Tag Archives: Mall of the Bluffs

Horses, Mavericks, and Pitbulls—It’s an Animal of a Weekend

April 12, 2018 by

Subscribe to this free weekly newsletter here.

Pick of the Week—Thursday, April 12 to Sunday, April 15: The International Omaha (Horse show) is back! If you go, be sure to attend the InIt2WinIt, featuring local ladies Brooke and Karen Cudmore. Don’t have a ticket? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of free fun at the Horse Discovery Zone and in the tailgate lounge. The daytime competitions are also free. No time for horsing around, though. Get all the details you’ll need here.

Friday, April 13: “What happens when art behaves badly?” If this is a question you’ve asked yourself but have yet to discover the answer to, then you should get to I Like Your Work: Art & Etiquette Opening Reception at the Omaha Creative Institute. Interdisciplinary artist Sarah Hummel Jones is bringing together artists from Brooklyn, Montreal, and Omaha who challenge art world etiquette. Joel Damon will give a performative lecture on that topic. Learn more here.

Saturday, April 14th: The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s student newspaper,  The Gateway, will host its first-ever fundraising Run the Press 5k fun run/walk at Memorial Park this Saturday. The Gateway has been the university’s source for news and opinion for students, faculty, and alumni since 1913 and we want to ensure they keep going. So Omaha Magazine is proudly sponsoring this event in the hopes they keep growing and guiding UNO students in the communications fields. Please register here to help us keep a good thing going.

Saturday, April 14th: Spend the day with some DIY nerds at Omaha Zine Fest 2018. You won’t find a more enthusiastic group of creatives than those at this festival. With over 100 zine creators from around the Midwest and beyond, this is an excellent opportunity to pick their brains and find out how they do it. Besides the free knowledge you’ll gain, there will also be live screen printing, a tintype photo booth, and free coffee from Mug Life. Did we mention the tasty food available from Omaha’s Awesome Eggrolls and Fauxmaha? Get the full day’s rundown here.

Saturday, April 14th: Don’t let the weather deter you from doing good. Rain, snow, or shine, Pasta for Pits! (and All Breeds) is still a great cause to stuff yourself for. Hosted by Helping Hand for Animals, this delicious dinner will help raise funds and awareness for rescue dogs in need of homes and love. So get to Boulder Creek Amusement Park and show your support. There will also be a silent auction and home-baked goodies you can take with you if you’ve eaten too much to enjoy the mini dessert bar. Lend your helping hand by clicking here.

Saturday, April 14th to Sunday April 15th: It’s crafty time! Head to the Pioneer Craft, Antique, and Junk Show at the Mall of the Bluffs in the old Target to find some new additions for your collections. For two whole days, you can dig through handmade crafts, antiques, and repurposed junk until just the right piece jumps out at you. So cross the bridge and start your junk jaunting early. Head here for more details and to find out how you can get a discount on admission. 

Sunday, April 15th: While it might not feel like spring outside this weekend, you can still hear the sounds of spring when you head to Gardens—Flowers—Bugs Concert at the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Be sure to bring the whole family, as children under 12 get in free. Hosted by the Nebraska Wind Symphony, this concert is guaranteed to blow you away, so hold on to your kiddos. Spring into action and get your tickets here.


Chris Hochstetler

June 16, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Chris Hochstetler’s successes in life are many, though for the new executive director at KANEKO, success is elusive to define. With age and experience, he’s grown to see that satisfaction and accomplishment are more than a rising career or a certain pay grade.

It’s about making a difference in the world.

About being a part of the community.

ChrisHochstetler1After two decades serving in the Army—earning the rank of sergeant major, the highest an enlisted soldier could achieve—he went to work serving the community: raising money for the American Lung Association, the Missionary Society of St. Columban, and now, KANEKO.

Fundraising has become his means to make a difference. And he’s successful at it.

For all his successes, military or philanthropic, he can name those who helped: foster parents, social workers, Army officials, friends.

According to Hochstetler, success doesn’t happen without the support of others. He learned that lesson early.

Hochstetler was the second of three children born to a single mother in Grand Island. Life was hard, and when he speaks of his past, it is not without some reluctance.

Childhood nights were spent sleeping in a car. Three square meals were not guaranteed.

In the winter, his mom took him to the library to keep warm. There, young Chris found comfort in the books on the shelves and the art on the walls.

“You could really lose yourself in a place like that,” he recalls.

Not realizing how dire things were, he didn’t expect what happened next: foster care.

It was a truly difficult time for him, especially as a preteen. “You don’t think about the fact that you can’t eat,” he recalls. “You think about being taken from your mom for no other reason than for being poor.”

He’s quick to emphasize his foster parents were wonderful. Along with his social workers, they became key players in his successful life.

After graduating from high school, Hochstetler enlisted, seeing the military as his chance to get an education and break the cycle of poverty. The opportunity to have his education paid by taxpayers is something for which he’s grateful.

He served for 20 years, deploying to the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. It was a pensive time that helped him to develop a passion for poetry.

It was also when he met his wife, Kelly—then a nurse in the Reserves—while he worked as an Army special ops recruiter at the Mall of the Bluffs. They married in 1994 and raised two children: Hayley, 21, and Tanner, 18.

Returning to civilian life, Hochstetler used his master’s degree in nonprofit management to begin his quest to give back. His first job was with the American Lung Association as senior vice president of resource development for a nine-state region in the South.

He then returned to Nebraska to fundraise for the Missionary Society of St. Columban. As U.S. director of fund development, he honed an expertise and joy for connecting donors to a cause that was important to them. “It’s fulfilling not only for the donor, but for the development officer.”

The travel required for that position wore on Hochstetler and his family. So he listened when a friend told him he should look into the position at KANEKO.

After a months-long interview process, Hochstetler got the job, thanks to his unique background and development credentials. Jun Kaneko acknowledged Hochstetler’s background was different from the other candidates, and that there was some worry that he wouldn’t understand the arts. But when he met Hochstetler in person, he knew Hochstetler could lead KANEKO.

“He has a very strong drive,” Kaneko says.

Hochstetler is tasked to maintain the vision of KANEKO: Making the center a world-class creative facility. “And I take those two words, ‘world’ and ‘class,’ to heart,” Hochstetler says. He believes KANEKO is approaching that level, and his mission is to protect the quality and increase the quantity of what’s
offered there.

Kaneko’s wife, Ree, says Hochstetler is a born leader. “He’s been able to invigorate that staff,” she says, including the board of directors. “We couldn’t be happier.”

Hochstetler’s drive extends beyond his career. Hochstetler is a competitive runner and cycler. Rising at 3:30 a.m. on a weekday, he’ll hoof up to 13 miles before heading into work; weekends are for longer distances. He allows his work and worries to disappear while running and cycling. “I can let everything go. I’m not thinking about work, kids, the next fundraising appointment.”

Once he’s returned from the trails, he’s focused back on his roles and his mission.

“I would like my children to understand that they can change the world if they try hard enough, and they can’t do it by themselves. I hope that the work I do is an example for them.”

Visit thekaneko.org for more information.