Westward O — A City-Wide Celebration of the American West
Fall 2015 through Spring 2016
Arts organizations across Omaha are presenting exhibitions, performances, and events related to the American West, fall 2015 through spring 2016. These extraordinary offerings are collectively showcased under the title Westward O, a campaign of collaborative public programming and local and regional promotion.
An exhibition of masterpieces of Western painting and Plains Indians artifacts at Joslyn Art Museum and an exhibition celebrating the history of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West at The Durham Museum head the schedule. These visual experiences are punctuated in 2016 by an Opera Omaha presentation of Puccini’s beloved The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West) and an Omaha Symphony chamber series program of sweeping works by American composers. In early 2016, Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater presents a series of nearly a dozen films focused on the mythologizing of the American West. The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra Spring Concert will include music by Aaron Copland. Also this spring, Ballet Nebraska presents Momentum, its award-winning “mixed repertory” program, this year inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West.
Check this website for updates, including additional events and joint partner programs, and experience “all things West in Omaha”! Join in the conversation at #westwardomaha
Ballet Nebraska is the region’s resident professional dance company – bringing the beauty, athleticism, and energy of ballet to Nebraska and Iowa audiences. Performing at home and on tour, its mission is to provide enrichment through programs of the highest quality: professional dance performances, educational programs, and community outreach. Ballet Nebraska’s talented professional dancers hail from around the nation and abroad, making the Midwest their home to share the excitement of dance with others. Through the company’s expressive performing artists, acclaimed choreographers, and skilled teachers, Ballet Nebraska plays a key role in the cultural vitality of the region.
The Durham Museum
The Durham Museum in Omaha’s beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve Omaha’s vibrant history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives, and The Field Museum.
Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater
Film Streams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. In July 2007, Film Streams opened the two-screen Ruth Sokolof Theater in North Downtown Omaha. Open 7-days-a-week, our cinema features four principal programs: First-Run premieres of American independents, documentaries, and foreign films; a Repertory program of classics, themed series, and director retrospectives; a Community Development program facilitating film-based collaborations with other nonprofits; and an Education program for students.
Joslyn Art Museum
Nebraska’s largest art museum, Joslyn showcases the visual arts from ancient times to the present, and general Museum admission is free to everyone, always. The Museum’s original 1931 building is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation, with 38 types of marble from seven countries. The Walter and Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a 58,000-square-foot addition built in 1994, was designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster as his first U.S. commission. The Museum features nearly 20 galleries, a 1,000–seat concert hall, fountain court, education technology gallery, lecture hall, classrooms, sculpture garden, café, shop, and Art Works, an interactive space for art exploration (new in 2014).
Omaha Area Youth Orchestras
The Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (OAYO) was established in 1958 and consists of 6 ensembles that provide instruction and performance opportunities for over 550 students each season. Students audition annually for positions within four progressively more challenging ensembles or may be recommended by their school or private teacher for positions within two non-auditioned orchestras. OAYO participants range in age from 8 to 18 and are from over 100 schools and 20 schools districts in the Omaha Area. All of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra programs are designed to enhance the lives and musical abilities of youth in a group setting that also builds leadership skills, fosters discipline, and develops educated listeners and future arts supporters.
The Omaha Symphony is a non-profit organization that presents more than 100 live orchestral performances from September through June. In addition to MasterWorks, Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, Movie Music, Symphony Joslyn, and Family series concerts, the Omaha Symphony’s nationally recognized education programs touch the lives of nearly 30,000 schoolchildren each year.
Opera Omaha, the only professional opera company in Nebraska, began in 1958 as the Omaha Civic Opera Society, a volunteer association. With tremendous community support, it became a fully professional opera company by 1970. Opera Omaha produces a season of original mainstage productions, presented at the historic Orpheum Theater, and smaller productions and musical events throughout the community. Opera Omaha is internationally known for its productions of eight world premieres and four American premieres of classical masterpieces, and is highly regarded regionally for an extensive education and outreach program that annually reaches thousands from elementary school through adulthood.