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Thursday, May 2:
Do you enjoy going to museums but sometimes wish there was someone there to help you understand the artists’ point of view? Then join Bemis Center’s chief curator (and director of programs) Rachel Adams for a lively and informative curator-led tour of Alison O’Daniel: Heavy Air. O’Daniel’s work explores what it means to not have full access to sound and transfers that experience to a hearing audience. While Bemis exhibitions are always free and open to the public, tonight’s tour offers a unique opportunity to interact with others while learning about the artist and her motivation. Register here now.
Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5:
Naturally, there are plenty of businesses celebrating Cinco de Mayo this weekend. But really, don’t you want to have an authentic experience? If this sounds ideal to you, head to South O for all the tasty food and live music you can handle, not to mention the parade and carnival. Throw in the fact that—while you’re experiencing and celebrating Mexican culture—you are also helping raise funds for scholarships and other nonprofits, and how can you miss it? This (now three-day) celebration has been happening in some form in Omaha since the 1920s. If you haven’t been, get there now. Learn more about this long-running event here.
Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5:
Bonsai trees are small trees that mimic the shape and scale of larger, full-size trees. The Nebraska Bonsai Society is dedicated to advancing this artistic, Japanese landscaping style, and Lauritzen Gardens is helping them share their passion by hosting the club’s Bonsai Exhibition this weekend. Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement, and Ikebana International Omaha 60 is also hosting their spring exhibition at the garden this weekend. So if you’re looking for some decorating inspiration this spring, this is a don’t-miss excursion to Lauritzen. Find out more here.
Friday, May 3:
Band Build is a live music showcase organized by Omaha Habitat Young Professionals. This ninth annual benefit concert features Nebraska musicians Mesonjixx and Sebastian Lane Band. Lane is the grandson of blues legend Jimmy Rogers and the son of Blues Hall of Fame artist Jimmy D. Lane and was nominated for two OEAAs this year. Mesonjixx is a soulful singer who’s been making a name for herself (quite literally). The proceeds from this show at Slowdown will go to the construction of a new Habitat Omaha home. Show your support and get your tickets here.
Saturday, May 4:
Yes, the Kentucky Derby is a horse race—but anyone who’s ever gone knows it’s so much more than that. The Kentucky Derby Party at Horsemen’s Park celebrates all things Derby, complete with mint juleps and a Derby Day Hat Contest (which pays out $3,000 in prize money). Doors open at 8:30 a.m. the day of the big race and simulcast wagering from Churchill Downs begins at 9:30 a.m. Hoof it over here for more info.
Sunday, May 5:
End the weekend on a musical note at the B Side of Benson Theatre with Matt Cox, Evan Bartels, Union Specific, and Jack Hotel. It’s an evening packed with Americana, country, folk, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll music, and a full bar is available. Matt Cox is a seven-time Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award winner (in case you’ve been under a rock). Evan Bartels is an Americana storyteller of the highest caliber we featured last fall. (You can read that here.) If all this local talent isn’t enough to get you out, Union Specific is an Austin band who has showcased at SXSW, and Jack Hotel out of Lincoln opened for Willie Nelson and Neil Young. Impressed yet? Learn more here.