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#GivingEveryTuesday: Music

Each Tuesday, SHARE Omaha features a unique cause theme for #GivingEveryTuesday and encourages us all to give and support in any way we can! This week's #GivingEveryTuesday theme is nonprofits creating Music. Hear about these special nonprofits below and help fund their work!


Merrymakers Association

Sandy Lemke of Merrymakers Association shares, "Listening to music is an activity that everyone can participate in and enjoy, regardless of age, physical or mental ability. With Merrymakers Association’s monthly professional music programs in senior communities, all ages can enjoy a variety of interactive one-hour shows." 


Merrymakers Association provides monthly professional musical entertainment to senior citizens in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and senior centers throughout the entire metro. These much-needed programs provide an opportunity for socialization, decreased feelings of depression and loneliness, an increase in happiness, and a chance to express feelings. 

"Merrymakers Association needs two things from the community: engagement with our programs and financial support to pay our professional musicians. Why don’t they volunteer? Music is their full-time work, and they present the best programs our seniors deserve in their golden years," says Sandy.

Donate to Merrymakers Association


Strings of Joy

 Richard Hunt, president of Strings of Joy, shares, "Donating to nonprofit musical organizations helps the community have a positive mental health, increasing educational experiences, spreading happiness and JOY!" 

Strings of Joy

Strings of Joy visits nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospitals and juvenile detention centers and provides musical performances, sing-a-longs and music lessons. 

"Strings of Joy’s biggest need is donations. Through encouragement, interactive music, hope and reminiscing of the good old days binds us all together," says Richard. 

Donate to Strings of Joy


Omaha Symphony 

Tracy Bechtold of the Omaha Symphony shares, "Music is invaluable to the cultural vitality of our community. It is the universal language that inspires us, moves us, and connects us. As a key part of a thriving arts scene, music enriches our quality of life and has a significant impact on the Omaha economy."

Many don’t realize a third of the orchestra’s time is spent on education and community engagement programming, not just mainstage performances. Omaha Symphony education programs are designed for students pre-K through high school, and even include a Virtual Classroom. They reach music lovers outside of the concert hall in neighborhoods throughout Omaha, including the Gene Leahy Mall Performance Pavilion downtown. All of these opportunities are free or low-cost to participate. 

Tracy says, "We want to see you in the audience! We offer a variety of programming, from popular to classical. Buy a ticket or attend a free concert and enjoy the incredible power of music."

Donate to Omaha Symphony


Opera Omaha 

Rebecca Ihnen of Opera Omaha shares, "Music and the arts are essential public goods for a thriving community. Supporting organizations with music-based missions provides needed opportunities to build relationships and communities, educate, employ artists and creatives, entertain, and inspire."

Opera Omaha is committed to forging vibrant futures for both opera and Omaha. On the mainstage, they showcase ambitious and innovative productions that directly impact the cultural and economic vibrancy of the metro. Their always free, cutting-edge community programs work to provide equal opportunity for everyone in the metro to access and enjoy opera.

"Supporting Opera Omaha’s Annual Fund is the most immediate and impactful way to help ensure our continued success. Also, consider joining us for our final opera of the season: El último sueño de Frida y Diego, May 3 & 5, 2024 at the Orpheum Theater!" 

Donate to Opera Omaha


River City Mixed Chorus 

Deb Manning of River City Mixed Chorus shares, "Since the Covid-19 pandemic, levels of depression and anxiety in both adults and youth across the country have skyrocketed. At the same time, music programming at the elementary and middle school levels is declining due to budgetary pressures despite the fact that research shows that music and music therapy significantly improve mood and lead to improved mental health. Nonprofits in our community are filling the gap and the River City Mixed Chorus (RCMC) is one of those organizations that provides an outlet for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to create musical experiences that inspire resilience and joy. Support for organizations like RCMC ensures that these organization flourish and provide the life-giving and even life-saving support that many folks in Omaha need right now."

There are fewer than a dozen non-faith-based community choruses in the Omaha area and only one - RCMC - that exclusively exists to lift up the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Their growth from a group of ten friends singing at The Max in 1984 to one of the largest LGBTQ+ mixed ensembles in the U.S. (now at 140+ singers) is a visible manifestation of the long-term goals and initiatives that many public and private organizations in Omaha have had for increasing diversity and promoting equity and inclusion. Omaha is a better place to work and live because of organizations like RCMC that center their performances in messages of love, inclusion, courage, and joy.

"Truly, the one thing that would make the biggest different for RCMC is for people to attend our performances. We do 2-3 major performances a year at the Holland Performing Arts Center or the Orpheum Theater (the only two stages in Omaha now large enough to accommodate the chorus) and always strive to share music that matters," says Deb. 

Donate to River City Mixed Chorus


Omaha Performing Arts 

Kelsi Weston of Omaha Performing Arts shares, "It’s important to support arts organizations like O-pa because we offer programming that would otherwise not be available for our community. Each year we host more than 550 events in our three venues and present world-renowned artists and productions in jazz, dance, touring Broadway, world music, speakers and more. Additionally, we provide performing arts education and engagement programs for students, teachers and community participants."

Music and the performing arts help to improve the quality of life for Nebraskans and others who visit from outside Omaha. O-oa provides arts and music opportunities in classrooms and at their venues that allow for an exceptional creative outlet in young people in the metro. Additionally, the chance for community members to contribute to the performance experience by volunteering helps create an environment of safety and familiarity for everyone who comes through the doors. 

"We need the community to purchase tickets and come to our shows so that we can continue to bring artists of the highest quality to Omaha! Additionally, donations to O-pa help support our growing education and community engagement programs," says Kelsi.

Donate to Omaha Performing Arts


Omaha Conservatory of Music 

Mark Kresl of the Omaha Conservatory of Music shares, "Arts organizations often serve as hubs for community engagement and development. They provide spaces for people to come together, collaborate, and celebrate shared interests. By supporting these organizations, individuals contribute to the vitality and cohesion of their communities.  In addition, music education, started at an early age, contributes to the positive development for children in academics.  Numerous studies have proven the value of music education among marginalized populations, especially children.  These programs foster creativity, critical thinking, and social skills, providing valuable learning experiences beyond traditional academic settings." 

OCM touches the lives of nearly 2,500 children every week with music instruction. Their flagship outreach program, String Sprouts, has over 900 students who receive 5 years of strings lessons, with instrument included, at little to no charge to the families.  Thanks to the support from the community, they have been able to fund this program for nearly 10 years and have improved the lives of thousands of Omaha children.  85% of those children live at 200% or less of the federal poverty guidelines.

"Aside from funding, we would like to see more engagement from our community in our mission.  The Conservatory offers numerous live performances throughout the year.  Most are offered at no charge to the public.  Supporting our faculty and other guest artists sends a message to everyone that music is an important part of everyone's lives," says Mark. 

Donate to Omaha Conservatory of Music


Vesper Concerts 

Kristi Treu of Vesper Concerts shares, "Scientific research is proving that music is essential for healthy living, and can have healing effects in many medical scenarios. Donating to music nonprofits has a positive effect on the health and well-being of the community." 

 Vesper Concerts makes our community better by offering free concerts that are open to the public and foster personal musical experiences in an intimate venue.

 "We need people to spread the word about Vesper Concerts, invite a friend to one of our free concerts, and help us increase our visibility in Omaha," says Kristi. 

Donate to Vesper Concerts


Orchestra Omaha

Orchestra Omaha 

Christine Seeman of Orchestra Omaha shares, "It is important to donate to music nonprofits to help preserve artistic heritage and ensure that all kinds of music continues to thrive for future generations. Attending a concert stimulates your brain, invokes an emotional response, and can help reduce your stress. So donate to help yourself, but more importantly, help future generations hear that music."

Orchestra Omaha is unique in its mission to provide a platform for Omaha's amateur musicians to perform and grow. They feature local composers and artists, sharing knowledge and passion by actively engaging with the community. Recently, they've been visiting local schools, bringing in local composers to inspire creative potential in the students. They want to show them that composers can come from anywhere, even their neighborhood.

"Attend a concert! Attending an Orchestra Omaha concert will give you a feel for our group and music, and we will feature our Young Artist competition winners on April 6th, 2024. These talented young artists won our 18th competition, giving them a solo opportunity with the orchestra," says Christine. 

Donate to Orchestra Omaha


Omaha Mobile Stage 

Kaylea Kuhlman of Omaha Mobile Stage shares, "We overcome common challenges to increasing access to the arts and creating arts-based gatherings in neighborhood public spaces. These challenges include prohibitive ticket costs, limited arts funding to neighborhood-led initiatives, and lack of transportation to traditional venues."

OMS events entertain thousands of residents and visitors annually. These events help establish safe outdoor community spaces. These gatherings also increase the vibrancy, connection, and economic and social wellbeing for residents and businesses along the metro’s historic and revitalizing main streets and park systems.

"Financial support provides a critical foundation for the OMS project to be fully realized, adding value and vibrancy to the city we love," says Kaylea. 

Donate to Omaha Mobile Stage


North Omaha Music Arts 

Andrew Bailie with North Omaha Music and Arts shares, "Students enrolled in quality music programs are more prepared to succeed in the real world regardless of their career path. Music education and performance opportunities inspire critical thinking and personal development in young people."

North Omaha Music and Arts is dedicated to making a tangible difference in North Omaha and surrounding areas by offering programming such as a weekly Drum Masterclass and Junior Drum Class, Jazz and Contemporary jam sessions geared towards developing musicians, and hosting masterclasses and concerts by some of the industry’s leaders.

"We are looking for a donor for our Piano Lab. Once in place, NOMA’s piano lab will be a key component in students’ development of melody and harmony, ensuring a solid foundation necessary for a deeper understanding and exploration of music on a larger scale. Piano Lab programs will be a compulsory part of the NOMA curriculum and required for all students," says Andrew. 

Donate to North Omaha Music and Arts


Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha

Chris Gillette of Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha shares, "Donating to the Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha helps our nonprofit continue to bring together two groups of musicians that not only learn from each other but are able to form meaningful intergenerational relationships. The one thing that the IGO needs at this time is concert sponsorships. Each concert sponsorship is $350 and the sponsor may pick the location of the concert!" 

Donate to Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha


Choose your ways to donate today and uplift Music in the greater Omaha/Council Bluffs metro!

All Music Nonprofits

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We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!