New project: FACT 25, Omaha Mobile Stage

FACT’s Fall 2021 DSGN 410 Collaborate! studio is working with Partners for Livable Omaha to design and build the Omaha Mobile Stage, a creative placemaking project to create a mobile stage for a traveling, live performance tour of Omaha’s green spaces featuring emerging, established, and self-producing performance artists.

Omaha Mobile Stage will serve as a cultural and economic catalyst in public spaces and main streets throughout the Omaha metropolitan area.

As the pandemic has dragged on, cities have seen a collapse in the cultural and commercial activities that make urban life exciting. The pandemic has created a vacuum in cultural districts and severely impacted employment in the live entertainment industries, which have retreated online. While physical distancing has saved lives, social isolation and loneliness have emerged as serious public health concerns. Now that a vaccine begins to circulate, the creative and public realms have a unique opportunity to work together to breathe life back into cities. In response to our times, Omaha Mobile Stage is a prototype for a new model of outdoor venue providing a fun and flexible, but safe and serene, place for Omahans re-engage with each other, reactivate public spaces, and reanimate social, creative and economic life in the city. The project is inspired by the history of pageant wagons and the original Omaha Show Wagon, built in 1952 and used for many years thereafter .

This is the latest in a long line of FACT studios and electives that explore places of intersection between the production and consumption of culture – where creators and audiences meet. The project fits within the legacy FACT collaborations with cultural nonprofit organizations such Bemis Center, Carver Bank-Rebuild Foundation, Art Farm Nebraska, Sheldon Museum, Salina Art Center, Lincoln Art Chapel, and the Sandhills Institute.