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Stage 1: Listen

JANUARY - JUNE 2015: We spent time meeting individually with key leaders in the Benson area to assess the needs of the community. Then, on March 7, 2016 we hosted a brainstorming session with over 25 leaders representing the local neighborhood association, schools, nonprofits, and businesses. It was through listening to these voices that the vision for the Citylight Arts Project was birthed.  

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Stage 2: Planning

JULY - DECEMBER 2016: We assessed the needs of the building, acquired cost estimates, and applied for start-up grant money. In December, we heard back from our church's denomination that we were selected to receive $26,000 for their Dream Incentive Grant. 

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Stage 3: Rehabilitation  

JANUARY - JUNE 2017: We are using the grant money to restore the building back to functional use. Projects include bathroom gutting and renovation, installing AC unit, foundation repair, painting, and deep cleaning. 

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Stage 4: Launch

JULY - DECEMBER 2017: We are striving to get the building functional by the end of the summer so that our Community Partners (Benson First Friday, EMPAC Dance, Valiant Studios, and Upward Bound Tutoring) can begin using the space. Please contact us if you have a desire or need to use the space. 

 
Trent Friesen scrapes paint off the north wall. His wife, Rachel, founded EMPAC Dance, one of our community partners. 

Trent Friesen scrapes paint off the north wall. His wife, Rachel, founded EMPAC Dance, one of our community partners. 

Volunteers remove old drywall from the bathrooms to prepare for a remodel. 

Volunteers remove old drywall from the bathrooms to prepare for a remodel. 

Joel Damon, a member of Citylight Benson, gets interviewed by Pastor JD Senkbile about his art gallery in Omaha called Project Project. 

Joel Damon, a member of Citylight Benson, gets interviewed by Pastor JD Senkbile about his art gallery in Omaha called Project Project. 

We participated in the BFF Tiny Mural Project. This mural created was created by local artist Sarah Craw (SCraw Art) on the south wall.  

We participated in the BFF Tiny Mural Project. This mural created was created by local artist Sarah Craw (SCraw Art) on the south wall.