Ballet Nebraska becomes American Midwest Ballet in 2018-19.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the location of American Midwest Ballet’s new home with artistic director and CEO, Erika Overturff.
Renovation has begun and move-in is anticipated during the 2019-2020 season.
What’s the benefit for the ballet?
The new Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center will provide a state-of-the-art facility that will allow the ballet to consolidate its rehearsal, costume and scenic construction, and administrative functions under one roof. It also will give the company access to a fully-equipped onsite theater, the Polina and Bob Schlott Performing Arts Center. This will create a number of logistical efficiencies for the company, which currently juggles the challenges of working in various borrowed spaces.
All of these improvements will help us be more efficient and productive. They will let us concentrate even more of our energy on our primary mission: bringing high-quality ballet to the region.
Does this mean you’ll be leaving Omaha?
Not at all. We’ll still be performing at the Orpheum Theater, collaborating with Joslyn Art Museum, and working with our community partners including Omaha Performing Arts, Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, Omaha Public Schools, and numerous social service agencies. We’ve been active in both Nebraska and Iowa from the very beginning, and the new center will help us maintain and strengthen our activities on both sides of the river.
Who else is involved?
In addition to the ballet, other residents of the Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center will include: PACE, which will operate the facility and provide arts programming, as well as lend expertise and support to other arts and culture organizations in the areas of marketing, fundraising, and administration; Chanticleer Theater, a long-established community theater offering musicals, plays, and children’s theater workshops; and Kitchen Council, a kitchen incubator for food startups to grow their business, spearheaded by the Iowa West Foundation and the Greater Omaha Chamber under the umbrella of its regional economic development partnership.
The facility will also feature art exhibitions, a large event space with a cafe and bar, music lessons, visual art classes, and performances by Kanesville Symphony, as well as archival storage for several area museums.
Who is making this possible?
Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment (PACE) is the nonprofit organization leading the program in partnership with the Iowa West Foundation. It announced its plans for the new arts center in August 2016, which will transform the empty Harvester II Building into a destination for art, theater, and entertainment.
Funding for the $26.8M project is in the final stages of the campaign with less than $1 million left to raise in the community campaign. Leadership gifts include a $9M gift from the Iowa West Foundation, a $2M gift from Ted and Polly Hoff, a $1M gift from Polina and Bob Schlott, a $1M grant from Enhance Iowa and additional major gifts from regional foundations along with the generous support of many community members.