The KANEKO exhibition is closed for deinstallation – The KANEKO library is open Thurs – Sun from 1pm to 5pm

CARNE y ARENA Community Conversation Partners

past event

June 9, 2022 -
September 10, 2022

Monday | Closed

Tues. - Sat. | 10 AM - 8 PM

Sunday | 10 AM - 6 PM


Open to the public


I acknowledge that attending this exhibition/event includes a risk of contracting COVID-19 and that KANEKO is in no way responsible. Masks are recommended when visiting or attending an event at KANEKO.

KANEKO and its Community Conversation Partners will hold weekly forums and discussions throughout the run of CARNE y ARENA in Omaha, which kicked off with the conversation roundtable WHY DO PEOPLE MIGRATE? A Conversatorio: A Human Rights Forum and Charla led by OLLAS & the Goldstein Center. In this “Conversatorio,” a group of expert panelists discussed their research into, and experiences of, migrant movements.

Upcoming Conversatorios:

Thursday, Aug. 4th, 6-7:30 PM

Religious Freedom, Immigration, and the Humanitarian Aid

Thursday, Sept. 1st, 6-7:30 PM

Immigration and Economic Life in Nebraska and the United States

OMAHA, Neb. (July 7, 2022) — KANEKO and its partners have allocated $100,000 for facilitating public programming and activities that will directly benefit community organizations that work in activism, education, and public policy around human rights and immigration. KANEKO’s CARNE y ARENA advisory committee, which is called the Community Conversation Partnership, will receive a portion of the allocated funding and/or identify ways the funding should be used to further the impact of CARNE y ARENA, currently open at KANEKO through Sept. 10, 2022. 

CARNE y ARENA—an Academy Award®-winning virtual reality experience— is the work of Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The immersive VR experience recounts the harrowing journey of Central American and Mexican refugees.

Virtual and live programming will be held throughout the run of CARNE y ARENA to grow key areas in the Omaha community. The programming is made possible thanks to the grant provided by KANEKO and its partners. The goal is to directly benefit organizations and individuals that can enrich and progress the community impact of CARNE y ARENA and fund the efforts of the Omaha community in as effective, equitable and impactful ways as possible.

KANEKO and its partners focused on three areas for the Community Conversation Program: education, advocacy and community activation.

Education: Create education outreach on a number of different planes through administrative approval, teacher interaction and student involvement. KANEKO is working with a number of groups outside of and in conjunction with our Community Conversation Partners to fulfill this branch of outreach.

Advocacy: Advocate for change in awareness, such as correct language to be used in media and with individuals that no person is “illegal.” KANEKO is also working to create youth advocates in the community by including young people as a central theme of the programming experiences.

Community Activation: Activate the community and spur Omaha into action. KANEKO is providing ways for this to occur daily, but there is also an emergence of a more collaborative mindset in the organizational partners.

“Community Activation is extremely important to this exhibition. Communities exist in many different aspects of our lives and at KANEKO we are building what we hope is a new form of collaborative work for Omaha,” said Amanda Kephart, Community Engagement and Public Programming Manager for KANEKO. “All of our community partners are vested in doing good works directly related to each of their respective organizations, but I think by working together in this way we have learned we can step outside of our traditional boxes. The way to be able to reach and activate a wider swath of our community is to work in a fluid, yet concerted manner. We can work together to share with Omaha art, ideas, and issues that are of mutual importance, exactly like what is being presented here at KANEKO with CARNE y ARENA.”

About the Experience

Originally presented at the 70th Festival de Cannes in 2017CARNE y ARENA (Virtually present, Physically invisible) was the first VR experience ever chosen as part of the festival’s Official Selection. Created with frequent collaborator and Academy Award®-winning cinematographer Emmanuel LubezkiCARNE y ARENA explores the human condition of refugees and immigrants during their journey.

The 20-minute solo experience is based on true accounts. Called by critics “a must-see” and “genius” and described by attendees as “life-changing” and “powerful,” CARNE y ARENA blurs lines between subject and bystander as visitors walk in a vast, sand-filled space and witness a fragment of a refugee’s personal journey.

Following its 2017 premiere, five-time Academy Award-winning director Iñárritu was presented a special Oscar® for CARNE y ARENA by the Academy “in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.”

CARNE y ARENA is produced by Legendary, Emerson Collective, and PHI Studio in collaboration with the Prada Foundation.

In addition, the following Omaha institutions are also coming together to serve as community partners for CARNE y ARENA, including Vic Gutman & Associates; UNO: Goldstein Center for Human Rights; UNO: Office of Latino/Latin American Studies; Immigrant Legal Center; UNO: Center for Afghanistan Studies; Holland Children’s Institute and the Holland Children’s Movement; Afro Omaha; International Council for Refugees and Immigrants (ICR) Elevate Omaha; Completely KIDS; Inclusive Communities; and the Rose Theater.

Virtual and live programming will be held throughout the run of CARNE y ARENA, with additional community partners presenting content and events as it relates to their exhibitions and programs.

Special Recognition

KANEKO would like to recognize our partner Vic Gutman & Associates for the crucial fundraising efforts to make this project successful. We also would like to thank The Sherwood Foundation and The Holland Foundation for making it possible for this incredible experience to come to Omaha.

COVID Contingency Plan: If we feel that there are significant health and safety concerns, we reserve the right to postpone (ideally) or cancel (unfortunately) any event. Masks are recommended when visiting or attending an event at KANEKO.




I acknowledge that attending this exhibition/event includes a risk of contracting COVID-19 and that KANEKO is in no way responsible. Masks are recommended when visiting or attending an event at KANEKO.

Related Programs

Support Kaneko