Mode Shift Omaha is a nonprofit transportation advocacy organization that was founded in 2011 by a group of engaged citizens passionate about improving transportation options in Omaha, Nebraska. The organization seeks to advocate for transportation options that enhance quality of life and opportunities for everyone to live, work, and play. The mission is achieved through education and engagement with members and the public, influencing policies and decision-making related to transportation and land use design, and monitoring transportation policies and plans and their implementation. Mode Shift Omaha plans to utilize their OVG grant to 1.) create an Ambassador program, whereby volunteers receive training and supporting materials to represent Mode Shift and educate others about transportation issues, and 2.) develop the Transparency Project, which will focus on gathering information and data around transportation policy and funding.
Sewing for Babies, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping newborn babies. Since 2004, the organization has been providing small layettes for new mothers who may have little or nothing for their babies. Each baby receives a diaper bag, clothing and blankets, lovingly made by volunteers. The group also gives clothing, blankets, hats, and specialty items to Neonatal Intensive Care Units across Omaha to use in the care of premature and sick infants. Sewing for Babies, Inc. will be utilizing their OVG grant to purchase materials to expand the organization’s service to premature, sick and needy families of newborn infants across Omaha. Additionally, funds may be used for costs related to development and implementation of a second fundraising event for the organization.
The Apollon is Omaha’s multi-genre arts and entertainment hub. The organization empowers emerging creative artists from visual, literary, culinary, and performing arts genres to create unique arts experiences for the community. Additionally, the Apollon provides opportunities for community members to meet, interact with, and form relationships with artists who are working in their neighborhood and city. The Apollon plans to utilize their OVG grant to support facility upgrades to their retail sales space, as well as an expansion of their art vending project.
Cornbelt Diabetes Connection provides health care and education about diabetes to communities and individuals that may not have adequate access to such care or information. The Mobile Diabetes Center is a self-contained mobile testing and diagnosis unit that provides free blood sugar screenings and other health services to people where they work, worship and play. Over the past 22 years, Cornbelt Diabetes Connection and its Mobile Diabetes Center have visited over 2300 sites and provided free public health screenings to over 40,000 people sites in Nebraska and western Iowa. The OVG grant will be leveraged as part of the Cornbelt Diabetes Connection’s campaign to replace the 19 year old Mobile Diabetes Clinic.
Restoration Exchange Omaha is a volunteer group of architects, historians, conservators and other preservation and restoration professionals and enthusiasts in the Omaha and Council Bluffs communities. The group is dedicated to promoting activities to educate, advocate and invigorate the public to restore, revive and preserve older homes, businesses and neighborhoods in the area. To assist Restoration Exchange Omaha in its efforts to toward sustainability, the OVG grant will be used as start-up funding for two, potentially ongoing, revenue streams including: 1.) the sale of select prints, books and other items from the organization’s archives and 2.) the writing of local landmark and/or National Register nominations for historic property owners.
Representing over 100 arts organizations and hundreds of individual members across the state, Nebraskans for the Arts advises policy makers, elected officials, and community leaders on the importance of strong arts-education in our schools, the economic impact of the arts in our communities, and the benefits of pro-arts policies for Nebraska. Nebraskans for the Arts will use their OVG grant to support the formation of an inaugural Creative Industries Council in Omaha. This council will serve as a liaison and communication conduit for creative professionals in the community, such as architects, designers, musicians, and graphic artists. The grant will allow the group to attend the Nebraska Arts Council’s state arts conference, meet regularly throughout the year to formalize their mission and plan of action, and create a template for such an organization in other Nebraska communities.
Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. seeks to rehabilitate native Nebraska wildlife and migratory birds for return to the wild, to preserve and restore native habitats, and to educate youth and adults about the importance of wildlife and ecosystems by engaging them in projects and activities that contribute to the well-being of our natural environment and inspire them to take action to protect it. Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. will be utilizing their grant to hire a part-time Intern Supervisor for the summer of 2014. In order to meet growing demand services, the organization has identified a need to increase their university intern program from 6 summer interns to 20 interns for the coming summer. This new position will allow for an additional staff member to train, supervise, and support 2014 summer interns, while also increasing organizational capacity and operational efficiency.
SNAP Productions was founded with the mission to provide educational and humanistic support of AIDS related programs and to promote understanding and acceptance of all members of the community through artistic expression. With a goal to educate and inspire, SNAP produces quality theater that is “a celebration of life.” For over twenty years the organization has staged contemporary plays and musicals, a number of them Omaha premieres. Many productions have focused on people living with AIDS, but the predominant focus is on acceptance, which has included topics such as civil rights, aging, and autism, among others. SNAP Productions plans to utilizing their OVG grant in upgrading their lighting capabilities. SNAP has limited space in which to create performances and with enhanced lighting effects, the organization can utilize lighting techniques to maximize the use of their space.
The Great Plains Black History Museum chronicles the history of African Americans in Nebraska and in the Great Plains States. The Museum serves several communities – North Omaha, City of Omaha, State of Nebraska, Great Plains Region and Nationally. Great Plains Black History Museum will use the grant to support its Archival Preservation efforts. The project is to reunify and catalog all records for future digitization to allow for more widespread usage by the public.
Hear Nebraska is a nonprofit cultural organization that cultivates the state’s vibrant, fertile music and arts community. By providing resources and a voice for bands, artists and members of Nebraska’s creative class — as well as the businesses that support them — Hear Nebraska strives to make the state a globally recognized cultural destination.
The Omaha Venture Group grant will be used to create HN Radio, a 24/7 online stream of Nebraska music that will actually allow people in the state and across the world to “hear” Nebraska. We produce, by any standards, an incredible amount of original multimedia content on our site everyday telling the story of Nebraska’s (and primarily Omaha’s) rich arts culture. And to make OMaha and surrounding areas a destination for bands and creative class members to visit and live. HN Radio will not only tell this story in a new way, but it will do much to make the organization sustainable by getting this engaging content and fundraising message to new ears through handheld digital devices, and other online outlets.
For now, follow HearNebraska, and all the great stories about Nebraska music and culture at hearnebraska.org.