Last year, Omaha artist Victoria Hoyt interviewed individuals and families about their immigration experiences.
She was working on “Our Journey to Here,” a textile artwork commissioned in connection with “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far,” an exhibit at the Omaha Children’s Museum early in 2020.
The immersive display, on loan from the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, was designed to heighten global awareness and promote an appreciation for others.
The museum engaged Hoyt to offer a series of workshops to examine the themes surrounding the exhibit: diverse societies and customs; families; finding a home.
She taught natural dye techniques to workshop participants at the museum and the Union for Contemporary Art as they made small fabric collages. Then the pandemic curbed community involvement in the project and forced her to rework portions of the piece.
Hoyt focused on aspects of “home” because it was a major issue during lockdowns.
“My thoughts are circling around the idea of home is where our families are safe and healthy, yet this looks different for everyone depending on their family’s history and background,” she said in the middle of the creation process.
The immigration stories she heard from Omahans inspired her finished piece, which was completed last fall and displayed at the Intercultural Senior Center, a gathering place for elderly people from several nations.
“We all loved it,” said center Executive Director Carolina Padilla, though she added that she was sad more seniors couldn’t see it because of COVID-19.
“Our Journey to Home” now is on display in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
It will move to the American Muslim Institute at the Tri-Faith campus in March.
Omaha Performing Arts reveals new in-person lineup
Several live shows are coming to the Holland Center and the Orpheum Theater this spring.
Omaha Performing Arts said the concerts — in a variety of genres and disciplines — will continue to have social distancing and a mask mandate.
In addition, ticket-buyers can watch performances at home if they aren’t able to attend, with the exception of the Allman Betts Band concert in April.
Ranky Tanky, Feb. 5, Holland. This Grammy Award-winning group will perform music from the southeastern Sea Island region, gospel, funk, R & B and jazz influenced by the Gullah culture. Eric Ewing, executive director of the Great Plains Black History Museum, will talk about Omaha’s jazz history before the concert. Members of Ranky Tanky also will participate in a discussion of Gullah food and music on Feb. 5 as part of the Voices AMPLIFIED! series that focuses on diverse artists.
Alicia Olatuja Intuition: Songs From the Minds of Women, March 11, Holland. Olatuja, called “a singer with a strong luscious tone” by the New York Times, will sing pieces from female icons such as Kate Bush, Sade and Tracy Chapman. Omaha director, actor and singer Kathy Tyree will talk about Black women in jazz before the show. On March 10, Olatuja will lead an in-depth discussion about her upcoming performance as part of Voices AMPLIFIED!
Raul Midón, March 20, Holland 1200 Club. Midón is a veteran solo jazz artist with 10 albums and a Grammy Award nomination. Described as “an eclectic adventurist” by People magazine, he has worked with Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers and Herbie Hancock.
The Allman Betts Band, April 16, Orpheum. Devon Allman and Duane Betts, sons of Allman Brothers Band founders Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, created their own group that recorded its sophomore album last year. They play their own tunes and their dads’ classics.
PHILADANCO!, April 29, Orpheum. Using the language of dance to explore Black history, social justice and civil rights, Joan Myers Brown founded this troupe in 1970. It’s known for its artistic integrity and highly trained dancers. The Omaha show will showcase works by Omaha native Ray Mercer. Aaron Gregory, a local choreographer, dancer and founder of LTG Movement School, will speak before the concert. PHILADANCO! dancers will talk about the influence of dance on social justice and Black stereotypes on April 28.
Bria Skonberg, May 12, Holland. The Wall Street Journal called Skonberg, a trumpeter and vocalist, one of the versatile and imposing musicians of her generation. Before Skonberg’s concert at the Orpheum, UNO professor Darren Pettit will talk about the festival’s creative process. She also will appear at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Great Plains Jazz Festival on May 11.
Bemis Center reopens to public
The public can now see exhibitions at the Bemis Center in the Old Market in person.
Galleries reopened Jan. 13 with safety precautions, including distancing and mask-wearing. Guests must reserve an entry time to view exhibits because each space has a 10-person maximum capacity. You can find the visitor code of conduct at bemiscenter.org
The current exhibition is “Intimate Actions,” three solo displays that examine the theme of intimacy and how it enters into representations of the body, our connections to space and surrounding and our relationships.
They are “Soft Interface” by Maria Antelman, “Inside the Spider’s Body” by Joey Fauerso and “Drop Scene” by Paul Mpagi Sepuya.
The center also has two lunchtime Zoom talks by the artists; Antelman on Jan. 27 and Sepuya on Feb. 3. Fauerso’s Jan. 3 talk also is available on the center website. Hours at the Bemis Center are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. The first hour of each day is reserved for people with high-risk conditions and those older than 65.
Nebraska Shakespeare brings Virtual On Tour to Red Cloud
The Red Cloud Opera House is presenting a virtual performance of “Macbeth” on Jan. 23. The play is part of Nebraska Shakespeare’s Virtual On Tour, recorded in front of a live audience. It’s suitable for kids ages 12 and older and lasts for 80 minutes.
A live interactive discussion on Zoom will follow the 7 p.m. show. For more information, a link and a study guide, visit willacather.org