Watch the OMS leadership team and partners discuss reactions to hearing about the project and what they are looking forward to seeing when the stage travels Omaha in 2022.
The Omaha Mobile Stage final design concept was revealed at a public presentation attended by more than 100 guests on Oct. 22, 2021, at the Highlander in Omaha.
Professor Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA of the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and director of FACT (Fabrication And Construction Team) and three students enrolled in FACT Collaborate! Studio presented the design concept.
The presentation was followed by remarks by Shavonna Holman, president, Omaha Public Schools Board of Education, and Jessica Scheuerman, executive director of Partners for Livable Omaha. The event concluded with a special concert by Edem Soul Music (Edem K. Garro). Garro is an award-winning, Omaha-based vocalist, performer and multi-instrumentalist.
FACT showcased physical mockups of the truck, furniture pieces and elements for guests to see at the event.
Omaha Mobile Stage Design Reveal Video
- Jessica Scheuerman, Executive Director, Partners for Livable Omaha
- Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA, Founding Principal, Actual Architecture Company, and Killinger Professor of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Brendan Greene-Walsh, Theatrical Designer & Technical Director
- Chris Foster & Martin Janousek, Gifford Park Community Leaders
- Kat Fackler, Co-founder, tbd. dance collective
- Manne Cook, Urban Development Manager, Spark CDI
- Marcey Yates, Founder, Culxr House
- Dereck Higgins, Performing Artist
- Celeste Butler, Fiber Artist
Jessica Scheuerman: The Good Fellows Show Wagon started in the 1950s as a parks and recreation program, which ran for 60 years and was the feature of neighborhood life in Omaha parks.
Similar to that project, we’re in public space. We’re outdoors. We’re working with community groups and neighborhoods to reflect the interests of the neighborhood.
Chris Foster: The old show wagon that the city used to put on for 50 years, when they quit doing that a few years ago, it kind of left a void where that was a youth talent competition and that came to the different neighborhoods, like Gifford Park.
So the Omaha Mobile Stage seemed like a real good venue to bring that back, at the neighborhood level, just fun, inspiring events for for people in the neighborhood.
Manne Cook: I thought it was a great idea especially like coming out COVID, the idea was there. How do we bring people back together? I think that you know it’s important to have places where the community can come together in event spaces.
Music’s a big thing in Omaha, so to be able to support lots of local artists and musicians as well through the process. So I think, I was excited because it I like to see community events and things that make Omaha a good place to live.
Jeff Day: I think this has some unique opportunities. I like the community focus, I mean the ability to engage with communities the fact that this, the product of this work, is something that is going to move around and it’s not just for one particular community, but it could serve numerous communities around Omaha and maybe elsewhere.
Brendan Greene-Walsh: Well my first reaction was there’s no way this will ever happen. Once it became a little bit more realized, I was really excited about the the prospect of it, the idea of being able to bring the arts into communities that are typically underserved, whether it’s through financial means or proximity, is really important to me.
Kat Fackler: In regards to tbd and our collaboration, I’m so excited to see you know how it all comes together and what we develop and how we’re inspired by the space. What elements we pull from to create movements.
I’m excited about the possibility of lighting. Like, that’s one thing in our outdoor Pavement series performances that we haven’t had the opportunity to do yet, is incorporate lighting into an outdoor setting which I think will just be so stunning.
Marcey Yates: How it can be useful in communities that may not have access to a stage or to entertainment and you know in their area. But also for someone who’s organizing it could be useful for them too. I think it, you know, will be affordable and accessible but also something different and it supports the arts so, we love supporting the arts.
Dereck Higgins: Share talents, share spirits.
Celeste Butler: Good times and laughter.
Dereck Higgins: Yes, thank you. Yes, good times. Good times and laughter.
Celeste Butler: That’s what it’s gonna bring. And I mean it’s just as simple as this, you bring out a quilt, you throw it on the ground, there’s music, there’s food. Anytime there’s something pure, there’s something healing, when you can see children running and laughing and playing.
You can go up and down all kind of streets throughout not just Omaha, almost anywhere you go and that’s just you very rarely see it anymore. Now you got to go to a specific place, you might have to go to a park or this or any other where you see children running laughing and playing. And where you see children, you’re going to start seeing families, you’re going to see that connection. It’s the residual that keeps happening after that.
Dereck Higgins: She said it, that’s it. Healing.
Celeste Butler: Healing.