Service has multiple meanings. It is an act of helping or providing assistance, it is a system of supplying a public need, and it is set of dishes used for mealtime.

Artist as Activist: Service is a multi-faceted creative project spearheaded by Omaha clay artist and Creighton professor Amy Nelson. Along with fellow clay artists and social entrepreneurs Tracy Shell and Jesse Ross, Amy will host a two-week collaborative clay workshop for teens at The Union for Contemporary Art. Each artist combines community engagement with their own creative practice and will share strategies for using art as a pathway for young artists to utilize the arts to become agents of change. By merging making in the studio and the kitchen, young artists will create a shared space to explore issues of food security in our community.

Working collaboratively participants will use the pottery wheel and other methods of forming clay to make art that matters. In addition to working in The Union’s Co-op Clay Studio, each day will include mealtime and educational opportunities to foster youth empowerment through art, food, service and action. By learning to work together these young artists will gain valuable experience through their actions. Over the course of the 2-week workshop all artists will use their creative agency to design a series of dishes to “serve” their community during The Union’s Abundance Garden Party on Saturday, August 11, 2018.


Monday – Thursday, 10am-2pm, July 9-12 and 16-19, 2018.

Young artists will need to fully participate in the program and commit to every session in the 2-week workshop. In addition to the workshop Artist Activists will serve as hosts for The Union for Contemporary Arts’ Big Garden Party on Saturday August 11, 2018.

This workshop is open to all teens, ages 14 to 18, living in the greater Omaha area.  All sessions will take place at The Union for Contemporary Art | 2423 North 24th Street. Bus passes are available to students in need of transportation assistance.

Space is limited to 8 participants. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 1st. Applications can be submitted online by clicking here. They can also be printed and returned via mail to:

Artist as Activist Summer Program | The Union for Contemporary Art | 2423 North 24th Street | Omaha, NE 68110.

>> Questions regarding the program or application can be directed to Amy Nelson at



This workshop is generously supported by The Union for Contemporary Art and The Creighton Undergraduate Center for Research and Scholarship through their Summer Faculty Research Fellowship program.