Hours: Weekdays 10-6. Weekends 11-5.

Building a Pipeline for Creative Development

Matthew Shrader teaches glassblowing a student from the Jesuit Academy.

Our vision is to create a critical mass of future makers. This includes introducing every K-8 child in the metro to the many creative possibilities that exist. While that vision is grand, we are off to a fiery start. We have hosted 1,013 students in the first six months of 2022 for 66 tours, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

Key to our success this year included our new neighbors at Millwork Commons. Millwork provided space so we could accommodate larger schools that were bringing 90-120 students each day. Also, grants from FNBO and the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation helped us provide 12 of those experiences to underserved communities. One of the schools does not have art programs in their curriculum. The faculty were ecstatic at opportunity to bring their students here and informed us that one student became excited about the idea of a career in fashion after taking Jennifer Young’s Sneaker Design workshop, a career he had never thought about before. These experiential learning opportunities help all who attend to generate ideas, learn to see things in a different way, and develop their voice. These creative skills can transfer to any job of the future.

This creative pipeline is a well of ideas that can be tapped and will ultimately help keep creative talent in Omaha.

Buses from Gretna Public Schools arrive with students for tours and demonstrations at the Hot Shops.
Valerie Spellman gives a stained glass demonstration to students from Gretna Public Schools.
Josephine Langbehn does a writing exercise with students from Millard Public Schools at Millwork Commons.
Jenna Johnson helps a student from Millard Public Schools create a handprint.

Our field trip was magical! It was fun to see the working artists and be able to ask them questions. The variety of mediums and presenters really opened their eyes to a whole other world of possibilities – it showed that being an artist doesn’t necessarily mean that you are great at drawing, but that you can express yourself visually in so many ways. This trip sparked so many ideas and conversations among their peers that we never get from a trip to the museum or working in class. It was hands down the best field trip I have taken them on and an experience they will never forget!

Jamie Pilant, Gretna Elementary

This was one of the best field trips we took this summer. It was so great introducing so many different types of art to the children. Seeing the glass blowing and pottery from start to finish was a great learning moment for us, and the artist that painted using puzzle pieces amazed us all! Our tour guide told us, “putting our ideas on paper is our energy coming out!” 

Emily Williams, Trinity Lincoln