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July 2011 YP Connections: Q&A







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Each month metroMAGAZINE, in cooperation with The Greater Omaha Young Professionals, polls a group of "YPs" to obtain a brief glimpse into their lives and their insights on our community. Following are the answers which were provided to this months' Q&A.

What is the role of the young professional in
the region’s creative class?


Katie Wortmann

Director of Marketing and Public Relations • OMAHA COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE

Omaha has an extremely active and creative class fueled by young professionals. I’m inspired by all the creative,  young professionals I’ve met; from graphic designers to glassblowers, entrepreneurs to actors, photographers to musicians, bloggers to arts administrators and everyone in between. Their fresh outlooks and out-of-the box thinking shape creativity. I am privileged to be director of marketing and public relations for the Omaha Community Playhouse, the largest community theatre in the country, and work closely with the area’s most talented performing artists, technicians and idea-makers. It is truly amazing to work for an organization with more than 85 years of rich history that is open to new ideas. The role of the young professional in the creative class reaches much further than crafting one’s own trade. They support the community with their creative endeavors. OCP has a fantastic young professional subscriber group called the Rising Stars, as well as a social reviewer group called the OCP Buzz Team. Young professional support is crucial to the success of OCP now and will be in years to come.



Chad Eacker

­Co-Owner/Creative Director • DELINEA DESIGN

I moved my multimedia design business to Omaha with my partner, Matt Bross, four years ago to be closer to our clients and expand where there is a wealth of arts-based non-profits. We have been churning out branding, design, websites and video production for six years and are glad to add talented young professionals to our staff.
When we moved just west of the Old Market, we discovered the area suffered from an identity crisis. I worked with the mayor, city officials, architects and enthusiastic community members to form a new neighborhood alliance, Market West,
to help the historic area continue to develop. Already evident, the local arts and culture scene is always looking for new voices and vision. The Young Professionals Arts & Culture Committee on which I serve continues to expand. I also enjoy being a film contributor for Omahype, the Will Silvey-Simons and Laura Burhenn effort that’s building a “creative class” nucleolus encompassing all that is new, different and compelling in our city.



Marjorie Maas


My professional goal: bring an audience to the arts.  Omaha’s metro area has a burgeoning scene of activity for such an ambition. I worked first on marketing the Mid-America Center on its building-opening team. Concert tours are performing art ventures, but I yearned for something a bit more on the fine art side. The Omaha Symphony was the next stop before launching my own promotions consultancy while starting a family. I brought attention and professional communications to artists and galleries and invested in our community’s creative vibrancy while working with such art organizations as Omaha Creative Institute. I love how Omaha has amazing artistic resources for youth, adults and families. I used to think the art culture here was a secret. Not anymore. We pride ourselves on what happens here creatively and I’ve now moved into the sphere of arts advocacy with running Nebraskans for the Arts. Underscoring the importance of arts education, helping people invest in their creative economies, and encouraging constituents to voice their passion when it comes to art fulfills that professional goal to its core.


Andrew Hershey


Young Professionals in the Omaha community have an important role in pushing the city to new accomplishments and helping bring the city onto the national scene.  As both an artist and one who works in the arts I’m thrilled to be part of a community that encourages and supports creative endeavors. In my own art exhibitions, most recently at Birdhouse Collectibles and upcoming this fall at the Haydon Art Center, this support has been essential to the growth of my practice.  Originally from Omaha, I left to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies, but was pleased to move back to be a part of this active and creative community led by such organizations as the Bemis Center, Film Streams, and Slowdown. At the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the support of the community is evident every day. We had an incredible turnout in late June when we dedicated the Bemis Center’s facility improvements, ones that also allow us to increase capacity to support outstanding artists with five additional studio spaces, thanks to the support of the Omaha community.

-end- metroMAGAZINE





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