We Need the Arts, and the Arts Need You

Our community’s annual online giving season is here. This year is different. 

May 7, 2020

The following was originally published in conjunction with Omaha Gives! in spring 2020.

May 20 is Omaha Gives! day, part of a month-long giving movement that motivates thousands of people to donate to all kinds of local organizations. It’s a beautiful thing and one of our favorite times of the year. 

As you know, we’re in the middle of a critical time where even small donations to human services can be actual life savers. Still, we can’t forget that as humans, many turn to the arts for comfort in times of crisis. Music, literature, visual arts, theater, culinary arts, and film are all part of what soothes us right now — last month’s collective obsession with Tiger King included!

Maha provides a stage to celebrate this art, but what we’re aiming for is even bigger than that. In the last few years, you saw the festival grow from one day to four, with countless new experiences added. We do this because we have a vision built on supporting this great creative community, with the ultimate goal of advancing Omaha’s reputation on a national level. Working together, Maha can evolve beyond an annual attraction into a creative movement synonymous with our city. Look at, for example, the city of Austin’s growing prominence as a sought-after destination to live, work, and visit since the first South by Southwest in 1987. 

It’s hard right now to go beyond the present and think about festivals. But we know for sure that once we get through this most critical period, we will all need the Omaha arts community to be here — not just existing, but thriving — so it can continue to be a major source of inspiration, healing, and togetherness. As we rework programming to fit within a post-coronavirus society, we feel stronger than ever that we can’t give up on our mission and we can’t stop providing that stage.

We had to cancel Maha Festival this year, and so goes with it a lot of our budget. Your donation in any amount helps Maha continue on.

Update: Our donation platform has moved from Omaha Gives! to SHARE Omaha.



Other Ways to Support 

If you can’t donate, you can:

  • Buy tickets to events when we’re able to again, once it’s safe. In addition to Maha Festival, there will be many local concerts, plays, musicals, art shows, craft fairs, food events, and others that will be so happy to welcome every attendee.
  • Follow Maha and other arts organizations on social media. Like their posts. Sign up for email lists. Keep in touch and stay aware, so that you can take action in the future. Omaha Girls Rock, BFF Omaha, Amplify Arts, and Omaha Lit Fest are just a few to start with.   
  • Support artists directly by buying something from them. There would be no Maha Festival without musicians, a job that’s already not easy to have but that this crisis has threatened even more. Check out Maha’s Omaha Artist Spotlight series to discover some new music. 

Thank you for listening. Stay strong, Omaha!

Lauren, Emily, Rachel, and the whole Maha crew