Benson First Friday
Join us for community-wide events on the first Friday of every month. We will have local art on display along with live music and performances. Join our Facebook group to get event invites and information. We are on the corner of 56th and NW Radial HWY (5603 NW Radial HWY).
The Benson Renaissance
Erastus Benson, the founder of Benson, was a lawyer, inventor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and even wrote poetry and music. Over the last decade a number of creative individuals, businesses, and non-profits have been laboring to reignite Erastus Benson’s creative and philanthropic spirit in the community including the 402 Arts Collective, Benson First Friday, Benson Theatre Project, The Waiting Room Lounge, Hear Nebraska and Pear Tree Performing Arts to name a few. As a result, Benson is experiencing a cultural rebirth or "renaissance" according to City Councilman Pete Festersen. The Benson community is increasingly becoming a popular place to live for young adults, artists, and entrepreneurs.
With new artists and artisans flocking to the neighborhood, space is in demand. There is currently a lack of affordable studio space for creatives and start-ups. Additionally, many people in the area lack resources and a support network necessary to get off the ground. Therefore, we have set out to resurrect an old 4,300 square foot building on 56th and Northwest Radial Highway to help keep the Benson renaissance alive and well!
Citylight Arts Project seeks to grow the Benson renaissance through empowering the next generation of creatives. Therefore, our mission is to:
PIONEER a new space to learn, create, and cultivate
PARTNER with like-minded community organizations
PROMOTE emerging creatives and their work
PRODUCE a new generation of art patrons
PROVIDE for the underprivileged in our neighborhood
We asked over two dozen Benson residents, creatives, and community leaders what they think the neighborhood's greatest needs are. As a result of those conversations, here is a list we compiled of potential uses for the space:
Art Gallery and Installation Space
Affordable Studio Space
Small Business Collaboration
Benson First Friday
Music Practice Space
Mural Practice Space
Blended Art Space
If you are interested in using the space to better the Benson community we would love to hear from you. Please contact us and let us know who you are, what you are doing, and what you are passionate about.
The Citylight Arts Project seeks to grow the Benson renaissance through empowering the next generation of creatives.
Benson First Friday
BFF is partnering with us to use this new space as an "East Benson" hub for gallery space and an artist market. Benson First Friday occurs every first Friday of the month, year-round, and provides an environment for artists, art enthusiasts, and the entire community to come together amidst the galleries, studios, restaurants, bars, venues, alleyways, and streets in Benson.
Valiant Studios is an arts and music based program in Omaha, Nebraska featuring artists who experience developmental disabilities, fostering growth in every artist's passion, creativity, and individuality. After setting up successful sites in Millard and Midtown they want to create an additional site right here in Benson.
The Upward Bound Program is seeking grant funding to set up a tutoring site for Benson area high school students in this new space. They serve students from low-income families and students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal is to increase the rates at which participants complete high school and enroll in and graduate from post-secondary education programs.
There is a significant portion of Omaha's population that is unable to afford quality dance programs. EMPAC Dance desires to be a studio that welcomes everyone and removes all barriers for those interested in dance. Their goal is to make dance affordable while providing the highest-level technical dance education possible and become the best studio in Omaha!