The Union for Contemporary Art is thrilled to be assisting Bemis resident, Heather Hart, as she works to bring her Barter Town event to Omaha. Here's the scoop...

To encourage art to take an active roll in leading the shift of cultural value, and to create a critical space that is neither one place, nor another yet both places, The Heather Hart Experience presents Barter Town, a series of exchanges where participants bring their ideas, services, songs, stories, skills, unwanted goods, handmade art, appliances, anything they think may hold value and haggle for something that they want.  The only rule is that no currency may be exchanged, i.e. everything is for barter. 

Heather is reaching out to the greater Omaha community in hopes that members will be interested in participating in her project by running a “vendor booth”.  She is looking for business owners, crafters, artists, pickers, foodies, laborers, writers, healers and performers

Whether you want to provide a booth for face painting, trade dance lessons, make a film, host a sporting competition, a raffle, makeup, hair, swap some art, costume making, massage therapy, palm reading, language lessons, clothing, a nail salon, vouchers for services, promises, people’s court, or anything else, all ideas + proposals are welcome.

On Friday, November 21st The Heather Hart Experience will present Barter Town (Trading Post XVII: The Om Aha Blackbird), hosted at The Blue Lion in North Omaha by The Union for Contemporary Art with support from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art! We will be open for bartering 5pm to 8pm. Details to follow. 

Heather is interested in not only creating site-specific liminal space for personal reclamation but also in questioning dominant narratives and creating alternatives to them. As inspiration, she has embraced the story of Chief Blackbird. Reportedly the first Omaha to question white encroachment on the lands that we live on now, he pioneered trading as a way to skillfully maintain space and peace for his people.  This economy of the future is a reclamation of the space of commerce, communication and community.  

Barter Town will have the feeling of a street fair, but remember, all “booths” would run on bartering only- no currency allowed (no I-owe-yous for money, although drawing an I-owe-you for service is encouraged). Please consider creating a booth. Interested in submitting a proposal? Click here for an application form, complete it and return it to Heather at heathart@gmail.com. All applications must be received by November 1st.  Please feel free to contact her with questions and please forward this open call to anyone you know who might be interested.  

Curious about what Barter Town looks like? Here are some photos from prior events: Barter Town (Trading Post V: Juneteenth) in 2010, Barter Town (Trading Post VII: Between the Bridges) in 2011,  and last year’s Barter Town (Trading Post XI: The Magic Feathers) in 2013.