Join us February 28th, 2019 at 6:00 pm for the KANEKO Great Mind Lecture Series featuring Steve Everett & Stefano Miceli. Get your tickets today!


American ceramic artist John Balistreri brings his cutting-edge three-dimensional digital technology to KANEKO on Friday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Balistreri is best known for his large scale sculptures and has exhibited throughout the United States.  He is currently investigating using 3D rapid prototyping technology to create ceramic objects. His research team at Bowling Green State University in Ohio leads the world in this new method.

“The potential for the integration of digital technology to enhance the established foundations of ceramic art is in its infancy,” says Balistreri.  “The question is: What can digital technology add to the party?”

Three-dimensional rapid prototyping is a process by which virtual designs, often created with computer assisted design software are transformed into actual objects.  This is done layer by layer until a 3D object is created from a digital file. The end result is an object surrounded by powder and held together by a binder.  Balistreri created the binder that enables the direct printing of clay that can then be fired in a kiln.  Objects created by this printer are so intricate they could never be made by hand.

Future applications in arts, business, engineering, design and even medical technology are being explored.  Balistreri and his research team have several patents pending.  At the KANEKO presentation, Balistreri will discuss these possible applications and implications.

Balistrer will also demonstrate the process. The research team from Bowling Green will set up their 3D printer at KANEKO so audience members can observe the printing process before, during and after the presentation.

PR // November at KANEKO

October 31, 2011

KANEKO’s “Seeing Things Differently” season moves into November with a Native American student art exhibit, a public discussion of a new art education model, a theater workshop and a collaborative performance.

Nov. 10, “Modern Traditions: Seeing With New Eyes.”

This summer, KANEKO partnered with the Omaha Public Schools Native American Indian Education and Hot Shops in an art workshop for Native American elementary and secondary school students for a developing educational pilot project.

The workshop gave students the opportunity to find and redefine themselves through visual arts and culture. With hands-on instruction in painting, sculpting and glass blowing, students were able to explore their cultural identities.  On Nov. 10, Project Director and renowned glass artist Therman Statom will speak about the workshop, show video footage and present an exhibition of student art.  The point of the project, says Statom, was to offer opportunities to students to do things they’ve never done before.  He assured workshop participants, “Don’t be afraid, you can’t mess up in here.”

Tami Maldonado-Mancebo, Director of the OPS Native American Indian Education Service says the partnership has been amazing.   For some students, says Maldonado-Mancebo, it was a first look at where they came from.  “It increased an understanding of their personal tribal histories,” she says.

Statom, Maldonado-Mancebo and Tim Barry from the Hot Shops will join KANEKO Executive Director Hal France, teachers, students and the audience for an open forum.

The 7 p.m. program will be followed by a reception.  It is free and open to the public.  The student art exhibition runs through Nov. 19. Check for hours.

Nov. 12, Master Choreographer David Neumann

KANEKO hosts the Great Plains Theatre Conference and David Neumann for a workshop and performance.  Neumann performs and choreographs for theatre, opera and film.   He is the artistic director and founder of the Advanced Beginner Group dance company in New York.

Neumann’s performance, “R and D: An Evening of Physical Explorations,” is billed as an exploration that traverses a broader definition of theatre.  It begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a reception.  Tickets are $10 for the general public.

For more information on the programs visit the Great Plains Theater Conference website.

In preparing for the evening performance, Neumann will conduct an all-day workshop entitled, “Bright Eyed and Limping”, with local actors and dancers.  Participants will join him in the evening performance. The workshop will focus on creating theatre by means of destruction and assembly and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Registration is $25 and available through the Great Plains Theatre Conference.


Dec. 13, Peter Noever will speak at KANEKO on the state of art, architecture and design in the world today in a lecture titled “Mind The Gap”.

Dec. 16, KANEKO Experimental Studio welcomes nationally recognized artist John Balistreri. He will discuss his research experiments and the applications for its future use with “Rapid Prototyping of Ceramic Objects.”  Both December programs begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

KANEKO is offering a series of free education and outreach programs with Tim Fain and the PORTALS creative team in Omaha and Lincoln, Oct. 4 – 6, 2011.  The programs are in conjunction with the Midwest Premiere of PORTALS.

PORTALS combines film, technology and social media with live musical performance to expand the boundaries of classical music.  The project focuses on the theme of human longing for connection in the digital age.  PORTALS debuts in New York on Sept. 24, 201l, then embarks on a National Tour.  The multi-media performance stars violinist Tim Fain with new music by Philip Glass; choreography by Benjamin Millepied of recent Black Swan fame; films by Kate Hackett and Millepied;  poetry by Leonard Cohen and music of American composers played by Nicholas Britell.

The educational programs will include previews, master classes and conversations in musical performance, composition, filmmaking, collaborative writing and theater design.

The offerings are in partnership with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Schools of Music, Journalism and English Department of UNL and the Omaha Conservatory of Music.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to interact with established professionals in their chosen field,” says KANEKO Executive Director Hal France.  “They will have access and insight into the creative process and collaboration that produced PORTALS.”

A special preview and lecture performance of  PORTALS will be held Tues., Oct. 4, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. at the Westbrook Recital Hall on the UNL campus.  Tim Fain will join Hixson-Lied Professor of Piano, Paul Barnes in performance of Philip Glass’ Pendulum for Piano and Violin. Barnes will also share his transcription from the Glass Piano Concerto No.2 and Fain will discuss and play excerpts from Partita for Unaccompanied Violin by Glass.  Pianist Nicholas Britell will also join Fain with a selection from PORTALS.  Kate Hackett will share film clips from PORTALS and Jacob Rubin and Roderick Murray join a discussion moderated by France.


4:00 p.m. Collaborative Writing with Jacob Rubin
4:00 p.m. Music Video and Collaboration with Kate Hackett
4:00 p.m. Theater Design with Roderick Murray
4:00 p.m. Master Class for Pianists with Nick Britell
4:30 p.m. Film Composition with Nick Britell
5:00 p.m. PORTALS Preview and Lecture Performance with Tim Fain
7:00 p.m. Reception hosted by President JB Milliken


3:00 p.m. Collaborative Writing with Jacob Rubin
3:00 p.m. Music Video and Collaboration with Kate Hackett
3:30 p.m. Master Class on Composition with Nick Britell
4:00 p.m. Master Class for Violin and Piano with a Performance Preview

All programs are free and open to the public. For a complete listing, visit the Education section at


Wed., Oct 5, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Affinity of Form: Photographs By Stanford Lipsey opens at KANEKO on April 29and continues through May 26, 2011. The exhibition by award-winning journalist and newspaper publisher Stanford Lipsey represents the culmination of a life-long passion.

Lipsey’s professional career as the publisher of the Omaha Sun, and currently The Buffalo News, has been paralleled by ongoing pursuits as a fine art photographer. The exhibition features 61 images, many large scale photographs printed on canvas and is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Hours include:
Friday, April 29, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 1, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Weeks of May 3 and May 17
Tuesday – Thursday 1 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday 1 p.m.– 8 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The first exhibit of this body of work was shown at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY in 2009, and coincided with the release of Lipsey’s book, Affinity of Form, by powerHouse Publishing, NY, NY.

An ardent supporter of Lipsey, Louis Grachos, Albright-Knox Director explains, “The works in this exhibition reveal Stanford Lipsey’s keen photographic awareness of the subtleties of nature and landscape, and the geometry of architecture. Most importantly, they also exemplify his ability to capture the underlying beauty of the abstract forms in all things.”  Grachos will be in Omaha for the opening.

The exhibit traveled to the University of Buffalo and the University of Michigan en route to the KANEKO.

Omaha native Lipsey graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948, and entered the newspaper industry in 1952, after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War.  In 1969, Lipsey sold the Sun newspapers to Warren Buffett, but remained on as publisher. Lipsey, Buffett, and editor Paul Williams won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for the Omaha Sun’s investigative reporting of Boys Town. Buffett purchased The Buffalo News, and in 1980 Lipsey moved to Buffalo, NY, to oversee the paper at Buffett’s request.

Commenting on the exhibition Lipsey said, “Photography has been a singularly enjoyable constant throughout my life. It has been the creative outlet that adds joy to my life, gives me a sense of personal accomplishment, and serves as a therapeutic diversion. Creating the images in Affinity of Form required new approaches to my choice of subject matter and composition, and altered my own sense of observation. The scale of the KANEKO is so well suited to exhibiting large format photography.”

The multi-dimensional Lipsey provided the catalyst for a public panel of talented individuals in a program titled, Undivided Lives: A Conversation About Career and Creativity at the KANEKO on Friday, April 29 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. The psychologist, writer and CEO of the Apogee Group,

Roger Fransecky, will lead the group exploring the relationship of personal talent and professional choices. Fransecky founded The Apogee Group in 1995, a global management consulting and leadership development organization.

“Whether in homes, communities or countries, individual creativity is often the source of innovation that improves our lives,” noted Hal France, executive director, KANEKO. “How are our creative abilities developed and how do some people keep them strong even while maintaining productive careers?”

Joining Roger Fransecky on the panel will be:

  • Publisher of The Buffalo News/Artist and Photographer, Stanford Lipsey,
  • Online Media Specialist/Artist and Photographer, Molly Jarboe,
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center Scientist and Researcher/Songwriter and Poet, James Salhany
  • TD Ameritrade Stockbroker/Sculptor, Tom Kaminski

Each panelist will present short vignettes that describe their individual paths and then open for discussion with the audience.

Tickets for Undivided Lives-$10 online/$15 at the door/$5 for students.
To purchase visit or call 341-3800

KANEKO’s Experimental Studio announces a public preview on Thursday, April 21 at 7:00 pm of a multi-media performance project, titled Portals. The project will play with the relationship between live and digital performance arts incorporating music, dance, spoken word and film around the theme of human longing for connection in the digital age.

The music of composer Philip Glass forms the musical core of Portals as does the performance of violin virtuoso, Tim Fain. The idea for Portals is the brainchild of Fain and a creative team including acclaimed dancer/choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, and Los Angeles filmmaker, Kate Hackett. Through the support of KANEKO and a generous anonymous sponsorship the team will work in Omaha from April 16 – April 21 creating film footage for the eventual performance. Additional filming will take place in New York later this spring.

The ideas for Portals began with Fain on a world tour of Philip Glass’s Book of Longing, a work based on the Leonard Cohen book of poems. Fain later commissioned Glass to write Partita for Solo Violin, a work in seven movements to be the centerpiece of Portals.  Along with Philip Glass the music of Portals features work by Aaron Jay Kernis, William Bolcom, Nico Muhly, Kevin Puts and Lev Zhurbin.  The film’s script by writer Jake Rubin incorporates the poetry from Cohen’s Book of Longing in an original script that he is developing with Tim Fain.

The creative team has the support of both Glass and Cohen whose work runs through the past 60 years of American and Canadian film, musical and literary culture providing a strong foundation for the work on Portals.

The world premiere of Portals is scheduled for September 22, 2011 at Symphony Space in New York City. A national tour that includes performances at KANEKO on October 6, 2011 and the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on October 9, 2011 will follow.

The preview will take place at KANEKO on Thursday, April 21 at  7:00 pm.  Tickets are $10 in advance/ $15 at the door/$5 for students. To purchase tickets visit or call 402 341 3800.

The April 21st preview introducing the project to Omaha includes Tim Fain and pianist/composer Nick Britell performing, Kate Hackett sharing footage and describing filming techniques and the group engaging in a public conversation about the work.

Executive Director Hal France: “ The purpose of the Experimental Studio is to support creative people and projects and share the excitement of the creative process as it happens. Open conversations are one way to get inside that process and see how it ticks.”

“With its nationally recognized creative team, the Portals project represents an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the future of the performing arts. It brings film, IT and social media together with traditional performing arts. It has great potential appeal for a new audience.”


The return of Opera Omaha’s Madama Butterfly designed by Jun Kaneko on April 15th and 17th and the opening of OutsideKaneko, the largest exhibit of Jun Kaneko’s art to date at Lauritzen Gardens on April 29th, provide the backdrop for A Special Evening with Jun Kaneko on March 31st at 1111 Jones Street. The evening offers three events in one!

5:30 – Kaneko Onstage: An Exhibit of Jun Kaneko’s Opera Designs for Madama Butterfly,

6:30 – Kaneko Onstage: A Public Presentation on Opera Design with Jun Kaneko

8:00 – Butterfly’s Closet,  The Opera Omaha Guild’s fundraiser and fashion show with food by Hiro 88.  This is part of a citywide celebration,

Metamorphosis: The Art and Design of Jun Kaneko 2011.

Kaneko Onstage: An Exhibit of Jun Kaneko’s Opera Designs for Madama Butterfly will offer original sketches and photography documenting the evolution of Jun Kaneko’s design for the 2006 Opera Omaha production of Madama Butterfly.

It shows how the artist’s work was influenced and enhanced by his relationship with the opera’s subject and characters. After nearly three years of creative work, the project had a lasting effect not only on Jun Kaneko’s ongoing work in opera, but also on his painting and ceramic sculpture.

Throughout history established visual artists have been drawn to design for the stage. This has brought great and powerful visions to stages around the world.

In recent times the artists William Kentridge, David Hockney, Louise Nevelson and Dale Chihuly, to mention only a few, have created designs for opera companies.

Audiences in cities throughout the United States and Canada including Atlanta, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Madison, Memphis, Dayton, Maui and Honolulu have enjoyed Jun Kaneko’s magical set and costume designs for Madama Butterfly.

Kaneko Onstage: A Public Presentation on Opera Design with Jun Kaneko is part of the Great Minds Series and represents Jun Kaneko’s first public presentation at KANEKO. Jun will show specially selected images, discuss his creative design process and offer personal insights into opera design.

Before accepting the offer for Madama Butterfly from Opera Omaha, Jun Kaneko had never designed for opera or the stage. His decision to accept this challenge and the subsequent success of the production led to ongoing work, as he designed a new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio for Opera Company of Philadelphia in 2008. He is currently designing the sets, costumes and video elements for a major international production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the San Francisco Opera in June 2012.  He will discuss this exciting new project for San Francisco.

After his presentation Jun will be joined for an onstage conversation with his chief collaborator from Madama Butterfly, Stage Director Leslie Swackhamer. The presentation will offer a sneak preview of the upcoming Madama Butterfly performance when leading soprano, Mihoko Kinoshita, sings the famous aria “Un Bel Di”

Butterfly’s Closet: Opera Omaha Guild’s Fundraiser and Fashion Show with Sushi from Hiro 88

Bringing the evening to a festive conclusion and in keeping with the night’s creative spirit, the audience will enjoy the food of Hiro 88, view original Madama Butterfly costumes worn by models and browse in a specially created boutique at unique kimono’s. Attendees will be able to purchase one-of-a kind fashion items and contribute to Opera Omaha.

All three events including food and beverage can be enjoyed for the ticket price of $25 in advance or $35 at the door.  To purchase tickets visit or call 402 345 0606

PR // Your Creative Brain

January 26, 2011

Nationally recognized expert Shelley Carson will inaugurate a new series, Understanding Creativity at KANEKO.  Carson brings her scientific research to Omaha with “Your Creative Brain,” Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m. at KANEKO.

She will discuss how to expand and discover paths to greater creative capacity using her seven steps to CREATES (Connect, Reason, Envision, Absorb, Transform, Evaluate and Stream). The audience will take part in a series of exercises administered by Carson and a team of group leaders.

Carson has been conducting research on creativity at Harvard University where she teaches.  “My goal in conducting research on creativity and brain functions is to discover ways that everyone – even those who do not consider themselves to be creative – can access the creative abilities that are their birthright, and use them to enrich both their own lives and to benefit society.”

KANEKO Executive Director Hal France says Carson is a perfect fit for KANEKO’s mission.  “We have sought out national experts on creativity because we want Omaha to have access to this invaluable information.  We want to be the source for the latest and greatest in creative insights.”

Creativity is inside all of us, says Carson.  In addition, everyone has a built-in censoring system that filters stimuli from the outside world before reaching conscious awareness.  This censoring system keeps us focused on current goals and information deemed “appropriate.” Learning to loosen up this mental filtering system to allow more novel ideas into conscious awareness is one of the biggest challenges for people who don’t consider themselves creative.

According to Carson, people are reluctant to tap into their creative selves because of possible failure and ridicule.  “Highly creative people have figured out, however, that failure is a learning experience and, as such, is a necessary and expected part of future success,” she says.

Carson’s research on creativity has shown that naturally creative people can switch between various brain activation patterns more easily than those who are less naturally creative. In addition, she says this is a learned behavior and that with practice and exercise, any brain can become more creative.

The Thursday lecture is $15 for general admission and $5 for students. Carson will lead an intensive workshop on Friday, Jan. 27, 9 a.m. to noon.  During her workshop, Carson provides information on how to loosen the brain’s built in censoring system so that creative ideas can flow more fluently.  The workshop fee is $250 and includes the Thursday lecture and a private reception with Carson.

Carson received her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 2001. Her research on creativity, psychopathology, and resilience has been widely published and featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, NPR, the BBC, and Radio Free Europe.  Her popular course Creativity: Madmen, Geniuses, and Harvard Students has won multiple teaching awards at Harvard University.

Understanding Creativity Project

January 2012 ushers in a new beginning for KANEKO with the launch of a series featuring national creativity researchers. Shelley Carson is the first in the Understanding Creativity Project which will bring leading researchers and authors to Omaha for public programming and incubator workshops. Educator and author Keith Sawyer will be next in series.   He comes to KANEKO April 5 and 6 to explore group creativity.

France says, “KANEKO is about influencing how we see our options.  We’re interested in building individual and collective creative capacity in our community. This project seeks to learn from the scientific community what happens in us when we are most inventive and most inspired. The programs won’t be clinical, but designed to make us think and consider ourselves.”

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