The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the North Omaha Arts Alliance invited the public to celebrate the next exciting chapter for the artist-initiated, community-driven project Carver Bank. On Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 3:00–6:00 p.m. the organizations hosted a free community event at 2416 Lake Street to celebrate and thank those who have participated in the success of Carver Bank, as well as commemorate the transition of the space to its new tenant. Big Mama's Kitchen & Catering, which maintained a Sandwich Shop at Carver Bank, will be open at their restaurant at 3223 North 45th Street until they relocate to 2112 North 30th Street in 2017.
"Artists, community members, and collaborators have made Carver Bank a catalyst for arts and culture in North Omaha," said Chris Cook, Executive Director of the Bemis Center. "We are forever grateful for their support and championing of this project, and now, after three years, we are thrilled to guide Carver Bank to its next chapter, which will allow the space to continue to serve North Omaha as a vital community-responsive cultural asset."
Beginning October 3, 2016 the North Omaha Arts Alliance is the new tenant of Carver Bank. This new nonprofit organization will promote the arts in North Omaha and contribute to the development of an economically viable arts, culture, entertainment, and business district.
"The North Omaha Arts Alliance is the newest addition to a community in transition," said City Councilman Ben Gray. "Building upon the resurgence of the community, it joins The Union for Contemporary Art, The Fair Deal Project, and Love’s Jazz Center in heralding a new beginning for this community.”
Established by the Chicago-based artist and cultural planner, Theaster Gates, in collaboration with the Bemis Center, Carver Bank iss a creative place-making project that provides space to convene around the arts in North Omaha, a historically African American neighborhood. Located at 2416 Lake Street, the 2,600-square-foot interior features publicly accessible meeting and performance spaces as well as Big Mama's Sandwich Shop, with an additional 3,000-square-feet of exterior space.
Since its opening in March 2013, the Bemis Center showcased 13 exhibitions featuring local and national artist's work; hosted 16 Artists-in-Residence; coordinated 39 organizational partnerships and artist-led collaborations; served as a space or host for 136 public programs, workshops, and events; and had 8,745 visitors as of September 12, 2016.
CREATING CARVER BANK
Include, but are not limited to:
Central High School
Hope Center for Kids
Loves Jazz & Arts Center
Making Invisible Histories Visible - Omaha Public Schools
North High School
Omaha Public Library
Union for Contemporary Arts
Urban League of Nebraska
STAKEHOLDERS AND FUNDERS
Support for Carver Bank was provided by ArtPlace America, a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies accelerating creative place-making across the United States.
Additional major support was provided by:
Annette and Paul Smith
City of Omaha
Douglas County Historical Society
Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund
National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program
Theaster Gates and Rebuild Foundation
The Sherwood Foundation