Blog

KC students experience downtown on BCycles

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The fifth in a series of seven, downtown Omaha on the BCycle system.

“Adventure is endless on the seat of a bike. With the BCycle system, exploring the city has never been so easy.”

BCycle is the first large-scale bike sharing system in the Omaha metro, perfect for trips that are too far to walk and too short to drive. You can run your errands, grab lunch or explore the city, making your trips economical and convenient.

Many thanks to Ben Turner with BCycle and SecretPenguin for helping with this experience!

Learn more about how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Midtown Crossing

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The fourth in a series of seven, Midtown Crossing.

Shopping, dining, events and views can all be found at Midtown Crossing.

Midtown Crossing is a diverse neighborhood with retail and restaurants, residential space and outdoor events and activities. Over 150 events take place each year on the grand lawn ranging in festivals, concerts and movies to community sports leagues and fitness classes.

Many thanks to Amanda Lustgraaf with Midtown CrossingColdstone CreameryHutch and Ugly Duck for helping with this experience.

Learn more about their stay and how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Make Believe Studios

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The third in a series of seven, Make Believe Studios.

“Omaha has given Make Believe Studios the opportunity they needed to start their business.”

 

Make Believe Studios, a progressive midwest music studio is striving to cultivate Omaha’s music scene. The studio has hosted national and local artists (like drummer Sput Searight, All Young Girls are Machine Guns and BOTH) and aims to inspire more people to make music.

Many thanks to Derek Pressnall with the Icky Blossoms and Make Believe Studios for helping with this experience.

Learn more about the student’s stay and how this video and the others came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

KC students experience Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The second in a series of seven, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

Evie explores the world’s best zoo.

Named best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014, we’re home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest and indoor desert. Here you can experience wildlife through fourteen different world-class exhibits, behind the scenes animal encounters or explore from new heights on the Skyfari.

Many thanks to Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium for helping with this experience.

Learn more about their stay and how this video came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

CreativeMornings/Omaha Meet Matthew Holt!

Omaha is part of the global CreativeMornings community. This monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community and adds to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.

After our March event featuring Frank O’Neal, we caught up with attendee Matthew Holt, a graphic designer and front-end web developer.

By JoAnna LeFlore

CreativeMornings veteran, Matthew Holt, has just moved to Nebraska by way of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he frequently attended CreativeMorning sessions. We’re so thrilled that he chose us as his new home! While we typically pick our community features at random, we want you to know that we did not choose Matt simply because of his history of attending these events. We chose him based on his desire to show up and be awesome. Find out what this guy is up to and how he plans to change the world through his creative spirit.

What brought you to Nebraska? Initially, I moved down here for an internship that transitioned into a full-time position. During this time, I was able to get plugged into many of the causes and organization that I helped and volunteered with. Long story short, I moved here for a job and stayed here for the amazing community (and the coffee)!

What are some of your hobbies? Playing Overwatch with friends, exploring with friends, checking out new coffee shops and beating my friends at Swarm.

What causes do you advocate for and participate in? I love to be active in as many causes and organizations as I can! Currently, I volunteer with Forward Free (PTSD & Veterans), Nextgen (Preparing college students to be the next generation of leadership), Wordcamp Omaha (Open source – WordPress Community Event) and 1 Million Cups Lincoln (Education + Community for entrepreneurs and startups).

What is your creative passion? My creative passion is to help others recognize the value of “good” design, marketing and development. I do this by making it accessible to others either by volunteering, informing and explaining concepts and ideas.

How are you motivated to express your creativity? Through my work! As a designer, I am consistently presented with problems to solve. Everything from visual problems to experiential + spatial problems. No one solution will work to solve every problem, so I need to continually look for new and exciting ways to solve these problems. When I see a problem, I get the itch to solve it.

How important is being part of a creative community to you? It motivates me to be more creative. It’s also inspiring to see what other people are doing and the potential to riff or collaborate together!

In your opinion, how should we celebrate one another’s uniqueness? The biggest way to celebrate each other’s uniqueness is by listening. You might not share the same background, beliefs or culture but taking the time to respectfully listen can speak volumes to others. Seeking to understand where others are coming from by listening to their stories and experience is how I celebrate uniqueness. We’re all people, yet we are all vastly different!

What might you look forward to by attending CreativeMorning lectures? I look forward to seeing how others express their creativity in unique ways. Especially those who aren’t necessarily in a creative industry or role.

Who is your favorite cultural leader and/or artist of all time? There are sooo many to choose just one. The first one that comes to mind is Hayao Miyazaki. As a literal filmmaker/artist, he has done an amazing job of communicating Asian culture to a western audience, and telling western tales in ways an eastern audience can easily digest and understand. Beyond the east/west transition, he continually addresses issues of environmentalism, feminism and war.

If you want to keep up with Matt’s creative endeavors, find him online at:

Posted in We Care, We Entertain, We Live |

KC students experience Hot Shops Art Center

Twenty-two Blue Valley Southwest High School students from Kansas City journeyed to Omaha (with their marketing/broadcast class instructor, of course) to become a video production crew for a day. After three hours of filming at seven different locations, two rounds of edits in four hours and twelve pizzas cashed, the students were ready to showcase their awesome ‘We Don’t Coast’ experiences.

The first in a series of seven, Hot Shops Arts Center.

“You can go to any old art museum just to view art, but here you can see where the ideas are made.”

 

Hot Shops Art Center is home to 58 art studios allowing artists to work and interact in a creative space. The 4 anchor studios are what put the ‘Hot’ in Hot Shops. This fiery discipline allows artists to create their work out of melted metals, molten glass and kilns of baked clay.

Many thanks to Tim Barry, one of Hot Shops founders, for helping create the experience.

Learn more about their stay and how this video came to life here.

Posted in We Explore |

This Was not One of Those Days…

Kim Sellmeyer, Creative Director, Greater Omaha Chamber

We all have those days – heavy workloads that leave little room for inspiration. This was not one of those days.

Let me set the stage for you: I’d received a call from Steven Cortez, a high school teacher at Blue Valley Southwest in Kansas City, asking if I might be interested in hosting his marketing/broadcast class (Wolfbyte TV) for a video production assignment in Omaha. 

…Um, yeah…

Steven has done this before – taking his classes to different communities to get real-world working experience by producing marketing videos for actual clients. When he asked his students where they wanted to go this year, they chose Omaha.

Even better, I was able to time their visit to coincide with CAREEROCKIT, the Chamber’s inaugural student/career experiences week (April 1-8) where over 12,000 of our local student’s were also having career experiences in the business community.

I worked on giving the students a ‘We Don’t Coast’ experience by prepping seven locations and creative briefs for direction. The students were on a very aggressive timeline. They would shoot for 2-3 hours in the morning and then edit for 2-4 hours that afternoon.

Photos left to right: Gritty City Video Group with Kim Sellmeyer, Dodge Street Video Group with Steve Gordan and BCycle Video Group with SecretPenguin. 

When they returned to the Chamber, raw footage in hand, they were buzzing with excitement and after two rounds of edits, they had completed files – clever, creative, real. As we recapped what they learned, three things stuck out to me:

  • The father/chaperone, originally from Omaha, who said how much our city has changed since he lived here 26 years ago
  • The student, previously a die-hard solo editor, who learned new techniques and otherwise discovered what a benefit it was to collaborate with her classmates
  • All of us learning how surprisingly good Ethan looked wrapped from head-to-toe in wax paper

I’m so proud of the work those students did and of their teacher caring so much and having the courage to haul 22 kids (his “munchkins”) to a different city so they could become a marketing production crew for a day. No small task…

I recently received a note from Steven saying the kids were still flying high from their time here. Me too.

Collaboration. Creativity. A glimpse into the potential of tomorrow’s workforce. It was truly a ‘no coasting’ kind of day.

Special thank you to all of the people and businesses that helped make this a great experience for our visitors.

 

Want to see the videos the students produced?
Hot Shops Art Center
 | Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium | Make Believe Studios | Midtown Crossing | Downtown on BCycles | Dodge Street | The Durham’s Gritty City Tour

 

Posted in We Explore |

Venerable Venues

Photo Courtesy: The Orpheum Theater
Excerpt from the “Omaha: We Don’t Coast” magazine: omaha.com/chamber

We are a cultural hub, with new spaces and historic stages to explore. National and international artists, local and touring productions and many up-and-coming local artists are taking center stage and making a mark on Omaha’s vibrant theatre scene. Experience live entertainment at its best at one of these venerable venues.

The Orpheum Theater
– Recently renovated and Pollstar-ranked among the top 100 venues along with the acoustically engineered Holland Performing Arts Center. Omaha Performing Arts manages both venues and enlivens them with the finest in local and national performing arts.

Omaha Community Playhouse – Renowned for its two state-of-the-art theaters and continuous encore of first-rate, volunteer-powered productions.

Other treasured theaters:

  • Chanticleer Community Theater
  • Lofte Community Theater
  • The Rose Theater
  • Bellevue Little Theatre
  • Blue Barn Theatre

 

 

Photo Credits:
  Lofte Community Theater – Dialogue Farm
  Omaha Community Playhouse – Omaha World-Herald
  Blue Barn Theatre – Megan Farmer
  The Rose Theater – Courtesy of  The Rose Theater
  Holland Performing Arts Center – Linda Shepard

Posted in We Entertain |

World-class competition. Perfected here.

For months, we’ve celebrated the build-up. Now, Omaha is ready to show the world, once again, how we do champion-caliber competition.

More than 40,000 equestrian show jumping and dressage enthusiasts from 20+ countries are descending on the city for The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping & FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals, which run March 29 through April 2 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

We beat out London, Hong Kong and s’Hertogenbosch for the right to host the FEI World Cup™ Finals. Although this is our first international professional championship, we’re quite adept at attracting and impressing sports fans from around the globe. We’ve played host to the Olympic swim trials in 2012 and 2016, and will host the Olympic team trials for curling later this year. Not to mention the fact that the College World Series has called Omaha home since 1950.

To our World Cup visitors, we say “Welcome.” Enjoy the graceful action and our Midwestern hospitality, our incredible dining and our other arts and entertainment options while you’re here. (The EQUUS film festival is hosting a tour stop at Midtown Crossing March 30 – April 1.)

We’re proud of our reputation – a community known for going above and beyond to make each competition successful – and we’re ready to earn it again. Saddle up. It’s going to be a great week.

#FEIWorldCupFinals #Omaha #WeDontCoast

Posted in We Win |

Omaha’s Home To History

Photos by Kent Sievers and Omaha World-Herald
Excerpt from the “Omaha: We Don’t Coast” magazine: omaha.com/chamber

Located in the beautiful art deco Union Station, The Durham Museum is an Omaha treasure. Union Station itself is the museum’s largest artifact. In its hay day, it was one of the busiest stations in the nation. It had every amenity a passenger could ask for: 24-hour restaurant, news and magazine stand, barbershop, taxi stand, telegraph office and hospital. On May 2, 1971, the final passenger train took off and the station closed its doors, ending an Era.

The Durham Museum is filled with restored train cars, numerous artifacts and displays and traveling educational exhibits associated with the Smithsonian. Make a stop at The Soda Fountain and enjoy sundaes, ice cream sodas, malts, and other favorites. The museum is an opportunity to take a step back in time and discover Omaha’s rich and vibrant history. 

Posted in We Entertain, We Live |