CURRENT GRANT RECIPIENTS
Amanda Smith has received an Unrestricted Artist Grant of $3,500. Amanda earned her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her BA from The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NY, Rochester Art Center in MN, Leedy Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, Biblioteca Viva Egaña in Santiago, Chile, Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery at Broward College in FL, and Box 13 Art Space in Houston. She was a visiting artist at Temple University Rome, Italy, and was awarded residencies at Fljótstunga in Iceland, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, and Art 342 in Fort Collins, CO. Smith taught painting as an Assistant Professor at Indiana University, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Doane University.
When Dieudonne Manirakiza and and Eric Esron resettled in Omaha in 2010, they started the Burundian Choir as a creative outlet for children in their community. As more and more refugees from East Africa began settling in Omaha, they changed the name to Umoja Choir, which means "unity" in Swahili, a common language to many of these countries. Born out of a desire for connections and community and as a way to channel energy and creativity for people of all ages, the Umoja Choir continues to grow, having performed a Tiny Desk Concert in Washington, D.C., background vocals on a Mynabirds record, and during a TED talk in 2017. The choir is currently working to record their first album.
The Study was established April 1, 2018 as a collectively supported creative space. It spans two physical locations at 2417 Burdette Street and 2205 N. 24th Street, and since its founding, has quickly become a hub for artists and social entrepreneurs who create space for cultural production and actively contribute to building a more vibrant and thriving commercial corridor in the heart of North Omaha. With funds from OCI’s Public Project Grant, The Study has collaborated with community members, business owners, and other stakeholders to organize events that activate North Omaha’s 24th Street Corridor, including The North Omaha Block Party, Neighborfest, and First Saturday events.