Arts and Culture in Omaha-Council Bluffs
For a region of this size, our community has an engaged arts and cultural scene, that offers world-class museums, music, and art. However, not all members of the community can access these opportunities.
Through our engagement and listening work with residents, we heard that many arts and cultural events and programs are out of reach for some—either due to cost or location. Expanding arts and cultural experiences to meet people where they are, ensuring that they represent a multitude of cultures and experiences, and thinking about more public art opportunities, are all critical to maximizing the entire community's participation in the arts.
Arts and culture is not only an economic driver in our community, but it can be an important means for creating public dialogue, spurring creativity and connections, and attracting both residents and tourists alike. But fostering a creative community that supports the arts—especially creative professionals—is essential to ensuring that our cultural opportunities are on par with similar sized cities.
Financial support for the arts is another critical component to a thriving arts scene. We know that our arts and cultural organizations rely heavily on generous private philanthropic gifts to meet funding needs, but have not historically received as much public funding from our state or local governments.
The arts helps preserve culture and heritage for future generations within a community. And when the arts are accessible and reflect all people and cultures in a community, they can be a gateway for improved educational and social outcomes, as well as a primary ingredient in creating healthy, connected neighborhoods.