Art-based Educational Outreach to Omaha’s Youth

The educational philosophy of The Union is centered on the passionate belief, and a significant research base, that arts-based enrichment and mentoring relationships can make a meaningful difference in the lives of youth in our community. Our educational programs will be open to all children (ages 6 to 12 years old) living in North Omaha and will be offered free of charge to participating students. Students will work with teaching artists from the community and will play an active role in creating the curriculum for the program.
Through our arts outreach programs, we strive to:

  • Connect youth in both short-term and long-term relationships with mentors from the local arts community.
  • Engage youth in holistic, multi-disciplinary learning experiences including the visual, performing, and literary arts.
  • Utilize a youth-centered, constructivist methodology within a hands-on, project-based curriculum.
  • Encourage youth to develop interpersonal, reflective thinking, and problem solving skills.

The Union for Contemporary Art will collaborate with local health and human services agencies and Omaha Public Schools to locate at-risk youth for enrollment in our programs. We are also collaborating with  local universities to develop Service Learning opportunities that will provide avenues for their students to serve the community while receiving college credit.

Subsidized Studio Space for Local Artists

Practicing artists residing in the Omaha metropolitan area will be eligible to apply for a juried Studio Fellowship. The selected artists will be granted studio space at no cost for six months and will be required to participate in a community-based project over the course of their Fellowship. Participating artists will also receive a stipend to help cover the cost of art supplies used during their fellowship.

  • The studios will be available to all artists living in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, this includes writers and performance artists (theater, music, and dance).
  • Interested artists will have two annual opportunities to apply for a studio, in the Spring and Fall of each year.
  • Artists will be required to fill out an application for Fellowship, which will include examples of their work and a suggestion for a community-based project they would like to accomplish while working with The Union. These applications will be reviewed by a panel of jurors selected from the regional arts community who will be responsible for selecting the Fellows for six month residencies.

Professional Development Opportunities for Artists

The Union for Contemporary Art will sponsor several annual programs to help support artists living and working in the greater Omaha metropolitan area. Examples of these programs include:

  • Studio workshops with visiting artists
  • Portfolio reviews with regional curators
  • Lectures presented by visiting artists, curators or art professionals.

Galleries Dedicated to the Exhibition and Discussion of Contemporary Art

An intrinsic aspect of The Union’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through all programs. The roots of this objective are grounded in the institution’s dedication to the exhibition of engaging contemporary work. Our exhibition series will be programmed through a Curatorial Fellowship – which will bring national curators into North Omaha to install an exhibition in our gallery.

Accessibility to Creative Work Spaces and Equipment

The Union is committed to creating an arts campus in North Omaha which will include communal studios outfitted with equipment which the majority of our city’s artists do not currently have access to, including: printing and letter presses, looms, potters’ wheels, kilns and a darkroom. This equipment will be available, not only to Fellows and students enrolled in our programs, but to all artists in Omaha metropolitan area through an affordable membership to the organization. A sincere and continuous effort will be made to make these spaces available to local non-profits so that they may provide better arts programming to the community they serve.