $20 students and seniors 65+. 402-345-1576 – bluebarn.org

Narnia
December 6-29 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street.
This musical version of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s novel transports audience members to the enchanted world of Narnia without having to go through a magical wardrobe themselves. Narnia has a run-time of two hours with an intermission and is recommended for children ages 6-13. Sat-Sun/2pm; Dec.26/7pm. $25 main floor, $20 balcony. Members save $7 per ticket. 402-345-4849 — rosetheater.org

Yesterday and Today
December 6-29 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
This all-request Beatles tribute show gives audience members a chance to share stories and relieve memories with their favorite Beatles songs. Tickets are $38. Th-Sat/7:30pm: Sun/2pm. 402-553-800 – omahaplayhouse.com

The Met: Live in HD – Verdi’s Falstaff
December 14 & 18 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
Verdi’s masterpiece returns to The Met for the first time since 2005, in a production by Robert Carson featuring Ambrogio Maestri singing the title role of the brilliant and blustery Sir John Falstaff. Dec.14/11:55am; Dec.18/6pm. $20 Film Stream members and Opera Omaha subscribers. $24 general admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Calendar of Events: September/October 2013

September 3, 2013 by

ART & MUSEUM EXHIBITS

A Bug’s World
Through September 8 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
A larger-than-life interactive exhibit that allows children to experience what it is like to be a bug. Tu-F/10am-4pm; Sat/9am-5pm; Sun/1pm-5pm. $9 adults & kids, $8 seniors, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

A T. Rex Named Sue
Through September 8 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Visit one of Chicago’s Field Museum’s traveling exhibitions, Sue, the largest, most complete, best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex in the world. M/10am-5pm; Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Ron Parks at the Fred Simon Gallery
Through September 20 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St.
Sculptor Ron Parks showcases this craftsmanship in this exhibition of contemporary Nebraska visual artists. M-F/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-595-2142 – nebraskaartscouncil.org

Baseball at Boys Town
Through September 30 at Boys Town, 14100 Crawford St.
Highlights the history of baseball from 1917 to today at Boys Town and features autographed baseballs and memorabilia from Hall of Fame players Babe Ruth, Ozzie Smith, and Hank Aaron. Daily/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1186 – boystown.org

The Lorax
Through November 3 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A showcase of selected Dr. Seuss preliminary crayon drawings and final pen and ink line art for this iconic book from the collection of the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

Featured artists Daharsh, Ocken, and Vande Voort
September 3-29 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by glassblower Frank Daharsh, painter Virginia Ocken, and painter Dar Vande Voort. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

Rockbrook Village® 42nd Annual Art Fair
September 7-8 at Rockbrook Village Shopping Center, 108th & W. Center Rd.
Omaha’s premier art fair since 1971. Over 160 national, regional and local artists will display and sell their one-of-a-kind works of art. 10am-5pm. Free admission. 402-390-0890 – rockbrookvillage.com

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear
September 28 – January 5 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Created by The California Science Center, Durham Museum presents the many sides of fear. Test yourself against four common fears. Observe how fear changes and learn simple ways to combat stress. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection
September 28 – January 5 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A selection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from a historic gift pledged to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010 by Emily Fisher Landau. Her collection features some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Glenn Ligon, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, John Baldessari, Kiki Smith, and Ed Ruscha. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

Featured artists Johnston, Methot-Swanson, Stizman
October 1-27 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by painters Judith Anthony Johnston and Katrina Methot-Swanson, and sculptor Tom Sitzman. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

Featured artists Akers, Fetter, Gaines
October 29 – November 24 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by mixed media artist Sean Akers, painter Joan Fetter, and weaver Agneta Gaines. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

CONCERTS

End of the Summer Concert Series
Through September 27 at Midtown Crossing, 31st to 33rd, Farnam to Dodge sts.
A weekly concert series to end the summer, featuring Billy McGuigan and a joint concert with the Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha. F/7:30pm. Free admission. 402-598-9676 – midtowncrossing.com

Hullabaloo Music & Camping Festival
September 5-8 at Sokol Park, 905 Allied Rd.
A celebration of music featuring live music from regional and national bands and DJs. Acts include the Aaron Freeman (former lead singer of Ween), Blackalicous, Monophonics, The Floozies, Kris Lager Band, Samantha Fish, DJEM, Lovedrunk, and much more! Food, drink and local vendors will be on hand. $20-80. 402-210-4747 – hullabaloomusicfestival.com

Scotty McCreery
September 13 at Stir Concert Cove, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs, IA
Scott “Scotty” McCreery is an American country music singer from North Carolina and winner of the tenth season of American Idol. Doors open at 6pm; show at 8pm. $35 general admission. 712-329-6000 – harrahscouncilbluffs.com

Bret Michaels
September 20 at Stir Concert Cove, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs, IA
Rock out the end of the summer with actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and reality television personality Bret Michaels, formerly of the band Poison. Doors open at 6pm; show at 8pm. $33 general admission. 712-329-6000 – harrahscouncilbluffs.com

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
October 10 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy gained national attention when “You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three (Tonight)” and “Go Daddy-O” were featured in the film Swingers. Their concerts feature big horns, wild jungle-jazz rhythms, zoot suits & dancing flapper girls. 7:30pm. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Keith Urban – Light the Fuse Tour 2013
October 18 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
One of the industry’s most electrifying live performers, four-time Grammy Award winner and American Idol judge Keith Urban is bringing his “Light The Fuse Tour 2013” to Omaha. Special guests include: Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. 7pm. $37-61.50. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Avenged Sevenfold with Deftones and Ghost B.C.
October 22 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Avenged Sevenfold, a rock band known for their diverse rock sound and dramatic imagery in album covers and t-shirts, has toured all over the United Kingdom, as well as mainland Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 8pm. $18.50-73. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

World Blues: Taj Mahal and Vusi Mahlasela
October 25 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Grammy®-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal with ‘The Voice’ of South Africa Vusi Mahlasela. One of the most prominent figures in late 20th century blues and roots music, his music draws inspiration from virtually every corner of the world. 8pm. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
October 29 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Premier hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis previously showcased their talents at The Waiting Room and Sokol Auditorium, but are now taking their music to Omaha’s main stage, CenturyLink Center Omaha. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recently made Billboard history as the only duo to send their first two singles to No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and Top 40 Radio charts with new single “Can’t Hold Us” and breakout hit “Thrift Shop.” “Same Love,” a song and video in support of marriage equality, galvanized young fans and voters, and is certified a Gold single. 7:30pm. $29.50-82. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

FAMILY EVENTS

Young Frankenstein – Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series
Through September 12 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
With support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, Film Streams presents Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series – Summer 2013 with Mel Brooks’ infamous Young Frankenstein. See website for showtimes. $9 general, $7 seniors, students, teachers, military, bike-friendly, $4.50 members, $2.50 12 & under. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Dinosaurs Alive: The Lost Valley
Through October 13 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Animatronic dinosaurs intermingled with other animals transports the zoo back 65 million years to when these prehistoric beasts roamed the planet. Daily/9am-5pm. $4 with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Knuffle Bunny
September 6-22 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
Enjoy a hilarious musical version of the beloved Caldecott Honor book and get your family giggling. $18 general admission, free for members. F/7pm; Sat/2 & 5pm; Sun/2pm. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Forbidden Planet – Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series
September 14-26 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
With support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, Film Streams presents Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series – Summer 2013 with the Oscar-nominated Forbidden Planet. See website for showtimes. $9 general, $7 seniors, students, teachers, military, bike-friendly, $4.50 members, $2.50 12 & under. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Family Fiesta at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
September 22 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St.
A fiesta for the whole family featuring soccer mascots, a live mariachi band, face painting, and more. 12-5pm. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

ARTsarben
September 28-29 at Aksarben Village, 67th and Center Sts.
Bring the whole family for fun, games, good food, live music, face painting, KidZone with bouncy houses, and most importantly the ART! Sat/10am-7pm; Sun/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-345-5401 – artsarben.com

MathAlive!
September 28 – January 5 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy
Exhibit that brings to life the real math behind what kids love most—video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more—and creates interactive and immersive experiences. Daily/10am-5pm. $12 adults, $11 seniors & active/retired military, $6 ages 4-12. 402-944-3100 – sasmuseum.com

Robin Hood
October 11-27 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
The legendary tale bursts into fresh & fiery new life in this unique, fast-paced adaptation. Robin Hood stands up for justice as he cleverly evades the Sheriff of Nottingham. Be enchanted as a band of merry men (and women) bring familiar characters to life in surprising new ways. F/7pm; Sat/2 & 5pm; Sun/2pm. $18 general admission, free for members. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Spooktacular at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
October 18 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St.
Bring your little ghouls and goblins to this safe and fun Halloween event. 5:30-8:30pm. $8 with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

FUNDRAISERS & GALAS

Zoofari 2013
September 7 at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Fundraiser supporting the Omaha Zoo Foundation with a trunk show, dinner, live and silent auctions. 402-738-2073 – omahazoofoundation.org

Touch a Truck
September 7 at First Data, 6855 Pacific St.
Free family event with trucks, police cars, and firetrucks supporting Child Saving Institute. 11am. 402-504-3664 – childsaving.org

36th Annual Archbishop’s Dinner for Education
September 12 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Dinner recognizing teachers and administrators in the Archdiocese of Omaha schools. 402-827-3757 – archomaha.org

7th Annual Brew HaHa
September 12 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St.
Beer and food sampling event supporting Omaha Habitat for Humanity. 5pm. 402-884-4370 – habitatomaha.org

6th Annual Wine and Beer Event
September 12 at The Shops of Legacy, 168th & Center sts.
Support ALS in the Heartland by drinking, stolling, and shopping. 6pm. 402-592-2374 – alsintheheartland.org

Global Voices: Faith in Action
September 15 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Event recognizing faith-based community leaders and supporting Lutheran Family Services. 402-978-5646 – lfsneb.com

Cruisin’ for a Cure Omaha 2013
September 15 at Methodist Hospital Parking Lots, 8601 W. Dodge Rd.
Auto show and free prostate screenings with proceeds benefiting The Estabrook Cancer Center at Methodist Hospital. cruisinforacure.com

Big Red Tailgate
September 20 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, and dinner with Completely KIDS. 5:30pm. 402-397-5809 completelykids.org or call 402-397-5809 – completelykids.org

Spotlight Gala
September 21 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Annual fundraiser for Voices for Children with cocktails, food, and more. 5:30pm. 402-597-3100 – voicesforchildren.com

Our Lady of Lourdes Annual Fall Festival
September 22 at Our Lady of Lourdes, 2110 S. 32nd Ave.
Fundraising festival with games, food, and more. 12pm. 402-341-5604 – ollomaha.com

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes 2013
September 22 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St.
A fundraising walk supporting the American Diabetes Association. 402-571-1101 – diabetes.org

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 2013
September 26 at Anthony’s Steakhouse Ballroom & Patio, 7220 F St.
Fundraising event for Project Harmony with live Irish music and prizes. 402-595-1326 – projectharmony.com 

Omaha Signature Chefs Auction
September 26 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Signature dishes by 20 chefs, a raffle, and a live auction, supporting March of Dimes Nebraska. 5:30pm. 402-496-7111 – marchofdimes.com

Restoring Hearts with Bike Parts Event
September 26 at Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St.
Omaha Home for Boys gala featuring a motorcycle raffle and special guest Marlee Matlin. 5:30pm. 402-457-7000 – omahahomeforboys.org

Jewels of Autumn
September 28 at Alegent Creighton Health Lakeside Hospital, 16901 Lakeside Hills Ct.
Annual fundraiser with food, drinks, and auctions. 6pm. 402-717-8182 – alegentcreighton.com

Walk for the Animals 2013
September 29 at Nebraska Humane Society, 8929 Fort St.
Fundraising walk with pets. 8:30am. 402-444-7800 – nehumanesociety.org

Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2013
September 29 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, 3220 Farnam St.
Fundraising walk for Alzheimer’s Association. 12pm. 402-502-4301 – alz.org

43rd Annual Boy Scout Golf Invitational
September 30 at Shadow Ridge Country Club, 1501 S. 188th Plz.
Golf event for Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council. 11am. 402-514-3011 – mac-bsa.org

50th Anniversary Celebration
October 4 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Inaugural fundraising event supporting Legal Aid of Nebraska. 5:30pm. 402-348-1069 – legalaidofnebraska.com

Holy Name Harvest
October 4 at Holy Name School, 2901 Fontenelle Blvd.
Dinner, raffle, and silent and live auctions. 5:30pm. 402-451-6622 – holynameschoolomaha.org

Expressions of Hope Gala
October 4 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Dinner, youth program, and silent and live auctions supporting Hope Center for Kids. 402-341-4673 – hopecenterforkids.com

Good Apple Awards
October 10 at Historic Livestock Exchange Building, 4920 S. 30th St.
Live music, cocktails, and Nebraska Appleseed community justice awards. 6pm. 402-438-8853 – neappleseed.com

HomeGrown
October 10 at Brix at Village Pointe, 225 N. 170th St.
Local wine and beer tasting supporting Nebraska Children’s Home Society. 4pm. 402-451-0787 – nchs.org

Hops & Grapes Fall Festival
October 11 at Field Club of Omaha, 3615 Woolworth Ave.
Partnership 4 Kids’ wine and beer tasting event. 7pm. 402-930-3002 – p4k.org

7th Annual Comfort Food Classic
October 13 at Ramada Omaha, 3321 S. 72nd St.
Chef competition supporting Ted E. Bear Hollow. 5pm. 402-502-2773 – tedebearhollow.org

117th Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation & Scholarship Ball
October 19 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation’s annual scholarship ball. 402-554-9600 – aksarben.org

Ladle of Love Festival
October 20 at Open Door Mission’s Garland Thompson Men’s Center, 2705 N. 20th St.
Soups and baked goods served by local chefs, supporting Open Door Mission. 1pm. 402-829-1508 – opendoormission.org

Scholarship Luncheon
October 22 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Phoenix Academy luncheon with guest speaker, former First Lady Laura Bush. 11:30am. 402-390-0556 – phoenixacademyomaha.org

6th Annual Monster Bash for Brain Cancer
October 24 at Georgetown Club, 2440 S. 141st Cir.
Live music, kids activities, food, and more, supporting Leap-for-a-Cure. 6:30pm. 402-333-9370 – leapforacure.org

Fall Luncheon 2013
October 24 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Women’s Fund of Omaha event with keynote speaker Betsy Myers. 11:30am. 402-827-9280 – omahawomensfund.org

Centennial Gala
October 24 at Mutual of Omaha Dome, 3300 Dodge St.
MOSAIC event featuring keynote speaker Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D. 6pm. 402-896-9988 – mosaicinfo.org

RECREATION

Septemberfest
Through September 2 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Featuring live bands, Spider-Man, princesses, balloon artists, magicians, Omaha Roller Girls vs. North Dakota’s Roller Derby Team, BBQ & Ribeye Steak Cookoff, Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament, and more. F/5pm-12am; Sat/12-4pm; Sun-M/12pm-12am. $4 adults, free for children 5 & under. 402-341-1500 – septemberfestomaha.com

Florence Mill Farmers Market
Through September 29 at Florence Mill, 9102 N. 30th St.
A local farmers market featuring fresh, local produce, artisans and live music every Sunday afternoon. Sun/10am-3pm. Free admission. 402-551-1233 – historicflorence.org

River City Star Friday Evening Public Dinner Cruise
Through October 4 at River City Star Riverboat, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
Spend an evening on the Missouri River while enjoying live entertainment on this 1.5 hour, two entree dinner cruise. F/6:30-8pm. $42 adults, $38 seniors (65+), $21 children 12 & under. 402-342-7827 – rivercitystar.com

Omaha Restaurant Week
September 13-22 at participating Omaha restaurants
Grab your forks and knives and arrive with an empty stomach for Omaha Restaurant Week, a 10-day promotion celebrating the unique, exciting culinary scene in the Omaha metro. During this festival of food, participating restaurants offer an exclusive specials menu featuring multi-course dinners at a fixed price of either $20, $30, or $40 per person. 402-850-6776 – omaharestaurantweek.com

Street of Dreams
September 14-29 at Deer Creek, 120th and Deer Creek Dr.
Tour upscale, custom dream homes while gathering cutting edge design ideas from a variety of Omaha’s Best Custom Builders. W-Sun/12-8pm. $10 adults. 402-727-1054 – streetofdreams.org

Midtown Car Show
September 15 at Midtown Crossing, 31st-33rd and Dodge-Farnam sts.
Check out some of the area’s most fabulous rides: vintage cars and trucks, project cars, hot rods, and more. 10am-2pm. Free admission. 402-351-5964 – midtowncrossing.com

Oktoberfest
September 20-21 at German-American Society Inc., 3717 S. 120th St.
Omaha’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration. Enjoy great authentic foods, including schnitzel, German potato salad, sauerkraut, German tortes, a few hogs and dozens of chickens, plus authentic music for dancing. F/5pm-12am; Sat/12pm-12am. $3 Saturday admission, $4 Sunday admission. 402-333-6615 – germanamericansociety.org

2013 Loess Hills Wine Festival
September 21 at River’s Edge Park, Council Bluffs, IA.
A celebration of the Grape Harvest with a fun day of entertainment. Admission includes live music by Pink Kadillac, a souvenir wine glass, five tickets that may be used for wine tastings, grape stomp, hayride, and more. 3-10pm. $10-50. weigga.org

22nd Annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow
September 22 at Metropolitan Community College, 5730 N. 30th St.
A traditional intertribal powwow featuring Native American music, dancing, crafts, and food. A family friendly event that explores the culture and traditions of Native Americans. 1-7pm. Free admission. 402-457-2253 – mccneb.edu

Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show
September 26-29 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
This year, the Antique & Garden Show is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To commemorate, Harrison Howard, a California artist, was commissioned to provide several one-of-a-kind pieces of art for the show. His piece, Spring, is an exclusive for Lauritzen Gardens. Lecturers this year are Carolyne Roehm, Kathryn Ireland, Eddie Ross, and Danielle Rollins. F-Sat/10am; Sun/11am. $15 general admission, $75 luncheon lectures, $125 preview party. 402-346-4002 – lauritzengardens.org

Ak-Sar-Ben’s River City Rodeo & Stock Show
September 26-29 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
A celebration of the region’s western heritage, featuring the Justin Boots Championships Rodeo, the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show, and the Douglas County Fair. Tu-F/10am-7pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/9am-4pm. Free admission, except rodeo and other selected events. 402-554-9600 – rivercityrodeo.com

Just for Her Expo
October 11-13 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Shop boutiques, test products and services, and more at this special event just for women in Omaha. F/5-10pm; Sat/10am-6pm; Sun/11am-4pm. justforherexpoomaha.com

25th Annual Fall Home and Garden Expo
October 25-27 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
The largest showcase in Nebraska and Iowa with over 100,000 sq. ft. of the latest products and services for the home – inside and out. F/5-9pm; Sat/10am-7pm; Sun/12-5pm. 402-346-8003 – showofficeonline.com

RUNS

Up & Over the River Walk & Run
September 1 at Miller’s Landing, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
An 8K run and walk that leads participants along the riverfront paths and over the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge to Iowa and back. 8:30am. $30 runners, $25 walkers. 402-346-4800 – septemberfestomaha.com

HITS 38th Annual Omaha Marathon
September 22 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, 1200 Mike Fahey St.
Listen to live music as you run by the TD Ameritrade Stadium, the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and through the Old Market. 7am. $80 marathon, $65 half-marathon, $45 10K. 402-546-1800 – omahamarathon.com

SPORTS

Visit Omaha 2013 Women’s Norceca Championship
September 16-21 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.
Watch 10 teams from the North America, Central America and Caribbean region compete in this 6-day event. See the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, a 2-time Olympic silver medalist, defend their title as the current NORCECA Women’s Continental Champion. 402-934-6291 – ralstonarena.com

THEATRE

Other Desert Cities
Through September 15 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St.
This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play explores the relationships of a family with differing political views and a tragic family secret that is threatened to be exposed. 402-341-2757 – snapproductions.com

Sirens
Through September 15 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
This play follows the story of Sam, a one-hit-wonder songwriter, whose marriage with his wife of 25 years is stifled by his obsession with finding the next big hit. When he encounters a siren from Greek mythology out at sea, she helps him realize Rose was always the love of his life. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $21 students. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

Bollywood and Beyond
Through October 3 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
A comprehensive overview of India’s prolific filmmaking traditions that presents 10 classics from a given era of Bollywood—Mumbai-made, Hindi-language films. See website for showtimes and admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Les Misérables
September 20 – October 27 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
The world’s longest running and most loved musical. Set in 19th Century France, Les Mis is the epic tale of Jean Valjean as he breaks his parole and is pursued by Inspector Javert while caring for the young orphaned Cosette. W-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

The Book of Mormon
October 12-20 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
The critically acclaimed and Tony® Award-winning religious satire musical, The Book of Mormon, is coming to Omaha for a nine-day run. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century,” and Entertainment Weekly proclaims it as “the funniest musical of all time.” Tu-W/7:30pm; F-Sat/8pm; Sun/1:30pm & 7pm. $50-140. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Freud’s Last Session
October 18 – November 17 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
An astute and witty conversation between scholar C.S. Lewis and Dr. Sigmund Freud shortly before Freud’s death, covering normally taboo topics, such as God, religion, sex and war. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

Sarah Joslyn

August 30, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann and Joslyn Art Museum

Sarah and George Joslyn came to Omaha for the same reasons people do today—job opportunities. Originally from Vermont, they arrived here in 1880. George earned $18 per week as manager of the Western Newspaper Union (WNU); as a new century dawned, he was president of a burgeoning conglomerate. The couple moved comfortably among Omaha’s wealthy and powerful elite and made plans for their dream home, which would become the crown jewel of Omaha’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

The Joslyns’ fabled life ended long ago, and no descendants live in Omaha. Still, their positive influence in our community can be felt by thousands of Omahans: by the artists who found inspiration at Joslyn Art Museum, the children who found homes through the Child Saving Institute, the students who reached their goals at UNO, the fellow church members at First Unitarian, and the strays who found some tender loving care at the Nebraska Humane Society; women and children in dire circumstances, soldiers away from home, and people old and alone—in fact, all of us have inherited the legacy of the Joslyns’ success, ideals, and vision.

“The Joslyns were a power couple,” says Daniel Kiper. “Both had intellect, drive, and ability, and they shared common goals.” Kiper probably knows the Joslyns as well as anyone can who’s never met them. After serving as a docent and board member for the Friends of Joslyn Castle, the Joslyns’ majestic home, he researched and wrote The Joslyns of Lynhurst. “I visited Joslyn Art Museum often as a child,” he says. “I felt I owed a debt to Sarah, who allowed me to see beyond the world I lived in.”

Sarah Joslyn

Portrait of Sarah Joslyn, 1941, oil on canvas, by Leopold Seyffert

Omaha proved to be the right place for the Joslyns, and they’d arrived just when the nascent city was ripe for opportunities. Ambitious, canny, and charming, George expanded and diversified WNU’s niche in newspapers and added properties, investments, and other ventures to his hand. Julie Reilly, executive director of Joslyn Castle Trust, describes George as “the Ted Turner of his day.” In 1893, he purchased a five-and-a-half-acre farm at 39th and Davenport streets. Landscaping began at once, but it would be 10 years before the house was finished. And when it was, the public gave it the name it has been known by ever since: Joslyn Castle.

“The Castle,” house and grounds, was lavished with luxury and reflected the Joslyns’ tastes: trees and shrubs, (many exotic, watered by underground pipes), a swimming pond, a conservatory for their orchid collection, stables for thoroughbred horses, a carriage house, and other outbuildings. The 34-room house, designed by John McDonald in Scottish Baronial Style, cost $250,000 to build, plus $50,000 in furnishings. The house had its own conservatory, music room, gym, bowling alley, even a lavatory for their Saint Bernards’ muddy feet. Sarah’s favorite room was the morning room, with personal photographs on light blue walls and a unique flower-display window.

Kiper says they certainly enjoyed themselves, indulging their interests in art and music, animals, travel, and entertaining. But they took the idea of noblesse oblige seriously: They gave to the community in both money and deed. Kiper cites numerous examples in his book, including their support of the Old People’s Home. Learning that the founder was near death and despaired of reaching her goal of new quarters, the Joslyns visited her with a property deed and $10,000. Once the new home was in operation, Sarah could be found sweeping the floors.

Writer Suzanne Smith Arney with granddaughters Chloe and Kaitlin Smith at Joslyn Art Museum.

Writer Suzanne Smith Arney with granddaughters Chloe and Kaitlin Smith at Joslyn Art Museum.

In Joslyn Art Museum: A Building History, former director Graham Beal includes a history of the Joslyns. “They were an extraordinary couple…who contributed so much to the early social, artistic, and intellectual life of Omaha. In my mind…[I picture Sarah as] a highly intelligent, unpretentious yet sensitive woman.” Beal describes Sarah’s charitable involvement in projects such as opening her home for fundraisers, serving on boards and commissions, and a variety of efforts during World War I. Always there was that combination of public roles and personal response; she did what needed to be done.

Wanda Gottschalk, chief development officer of Child Saving Institute, describes her image of Sarah as “a very, very bright woman who was frustrated by lack of opportunities for women.” In addition to donating $25,000 for a new building, Sarah served on CSI’s board, rocked babies as a member of the Nursery Committee, and invited the children to picnics on her home’s park-like grounds.

“It may have been one of those occasions where she met Violet,” Gottschalk says. In 1897, five-year-old Violet came to live with the Joslyns;  she would become their cherished daughter and the princess of Joslyn Castle. In 1913, seven months after the horrific Easter Sunday tornado devastated Joslyn Castle, Violet was married in the renovated, flower-filled rooms.

After George’s death in 1916, Sarah’s focus became a memorial that would honor her husband, represent his values, and provide a permanent home for the arts. She held fast to his idea that, as their wealth had derived from Omaha, it should, in some form, be returned to the city for the benefit of its citizens. Jack Becker, Joslyn Art Museum’s executive director and CEO, notes, “Sarah Joslyn built the museum as a memorial to her husband and gift to the people of Omaha. She was very clear from the beginning that her wish was for the museum to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, for as long as possible. Sarah lived to see the museum’s first decade, during which time an admission fee was never charged. The policy of free admission continued for another 25 years after her death in 1940, and we are proud to return to it this year.” Free general admission was reinstated in May 2013.

On opening day, Nov. 29, 1931, Sarah gave us not only the Joslyn Art Museum but its future in saying: “If there is any good in it, let it go on and on.”

Joslyn Art Museum Docents

February 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

If you don’t know the names, you recognize the faces. Visitors to Joslyn Art Museum on 24th and Dodge streets enjoy the tours offered by well-trained docents, and aficionados have their favorite guides. Surely, the face at the top of that list belongs to Norma Fuller. Last year she led well over 100 tours, and she’s been at it since 1970.

“I love it here,” she says simply. In addition to the Education Department, museum areas that have felt the “Norma touch” include the Board of Governors, Acquisition Committee, and Joslyn Art Museum Association (JAMA). Norma and husband Jim will be moving to Wyoming this spring; to say she’ll be missed is a monumental understatement.

When Fuller answered a newspaper ad for Joslyn docents 42 years ago, there was no Department of Education. Art enthusiasts planned tours among themselves over lunch, sharing tips, information, and friendship. She’d arrived three days prior, in tears over leaving Washington, D.C., a Masters in Art History program at Georgetown University, and studio classes at the Corcoran. What she found at Joslyn was “an oasis.”

“The Docent Program has so much to offer,” she says. Ask any of the docents, and their responses will be similar: The program inspires a love of art and learning, and a desire to share that passion with others; camaraderie; special opportunities and activities, plus discounts in the museum shop and cafe.20130116_bs_1058 copy

Susie Severson, Director of Adult Programs (including docent training), says, “In many respects, docents are the ‘face’ of the Museum—often the first warm welcome, the first smile, the first impression visitors have to the Museum and its collections. Last year—a record-setting year in terms of attendance—Joslyn docents conducted over 1400 individual tours. Within the past six months alone, they served over 7200 visitors. This quick reflection on the numbers confirms the docents’ role as amazing public servants. They are respected beyond measure.” But she cautions that it is a serious commitment. Candidates must complete a two-year series of classes in art history, touring techniques, and the Joslyn collection. Information and a downloadable application form (deadline August 23) are available at the website.

Sharon Jackson learned firsthand the challenge and the rewards during her second year of training. She’d chosen to study an 18th-century painting by Peyron but was disheartened to find what little information she could was in French. Remembering that Fuller offered a tour in French, she asked for help. Though the two had never met, Fuller translated the primary document, reviewed Jackson’s paper, and offered tips for its presentation. “She went way beyond expectations,” says Jackson. “She became a mentor.” Fuller responded, “That’s what docents do; we help each other.”

Docents bring varied backgrounds to the program, so you’re sure to find someone who can pronounce Danish names, explain lithography, or connect an art style to its political environment. Most docents relish study. Jane Precella, Joslyn’s retail manager, says, “I’ve seen Norma in the cafe studying for a tour like a grad student cramming for an exam.” Yet there’s variety in preparation, too. One docent always watched Saturday morning TV so that she was up on the latest superheroes.

“She went way beyond expectations. She became a mentor.” – Sharon Jackson, Joslyn Art Museum docent

Creative expression is another perk of the program. Docents delight in tailoring a tour, step by step, as they listen to their particular group, and some docents develop customized tours. Fuller has found special satisfaction in two adult programs, Art Encounters and Visualizing Literature Book Club. “Making just the right connection is as euphoric to me as making just the right brush stroke,” she says.

As Fuller’s time of making her mark on the Joslyn nears an end, Director Jack Becker comments, “Norma is a remarkable and talented person who for over 40 years has shared her love, passion, and knowledge of the visual arts to literally thousands and thousands of lucky individuals. Omaha owes her a huge thanks, and Joslyn Art Museum will miss her talent and inspiration.”

The next time you take a tour at Joslyn, put a name with the face and enjoy the unique perspective your docent brings to the tour. You’ll never get another just like it.

Mormon Trail Center

October 20, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The “Tragedy at Winter Quarters” Monument depicts a pioneer mother and father, comforting each other at the grave of a young child. It stands as a tribute to the nearly 370 pioneers who are buried at the historic Mormon Trail Cemetery, more than half of those who perished were under the age of 3.

While the image is heartbreaking, it also is a tribute to the strength, determination, and faith in God that allowed the Mormon pioneers to survive the journey from Nauvoo, Ill., through Omaha, and ultimately to their final destination of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Across from the Mormon Trail Cemetery, The Mormon Trail Center, also known as Winter Quarters, is located at 32nd and State streets. It is the site where over 3,000 Mormon pioneers settled in 1846 through 1848 as they made their way west to avoid religious persecution. Inside the Center, guests can learn about the rich history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through guided tours, videos, or by simply touring the museum at their leisure. Visitors will find paintings, maps, scale models, and life-sized replicas of log cabins and covered wagons. All of which tell the captivating story of the pioneers who left their homes and their way of life to avoid further persecution and to follow the word of God.

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“I love this painting,” says Sister Arnold, a missionary guiding a tour of the Center. The painting illustrates the journey of the pioneers as they crossed the frozen Mississippi River, their sacred Temple in Nauvoo, Ill., visible in the background. It was the winter of 1846, and it was the one and only time in history that the Mississippi River was frozen enough to allow the pilgrims to cross on foot. “They kept the thought that God would always provide a way,” she explains.

Guided by their leader Brigham Young, who succeeded the religion’s founder, Prophet Joseph Smith, the pioneers only knew two things for sure: they were heading west to settle the spot Young had seen in a vision, and that God would never let them fail.

After the Mormons proved their loyalty to the country by forming a regiment to fight in the Mexican-American War, the U.S. Government gave them a 1.5 square-mile plot of land along the Missouri River in what is now North Omaha. There, they could create a settlement for the next two years. In the years to follow, it would also serve as a resting place and trading post for future pioneers making their way west.

Those who settled in Winter Quarters were resourceful and dedicated to making the journey easier for those who would follow. Within three months, shares Sister Proctor, another LDS missionary, the Mormons had built over 500 log cabins, created a small town, and invented the odometer, which allowed them to provide extremely detailed accounts of their travels, resulting in the LDS immigrants guide for future pilgrims making their way west.

Between 1840 and 1890, over 85,000 LDS pilgrims came from all parts of the world to make their way along the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City.

A bust of the founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints,  Prophet Joseph Smith, is displayed with honor.

Bust of Church of Latter-Day Saints founder Prophet Joseph Smith.

Elder John Watson, director of the Mormon Trail Center, shared that in addition to Winter Quarters in North Omaha and the Kanesville Tabernacle in Council Bluffs, a piece of history was recently discovered.

“We just located and identified a cemetery in Council Bluffs that had 300 burials there in the early 1850s,” Elder Watson says. “We just keep finding little things like this that keep popping up. It’s almost a renaissance time [for us]; finding things that happened 150 to 160 years ago.”

In addition to learning about the faith, visitors can also discover what 19th century Omaha was like, as well as how the pioneers lived, dressed, and traveled across the Plains. An ideal family excursion, the Mormon Trail Center offers several annual events that are both educational and entertaining.

Display featuring items from Mormon newspaper, Frontier Guardian.

Display featuring items from Mormon newspaper, Frontier Guardian.

Every third Saturday, January through June, The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society offers free classes for anyone wanting to learn more about their family tree.

Each September, the Annual Quilt Show brings in hundreds of visitors and showcases the intricate craftsmanship of quilters from all over the region.

Beginning November 17th through December 29th, the 27th Annual Gingerbread Festival will be held at the Center. “We get gingerbread houses that range from graham crackers with frosting and candy to [ones that] look like palaces,” Sister Arnold says. “It’s just immaculate.”

“There’s a scavenger hunt…the kids just really, really love it. It’s a fun holiday tradition for families,” says Sister Proctor. “And it smells so good!”

To help ring in the holidays, the missionary sisters will be performing original songs at the Gingerbread Festival, as well as at Oakview and Westroads Malls on selected days throughout the season.

The Mormon Trail Center is open daily, 9am to 9pm, and is free to the public. It is located at 3215 State St. For more information, visit lds.org/locations/mormon-trail-center-at-historic-winter-quarters or call 402-453-9372

History Comes to Life

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Durham Museum underwent a $1.2 million renovation this past year. But most of the improvements are not visible to visitors, according to Executive Director Christi Janssen. Behind-the-scenes work, such as security cameras and new heating and air conditioning, were main concerns. The renovations were another step forward in improving the visitor experience, the museum’s priority.

The visitor experience also has been enhanced by close relationships with national partners providing exhibits that would otherwise not be seen in Omaha: The Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum; Chicago’s Field Museum; and the Library of Congress and National Archives in Washington, D.C.

“A lot of our physical enhancements have been because of our partners’ needs for their exhibits,” says Janssen. “National museums have standards and requirements for their exhibition partners. They want a staff that understands what it takes to mount a successful show.” Exhibit costs can range from $50,000 to $500,000. “Security is a major part of the cost,” she says. “For the Abraham Lincoln exhibit, we had 24/7 security.”

The partnerships that Omaha’s regional history museum has forged have led to a new era of exceptional traveling exhibits.

Partners on Display

In 2004, the Velde Hall of American History was completed, providing environmentally controlled space for traveling exhibits, which further encouraged national partners to send exhibits to the Omaha museum.

In January 2011, the Library of Congress sent to Omaha With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition. “The Library of Congress said it was the best installation in the five-city tour,” Janssen says.

The Durham works with other partners, too. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry sent Mindbender Mansion this year, among the museum’s best-attended exhibits. More than 70,000 people visited. Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power, an upcoming exhibit (that includes Lady Gaga’s meat dress) will be on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Feb. 9-May 5, 2013.

Traveling exhibits from partners are sometimes matched with a compatible exhibit put together by Durham Museum curators. Examples are current exhibits now on display: The American Soldier reflects soldiering from the Civil War to the War in Iraq. Its companion exhibit, Worn with Pride: Americans in Uniform, gives a local angle to the same topic.

You may be surprised to learn that the museum’s largest artifact on display is right before you as you enter the parking lot. It’s the Art Deco-style building the museum sits in. The building was constructed in 1931 by Union Pacific as a station for railroad passengers who traveled in elegance.

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Walking into the museum’s Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall for the first time is an awesome experience. Interior walls are limestone with polished black Belgian marble and terrazzo floors. The ceiling is gold, silver, and aluminum leaf. Brass lighting fixtures hanging from the 65-foot-tall ceiling each weighs one ton. It takes 45 minutes to replace a light bulb.

Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood said he designed the building “to depict the strength and masculinity of the railroad.” Because Omaha is Union Pacific’s headquarters, an all-out effort was made to construct a special building.

As airplanes, interstate highways, and Amtrak provided new ways to travel, passenger trains dwindled. In 1971, the final UP passenger train left the station. UP donated the building near downtown to the city. The building became the Western Heritage Museum in 1975. The regional museum is now called the Durham Museum after philanthropists Chuck and Margre Durham, who led a $25 million renovation effort to create the museum seen today.

Membership at the Durham has more than doubled since 2004. About 40 to 45 percent of visitors are from out of town, leaving behind money at local shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Education at the Museum

Households with children predominate the list of visitors coming through the museum doors, a major change since 2004. The Durham has set out to make the museum a place of education as well as fun for children. Museum staff follow state education standards, work with local Nebraska and Iowa school districts, and distribute curriculum guides as a resource for teachers.

An example is the curriculum ‘Hail to the Chief.’ Students are asked to identify a U.S. president, his years in office, and a major event tied to him.

The Velde Gallery of American History is a destination for many class field trips. Children also can sign up for summer camp and for summer workshops that offer educational games and tours.

These upcoming exhibits throw a spotlight on topics of educational interest:

  • Girl Scouts: 100 Years of Courage, Confidence and Character—Nov. 3, 2012 – June 9, 2013
  • We Want the Vote: Women’s Suffrage on the Great Plains—Feb. 23 – May 26, 2013
  • A T. Rex Named Sue—May 25 – Sept. 8, 2013
  • Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear—Sept. 28, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014

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Saving Omaha’s Pictorial History

Two years ago, Durham Museum staff began the long process of digitizing more than 700,000 historical photos from the 1860s to the 1990s and making them searchable online.

Yes, you read that number correctly. More than 700,000 photos that document Omaha’s history from frontier days to modern days are in one archive. Some of the negatives and prints are more than a century old and were in danger of being lost to history as they deteriorated.

The Durham turned to interns for help. Each spends about 20 to 30 hours a week to archive and document the collection. The interns also get hands-on experience by building exhibits around the photo archives. Photos are organized in 17 different collections. So far, 50,000 of the photographs in the archives have been posted online, where they can be viewed or purchased for a minimal amount at durhammuseum.org.

“Ak-Sar-Ben is the most recent collection of photos and artifacts,” says Janssen. “We want to be the repository for all things Ak-Sar-Ben.”

Some people using the photographs are compiling family or local histories. Others are writing books or producing documentaries.

“There are not many communities that have this kind of historical documentation,” says Janssen.