Omaha NeighborFest will activate people, places, and spaces

NeighborFest will inspire community engagement through music, speakers, workshops, vendors, activities and interactive neighborhood project ideas in a festival setting on Sept. 2.

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The North 24th Street Corridor Alliance will host the inaugural Omaha NeighborFest, an event to strengthen the city’s neighborhoods and its neighborhood associations from the ground up. NeighborFest will inspire community engagement through music, speakers, workshops, vendors, activities and interactive neighborhood project ideas in a festival setting.

NeighborFest will be from 2 to 10 p.m. Sept. 2 at North 24th and Burdette streets in Omaha. The event is free and open to all Omahans interested in making a positive change in their communities. Notification of Street closure: 24th and 25th streets west of Burdette Street (9 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and 24th Street east of Burdette to Grant Street (2 to 10 p.m).

A committee of neighborhood advocates brought together by ONE Omaha created a goal to entertain, connect, and inspire community advocates. Contributions from neighborhood organizations, the Spring Lake Park Team, the Field Club Homeowners Guild, and the 24th Street Corridor Alliance make the festival possible.

Along with entertainment and ways to get involved, NeighborFest will provide creative placemaking strategies, neighborhood asset mapping, neighborhood association orientation, voter registration and much more throughout the afternoon and evening festival.

“With more than 136 active neighborhood associations in Omaha, we all can benefit from more opportunities for engagement, learning, and inspiration. NeighborFest brings all of these entry points together in a fun and interactive way,” said Julie Smith, an event organizer and project manager for ONE Omaha, which supports neighborhood development through communication, education, and advocacy.

“It will be a great day to get outside, enjoy the Labor Day weekend, and to activate people, places, and spaces.”

The focus area for 2018 is the North 24th Street Corridor, an area of creative and economic energy within Omaha’s African American community. The area has developed a culturally dynamic atmosphere and was a site of civil unrest against segregationist laws and policies. Today, led by the Omaha Economic Development Corp., 24th Street Corridor Alliance, and community advocates, the “Deuce” is experiencing a revitalization of business, arts and culture.

Several main stage events will be ongoing throughout the day Sept. 2, including:

  • The Black Votes Matter Concert for Change, arranged by local musician Roger Lewis (The Good Life, Benson Soul Society, Tyrone Storm, Oquoa, Dirt House). The musical celebration will unite musicians and music fans to get out the vote in November, and beyond. Featured bands include Trent Tukka, Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club, Mesonjixx, BXTH, Dana Murray, and The Dilla Kids.
  • Get out the vote” speakers will inspire, create awareness of upcoming election dates, and help register citizens to vote.

There will be a variety of street activities, including:

  • Workshops and pop-up demonstrations will share action steps and resources needed to support community projects, workshops, and demonstrations.
  • Vendor booths will connect neighbors and community advocates with local entrepreneurs as well as city and nonprofit resources. More than 40 vendors organized by Minorities about Business.

Creative cohort The Study will facilitate programmatic events during the event using two formerly vacant buildings – The Hall at 2205 N. 24th St. and The House at 2417 Burdette St. The buildings will be primary contact points hosting workshops, live music, artwork, video gaming tournaments and the festival’s information center. Resident creatives will host workshops and programming throughout the event.

To learn more about Omaha NeighborFest, visit its event page on Facebook or contact Julie Smith at info@oneomaha.org or 402-547-7473.

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