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Omaha Performing Arts expanding again: 'This will supplement and add to what we do for the community'

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 14, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The green space outside of the Holland Center for Performing Arts is the future home to the newest project by Omaha Performing Arts.

"The Center For Arts Engagement is going to be able to host the master classes, workshops and all types of activities of education and engagement that we perform," Joan Squires, president of Omaha Performing Arts said.

The new center will sit just east of the Holland Performing Arts Center, which is now just too small for all the O-pa wants to do.

"We are simply out of space, so we can't expand our current programs, nor add any of the new ones until we have more space, and this will supplement and add to what we do for the community," Squires said.

But Squires said some of the green space will remain.

"The buildings have distinct personalities but are integrated in the entire campus, so we'll also have some green space outside the center that we can host some outdoor performances as well," Squires said.

An ambitious undertaking, Omaha Performing Arts already has a project underway that will attract more people to downtown—a new concert venue just across from the Holland Center.

"Steelhouse Omaha, which will open in the spring of 2023, is designed to attract touring bands that had been skipping Omaha and it's going to bring the ages 18 to 45 down to downtown and activate the community," Squires said.

And with the newly opened Gene Leahy Mall, Squires said she looks forward to contributing more to the downtown development.

"Now we are going to be able to connect the new Leahy Mall, with the activities here at the Holland and the Center for Arts Engagement and Steelhouse to North Omaha, and it's really going to engage and inspire many many more people to come to Downtown Omaha," Squires said.

The Center for Arts Engagement will cost about $103 million. It is currently in the fundraising phase, so the opening date has not been set.

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