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KANEKO announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $9,666 by the Nebraska Humanities Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.  This grant award will support the Jonathan Fineberg Lecture Series presented by KANEKO and the University of Nebraska.

Jonathan Fineberg is the Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska for the 2012-2013 academic year.  Fineberg will be giving a series of lectures at KANEKO on The Origin of the Image: What Modern Art Tells Us About the Mind.  These lectures are an effort to explain why we need images, how the language of visual forms works, in what way it is “closer to the structure of the human mind” and may indeed change it.

“We are grateful for this support and recognition of quality programming from the Nebraska Humanities Council.  KANEKO is delighted to partner with the University of Nebraska so that a world-class scholar, like Dr. Fineberg, can share his knowledge with the community.”  Dr. James Linder, Chair of the KANEKO Board of Directors.

The remaining lectures and reception will be presented on:

Nov. 1 – KANEKO, 6:30 p.m.
“The  Ineffable,  the  Unspeakable,  and  the  Inspirational:  A  Grammar”

March 13, 2013 – KANEKO, 6:30 p.m.
“The  Nature  Theater:  Art  and  Politics”

April 3, 2013 – KANEKO, 6:30 p.m.
“Desire Lines in the Mind”

KANEKO announced today that the Nebraska Arts Council has awarded a Basic Support Grant of $27,998.  This grant will support KANEKO ‘s 2012-2013 programming season.

James Linder, MD, Chairman of KANEKO Board of Directors, commented on receipt of the Basic Support Grant stating,  “The citizens of Nebraska are fortunate to have the Nebraska Arts Council as a state organization that supports the arts.  Their financial support enriches the lives of tens of thousands of Nebraskans.  KANEKO is honored to receive this Basic Support Grant.  We believe that this is a reflection of the impact that KANEKO has had in its first 5 years of operations.  The Basic Support Grant further enables KANEKO to partner with other not-for-profit arts organizations further enriching the arts community.”

Basic Support Grants from the Nebraska Arts Council provide annual operating support to eligible community, volunteer, and discipline-based Nebraska arts organizations.

KANEKO announced today that it has been gifted a million dollars from an anonymous donor to continue the expansion and remodeling of its facilities.

Dr. James Linder, Chairman, KANEKO Board of Directors, expressed his gratitude to the donor adding, “ The gift is timely.  During the first 5 years of operation KANEKO has hosted over 100 programs, serving 45,000 attendees, and our facilities have sometimes been stretched.  This gift will allow KANEKO to open new spaces to support existing programs, such as Big Omaha, as well as allow new types of programming for KANEKO and our partners.”

Changes, designed by international architect Mark Mack, to the KANEKO facility will include the addition of media and conference rooms on the main level with refiguring and additions to the reception area planned.  In addition, two galleries on the second level and a freight elevator are to be added.

The construction will be coordinated with the 2012-2013 program schedule, which will commence in July.

PR // Group Genius

March 16, 2012

Nationally recognized expert and researher Keith Sawyer, Ph.D. brings his unique approach to creativity within a group setting to Omaha April 5 and 6 with a lecture “Group Genius and the Creative Process” and workshop “Collaboration and Creativity.”

His Thursday night presentation will highlight his research and feature audience interaction.  He will be joined by three musical improvisers: percussionist Michael Fitzsimmons, cellist Dave Downing and wind quadruplist Frank Lightell, for a live demonstration on the dynamics of collaboration.

The Friday workshop will offer opportunities to try a variety of experiments in group creativity with hands-on activities and analysis.

In his book, Group Genius, Sawyer tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity and erects new principles in their place.  “The bottom line is that the myths we hold about creativity are based on our broader cultural beliefs and attitudes. But the mission of scientific inquiry is to get to the bigger truths, whether or not they align with our cherished cultural beliefs,” says Sawyer.

Sawyer asserts the “lone genius” image is a myth and that no one creates in a vacuum.  He stresses the importance of a collaborative team and says successful teams practice deep listening, build on each other’s ideas and discover new challenges as the process progresses.

In addition,  Sawyer emphasizes improvisation for creativity.  In the 1990s, he played piano for improv groups in Chicago.  This prompted an interest not only in the group dynamic, but the idea that lack of a script or plan could actually improve creativity.  He found structure beneath the seemingly effortless creativity of these theatre troupes and jazz bands.

Diversity is another area Sawyer explores.  “The most surprising creative insights always result from connections among different bodies of knowledge.”   Sawyer says diversity contributes to more original and complex ideas because of the friction created by multiple opinions.  The more diverse the group, the more dynamic.

“Perhaps the most exciting thing about Dr. Sawyer’s appearance at KANEKO is that he will put his theories into practice,” says former KANEKO Executive Director Hal France.  “He will be collaborating, improvising and leading a dynamic group: the audience and workshop participants.  We hope the Omaha community will take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The Thursday lecture is $15 for general admission and $5 for students. Sawyer will lead an intensive workshop on Friday, April 6, 9 a.m. to noon.  The workshop will provide hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration, a true illustration of Group Genius.  The workshop fee is $100 and includes the Thursday lecture and a private reception with Sawyer.

KANEKO’s multi-media performance, PORTALS will be featured on NET Television’s “Nebraska Stories on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. CT on NET1/HD.

Nebraska Stories takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creative, experimental work that  made up Portals. Shot at KANEKO, the story follows the collaborative efforts of acclaimed violin virtuoso Tim Fain from New York City and a young filmmaker, Kate Hackett, from Los Angeles working with a team to challenge the definition of a 21st century concert experience. The multi-media production blended a live performance by Fain with filmed performances of music, poetry and dance. The performance was followed by a social media talkback session with audience members at the nearby Nomad Lounge who watched via a live internet stream offering feedback and questions in the form of texts and tweets.

This “Nebraska Stories” episode will repeat on NET1/HD Sunday, Feb. 26, at 12:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 27, at 9 p.m.; and Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 11:30 p.m. It will repeat on NET2 World on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 9:30 p.m. All times listed are in CT.

Viewers can watch the above segments and more by visiting the “Nebraska Stories” website at www.netnebraska.org/nebraskastories/. Watch us online at netnebraska.org/nebraskastories and join us on Facebook to be a part of the “Nebraska Stories” conversation.

KANEKO is pleased to announce that the Peter Kiewit Foundation has awarded a challenge grant of $100,000 to help support KANEKO’s 2011-2012 program series. The 2011-2012 program series explores creativity as the lens to better understand the world.

The season includes presentations and workshops by nationally known creativity researchers.  In March, an award-winning Omaha native photographer will exhibit his work and share in a conversation with the director of the National Resources Defense Council.  In April, a series of programs featuring the work of an amazing team of artists, authors, cinematographer, and humanitarians comes to KANEKO.  And in May, KANEKO founder Jun Kaneko shares new and exciting designs for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.

KANEKO’s 2011-2012 season also features ongoing and new partnerships with Omaha Fashion Week, the Big Omaha conference on innovation and entrepreneurship, the Omaha Symphony New Music Symposium, and the Great Plains Theater Conference and Design Wing.

“This gift from the Peter Kiewit Foundation is not only a great honor, this level of support makes it possible for us to offer compelling and thought-provoking programs for our visitors from Omaha and around the world. We are so pleased to have their support,” says Hal France, Executive Director, KANEKO

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