Artists Return to Schools

Live performances experienced safely, outdoors, on school grounds

Omaha Public School students in underserved communities rely on schools for  arts enrichment experiences such as field trips to local arts institutions and visiting artists in classroom and afterschool settings. 

In partnership with local performing artists, arts organizations and the Omaha Public Schools Foundation, Omaha Mobile Stage offers an Artists Return to Schools (ARTS) program. Within this community partnership, Omaha Mobile Stage supports each school by providing live performances experienced safely, outdoors, on school grounds. These performances are site specific and driven by the needs, priorities and schedules of each school. They may include:

  • hosting OPS student performances
  • creating performing arts field trip experiences on school grounds
  • creating performing arts experiences for the extended school community (i.e., families, caregivers, nearby neighbors and business communities) during afterschool and summer times

Performing arts service providers for field trips currently include the Culxr House, Omaha Conservatory of Music and the Nebraska Writers Collective. Additional providers are added at the request of each school.

Within this community partnership, school sites will also have access to:

  • Omaha Mobile Stage in an open-air, public space  
  • Professional sound & lighting equipment  
  • Crew & event manager support

Our 2022 ARTS schedule will be announced in spring of 2022. Sign up for email updates or follow us on Instagram to stay informed.

For performing arts partners interested in joining the ARTS program, please contact oms@livable.org.

ARTS Partners currently include:

Culxr House, a creative safe space to grow talent and entrepreneurship, www.culxr.house

Nebraska Writers Collective, a nonprofit that provides mentorship for writers at all stages of their journey, newriters.org

Omaha Conservatory of Music, a nonprofit school that builds a diverse musical community, omahacm.org

Why Access to the Performing Arts Matters

“Even before the pandemic, many of our students across the District did not have enough access to the arts due to socioeconomic conditions beyond their control,” said Toba Cohen-Dunning, executive director of Omaha Public Schools Foundation.

“This initiative brings creative and innovative performances to every child across OPS. The arts increase communication skills, teach children how to work in partnership with each other, encourage creativity and provide incredible new experiences. The Omaha Mobile Stage is coming to Omaha at an important moment in time and we are grateful to everyone who is making this wonderful endeavor possible.”

Access to the performing arts is a critical need for underserved communities. Prior to the pandemic, Black and Hispanic students had less than half of the access to arts education than their white peers.

Findings published by the National Endowment of the Arts and Americans for the Arts indicate that low socioeconomoic status students who are engaged in arts learning have:

  • increases in high school academic performance
  • increases in college-going rates
  • increases in college grades
  • increases in holding jobs with a future

By working in partnership with a diverse range of public space managers, property types, local performers and arts nonprofits, our programming will respond to the local heritage, culture and tastes of Omaha’s unique neighborhoods.