OCI's ultimate goal is to serve as the local support network for artists of all disciplines in the Omaha Metro. No matter your level of experience or education, if you define yourself an artist, OCI wants to provide you with the tools and opportunities that make living and sustaining a creative practice in Omaha a real possibility. In order to do that effectively, we need to hear from the communities we serve to ensure our programs and offerings are as helpful and effective as possible. OCI makes opportunities for this important conversation in two ways:

  1. An Artist Advisory Council
  2. Annual Artist Town halls

Artist Advisory Council

OCI's Artist Advisory Council is made up of 3-5 representatives from 6 different artistic disciplines: Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance, Literary Arts, and Film/Media. The Council meets quarterly to provide OCI with

  • feedback on programs, initiatives, or projects, and
  • first-hand experience and insight into the experience of working artists of all disciplines. 

The Council was formed late-2017 into early-2018. Executive Director Andrew Saladino identified the need of an artist council, and, instead of hand-picking all members internally, he selected a representative from each discipline. Those representatives were asked to identify an additional 2-3 artists in that discipline who would be a good addition to the council, with particular focus on age, gender identity, race/ethnicity, level of experience, and stage in their career. This process was used to ensure members came from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and to prevent any unintended outreach echo chamber. In order to maintain that level of oversight, membership to the Council is decided by a majority of the group, not by OCI board or staff.

There are two ways an interested artist can get involved with the Council:

  • Submit a topic you'd like to see the Council discuss and bring to OCI's attention.
  • Submit for consideration to join the Council.

In either case, please contact Andrew Saladino at Andrew@omahacreativeinstitute.org, or a member of the Council directly.

2018 Members:

Angie Seykora
Celeste Butler
Edem Soul Music
Esau Betancourt
Jennifer Dawson
Joel Damon
Jonathan Tvrdik

Joshua Crum
Kat Fackler
Molly Welsh
Nichol Mason Lazenby
Rebecca Lowry
Tessa Wedberg
Wai Yim


Artist Town halls

OCI is committing to host at least one artist town hall each year. This town hall will be an opportunity for artists of all disciplines to speak up and raise issues they feel are important for OCI to hear and possibly incorporate into programming. We're keenly interested in the nuances of the artist experience so we can respond directly to the needs of Omaha Metro artists. Format and timing are still to be determined. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and like us on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.