2021 Year in Review

In 2021, during our first year of operations, Partners for Livable Omaha established a multidisciplinary collaborative with more than a dozen partners in the fields of education, performing arts, design, architecture and public space management to undertake the Omaha Mobile Stage (OMS) program.

Major Accomplishments

  • Purchased and repaired the OMS truck 
  • Supported a semester-long designbuild studio at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Nebraska Innovation Studio and College of Architecture for 16 undergraduate students
  • Completed the OMS design, including the custom truck fit-out plan and equipment selections
  • Hosted a public event to announce the final design
  • Completed the first 50% of construction tasks
  • Supported Omaha and Lincoln-based metal workers, mechanics, musicians, and designers
  • Obtained 501(c)(3) recognition for Partners for Livable Omaha
  • Launched a social media awareness campaign that included 190 posts and 12 original videos and reached 8,299 people.

In 2021, we received $71,277 in contributions. 

The work of Partners for Livable Omaha was made possible in 2021 by the generous support of Sherwood Foundation, Anonymous**, Kevin M. McCarthy, Omaha Public Schools Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Mutual of Omaha, Paul T. Scheuerman, Burlington Capital, Actual Architecture Co., FACT, UNL College of Architecture, Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA, Andrew Johnson and Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner, Jessica and Daniel Scheuerman, Baird Holm, Bluestone Development, Infinity CPA Group, Sharon and Jim Kresha, Katie and Dan Kresha, Reg and Gloria Rial, Heidi Macy, The Meisinger Group Real Estate Team, Dick and Peggy Bevevino, Roberta and Frank Hoy, Nick Thielen, John Bartle, John Mabry, Karla Emgarten, Jerry and Nikki Reif, Thomas Gerdes, Sara Howard, Emma Perry, Samantha Scarpello, Haley Haas, and Emily Cox.

We’re beyond grateful for the in-kind support and leadership of Jeffrey Day at the UNL College of Architecture, Jerry Reif at Nebraska Innovation Studio, and Toba Cohen-Dunning and Staci Gowan at Omaha Public Schools Foundation. These individuals have donated their most precious resources—their time and professional expertise—to mentor our staff and students.

Above: Class Portrait of UNL’s FACT Collaborate! Studio outside of Architecture Hall in Lincoln. Below (clockwise) FACT students assemble furniture pieces to be placed in the truck. Student Mason Burress poses with a door panel to be installed on the truck. Students paint frames for the storage component.  Photos: FACT.

Omaha Mobile Stage Program

Conceived during the height of the pandemic in 2021, Omaha Mobile Stage is an arts-based response to the isolation and desolation experienced by individuals, neighborhoods, schools and the artistic community.

The need to bring performing arts back to public space in a COVID-safe format inspired the transformation of an 18-foot box truck into an accessible, adaptable and easily transportable stage.

OMS is currently under construction and will be in dozens of outdoor public spaces in 2022 to provide free neighborhood-driven entertainment, arts enrichment, and a venue with sensory and audio accommodations. OMS will reach thousands of underserved youth, families and seniors annually.

Omaha Mobile Stage is at the intersection of the arts, community development and public health. As the pandemic drags on, our goals of providing opportunities for social engagement and safe access to the performing arts are more relevant than ever.

This multi-year project takes place in two phases—a designbuild phase in Lincoln, followed by a live performing arts tour in Omaha-based public spaces and schools. 

Over the summer 2021, Partners for Livable Omaha purchased a used 2004 GMC box truck that had formerly been used as a mobile knife-sharpening business. The 18-foot truck was gutted and received necessary repairs in preparation for its conversion into a mobile stage. On August 30, 2021, the truck was transferred to the Nebraska Innovation Studio in Lincoln.

During the fall 2021 semester, a team of 16 architecture and interior design students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture, under the leadership of noted architect and professor Jeffrey Day, FAIA, designed the truck conversion and began construction. Throughout the semester, students met with design and venue professionals, performers and project stakeholders.

The Omaha Mobile Stage final design concept was revealed at a public presentation attended by more than 100 guests on Oct. 22, 2021, at the Highlander in Omaha.

Today, construction work continues at Nebraska Innovation Studio, under the continued direction of Jeffrey Day, Jerry Reif, Brendan Greene-Walsh and Jessica Scheuerman, by student workers who participated in the initial studio. 

To learn more about Omaha Mobile Stage, its partners, and progress, visit www.omahamobilestage.org.

Watch the Omaha Mobile Stage leadership team and partners discuss reactions to hearing about the project and what they are looking forward to seeing when the stage travels Omaha in 2022.

Watch University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture students and Nebraska Innovation Studio’s Jerry Reif discuss their work on the design of the Omaha Mobile Stage and its unique features. 

In the News

In 2021, Partners for Livable Omaha received local and regional press coverage for Omaha Mobile Stage. Most notably, the program was featured twice on Nebraska Public Media (radio and television).