Neighborhoods Tell Their Story Through Art
November 19th, 2015
Omaha, NE — Many of Omahaâ€™s wonderful neighborhoods will be brimming with art this Friday.
This Friday, November 20th, starting at 6pm, several unique Omaha neighborhoods will participate in inCOMMON Community Development[â€˜s new initiative My Omaha: Exploring Neighborhoods Through Art. The show will feature art inspired by and about neighborhoods like Miller Park, Prospect Hill, Dundee, Benson, Gifford Park, Little Italy, Deer Park, and many others. The event is part of inCOMMONâ€™s continuing We Are Omaha series, using art as the impetus so bring neighborhoods together and providing them the voice and means to have an active role in the future and progress of their neighborhoods.
â€œThe We are Omaha series was an idea to encapsulate what does it mean to be an Omahan?â€ said inCOMMONâ€™s director Christian Gray. â€œHow can we really celebrate this community? My Omaha is a play on words for the My Brooklyn documentary that we showed at Film Streams. It initiated conversation about redevelopment and gentrification in our community. We thought it was a great opportunity to bring people back together to look at art inspired by our neighborhoods in Omaha.â€
Gray said the organization looks to tackle poverty at its roots in the hopes that future generations will we inherit healthy and strong neighborhoods. The My Omaha event is an artistic reflection of the organizationâ€™s goals and mission.
â€œWe put out a wide call to community artists and gave them the specific task of representing their neighborhoods, their experiences in art,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re still receiving art as we speak! Itâ€™s a pretty large survey of all the different neighborhoods. It takes approach from very positive ends in terms of what people love about their neighborhood and also has pieces that look more critically about what problems reside here as well.â€
The biggest challenge inCOMMON faces is tackling gentrification head on and giving neighborhood a place at the table when it comes to developers and city planners making decisions involving their future.
â€œMy hope is that we would value culture and diversity. Sometimes, when weâ€™re looking purely at the economics of redevelopment, we kind of get close-minded and just look at the immediate dollars and cents. I donâ€™t think that has a good long-term outcome that weâ€™re looking for. Thereâ€™s a lot of evidence that shows uniqueness, diversity, and the individual character of cities and neighborhoods has a lot to say about the profitability of that neighborhood for the long-term. My hope, my dream, my vision is that we value the diversity and the culture that makes our neighborhoods and cities unique.â€
The inCOMMON Community Developmentâ€™s event My Omaha: Exploring Neighborhoods Through Art will start at 6pm all over the city of Omaha on Friday, November 20th. For more information on the event, visit inCOMMONâ€™s website at www.incommoncd.org.
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