Ree Kaneko founded the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 1981. She served as Executive Director until early 2001. From 1980-84, Kaneko was the Founder and Director of Alternative Worksite, an Artist-in-Industry Program and the predecessor of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. She received a BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and was honored with a Distinguished Alumna Award from her alma mater in 1991. Kaneko is also a founding board member of the Alliance of Artists Communites, an advocacy and service organization for artist residency programs throughout the nation.