Tags Posts tagged with "things to do"

things to do

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Photo by Megan Alexander/The Gateway
Danielle Meadows
Sokol Auditorium
Built in 1926, Sokol Auditorium is a historic staple located on South 13th Street, home to the Little Bohemia neighborhood of South Omaha. The auditorium was originally built to house the Czech community’s social activities. Today, the auditorium hosts mostly hip-hop and rock concerts and gymnastic events. The venue is made of tan bricks and large curved windows, creating a rustic and gracefully dated appearance that no other venue in Omaha can beat. Sokol hosts all-ages shows multiple times a month. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit Sokol Auditorium on Facebook.
Milk Run
A smaller, newer venue, Milk Run made its debut in 2015. The space
is located at 2578 Harney St. in the basement of a building. The location makes for one of the most intimate concert experiences Omaha has to offer. Milk Run features local and nationwide Do It Yourself (DIY) acts, meaning the artists don’t rely on paid specialists and instead do everything themselves. Genres featured here range from punk to electronic and anything in between. Those who visit Milk Run often find themselves drawn to the community vibe of the venue, bringing people together with a love for organically grown mu-sic. All concerts are all-ages, with some of the lowest ticket prices anyone can find in Omaha. For a list of upcoming events, visit Milk Run on Facebook.
Located downtown in the Saddle Creek Records complex, Slow-down is another live music venue with an emphasis on all-ages concerts. Originating in 2007, the name Slowdown is an homage to the early Omaha music scene, with band Slowdown Virginia (later becoming Cursive) as the inspiration. While waiting for music to start, audience members are welcome to play board games, a variety of arcade games or pool.The venue has a unique, open lay-out with tables and chairs available for those who would rather not be right next to the stage. However,for more adventurous concert-goers, Slowdown tends to not have a barricade which makes for a much more intimate concert experience.For a list of upcoming concerts and information on Slowdown(including its all-ages policy) http://www.theslowdown.com/.
The Waiting Room Lounge
Starting as a car dealership in the 1920’s, the building at 6212 Maple St. gradually transitioned into something much more. Before be-coming the venue it is today, this Benson location housed The Lift Ticket Lounge, hosting legendary bands such as Sound garden and Nirvana. Years went by as the building changed, finally opening as The Waiting Room in 2007 by two men with a passion for local and touring acts. They made huge improvements to the venue’s sound and lighting systems, drawing in audience members and top-tier performers like never before. The Waiting Room hosts all-ages concerts of every genre, ranging from Wiz Khalifa to Imagine Dragons. For more information and a list of events, visit www.waitingroom-lounge.com
Spielbound Board Game Café
A unique place for those under 21 to hang out is Spielbound Board Game Cafe, located at 3229 Harney
St. For only $5, patrons get a day pass to play any of Spielbound’s board games with thousands from which to choose from. Spielbound has a wide variety of locally roasted coffee drinks and pizza available for purchase to enjoy while playing. For more information, visit www.spielbound.com.
Hookah 402
Known as one of the best hookah lounges in Omaha, Hookah 402 is minutes from campus located at 312 South 72nd St. Those 18 and older are allowed into the lounge for a laid back and welcoming experience. Whether you’re a hookah pro or are interested in trying it for the first time, Hookah 402 provides those who come in with the most respected brands on the market for the best flavor in every puff. Students with an ID receive a discount on Tuesday nights. For more information, visit www.hookah402.com.

Photo by Megan Alexander/ The Gateway

Will Patterson

Incoming students that are seeking to connect with the local arts scene should be certain to make the KANEKO art gallery one of their first stops. The KANEKO,which operates closely with the University of Nebraska at Omaha on several fronts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and exploring creativity.

Until Oct. 14, the KANEKO gallery will be hosting the KINETIC exhibit. The art collection focuses on movement in art and features a variety of different artists expressing this through different mediums.
John Buck, the exhibit’s featured artist, brings his wooden sculptures to life with moving parts.These animated sculptures set the tone for the entire gallery.

Buck’s work is very intricate with small, detailed etchings being hidden on nearly all his sculptures. While his art leaves open much room for interpretation,it does clearly address certain issues—particularly social and economic injustice. Depictions of wealth, corruption and exploitation are all common among Buck’s moving statues.
“He says it doesn’t mean any-thing to him, but could definitely mean something to an onlooker,”said Hannah Randolph, a gallery attendant of the KANEKO, about Buck’s earlier, less complex woodart pieces.
While the first floor of the KANEKO is primarily occupied by Buck’s art pieces, the upper floors are currently housing projects by other artists and the University of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Biomechanics.
One of most attention-grabbing projects on the upper floor is the large flowers with stems made of PVC pipe. The flowers that are tall enough to loom over guests are also motion-activated, causing them to open and “bloom” in an audience’s presence. Lights twinkle within them creating fantasy and a magical appearance.
“They were originally made for Burning Man,” Randolph said.“So, they can pretty much withstand any environment.”
The UNO Department of Biomechanics provides the KINETIC exhibit’s hands-on section. With several different projects set up within their section, the department of biomechanics aims to educate and entertain gallery guests.
One such technology available at the department of biomechanics exhibit is virtual reality. With a couple headsets free for the public to use, the exhibit gives insight into the relation between art, science and innovation.
“People seem to really like art when they can get their hands on it,” Randolph said.
The KANEKO gallery is always changing with new and exciting exhibits rolling into the Omaha area. For students trying to navigate the expansive world of art this is a great first stop.
Admission into the KANEKO art gallery is free to the public with an option to join a paid membership for exclusive first looks at new exhibits. The hours of operation are from noon to 8p.m. on Tuesday through Friday,11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and the gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday.

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Photo by Maha Music Festival

Will Patterson

The ninth annual Maha Music Festival will once again be taking place in Aksarben Village on Aug. 19. The grassy bowl of Stinson Park will serve as the amphitheater for the festival, while local nonprofits will have stands providing alternative entertainment and activities.

General admission tickets are $55 if purchased in advance. Tickets on the day of the festival will have an increased price of$65 which will give access to the entirety of the festival’s performance and Community Village activities. The $185 VIP package was sold out at the time of publishing.

This year’s lineup for Maha Music Festival will be giving the audience a healthy mix of local emerging artists and nationally known acts.

The headlining performance will be Run the Jewels, the rap duo composed of Killer Mike and El-P. Their show will be featuring new music from their latest release,“Run the Jewels 3,” which is available for free download on their website.

Another notable act and local favorite that will be returning to their home city is The Faint. Maha will be a stop on their tour for their latest album, “Capsule: 1996-2016,”which will be looking into The Faint’s Omaha origins in addition to their future plans.

The full list of groups that will be performing can be found at the Maha Music Festival website.

A unique aspect of the festival is its non-profit nature. The event is made possible by a long list of local sponsors, one of which is the University of Nebraska at Omaha.Many of the sponsors are nonprofits that are active in the community and help bring awareness to a variety of causes. Group swill include Planned Parenthood, KANEKO, Sienna/Francis House and many others.

Given the community theme of Maha Music Festival, volunteers are a big part of what makes it all possible. Volunteers receive a general admission ticket in addition to a T-shirt to commemorate the festival.Those who are interested in volunteering can sign up on the festival’s website.

Maha Music Festival’s Community Village gives a platform to the festival sponsors.The village will have stands for local non-profits spreading awareness for various issues while also providing fun activities.

theme that will be prevalent at this year’s Maha Music Festival is suicide awareness and prevention.

More information about Maha Music Festival’s efforts to bring awareness to mental health can be found on their website and blog. Going beyond the Saturday festival,Maha keeps active in the community year-round with updates on their social media aimed at keeping the conversation going.

Those who are interested in biking to Maha Music Festival are encouraged to do so. The festival is taking place along Keystone Trail for easy access to cyclists. A valet service with bike racks will be available at the festival.

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Photo by of Pinterest

Madeline Miller

The beginning of college also marks the beginning of an unprecedented amount of unscheduled leisure time. Especially living on campus, it can be difficult for freshmen to know how to fill their time.
Every dorm needs at least one television. No one wants to setup a laptop on a TV stand and pretend they can all hear and see the movie.
Smart TVs have become relatively inexpensive, barely costing more than their non-smart counterparts. If you already have a TV that is not a smart TV, you can upgrade it simply and easily by purchasing a streaming device like a Roku or an Amazon Firestick for a one-time cost. Many smart TVs have such devices built in, and these can be much easier to use and more reliable than other brands.
Cut costs by staying on your parent’s Netflix and Hulu accounts. If this is not an option, splitting up streaming service costs between roommates is a great way to make sure everyone can watch whatever they want and no one is stuck with a huge bill for it at the end of the month.
Leave your gaming consoles at home, at least for the first semester. Having an Xbox or a Play Station around can get you into trouble if you tend to neglect homework and socializing in favor of playing video games. Wiis tend to be more social, with many games being much more fun with a full roster.
However, it is still a good idea to hold off for at least a few months until you know how well you will handle your brand-new workload with no parents around to dictate how you spend your time. Call of Duty can wait until you are sure you are going to pass all your classes.
Board games and card games, on the other hand, are almost exclusively played with others and can be a great excuse to invite people over and make friends. The friends you make freshman year often end up being the friends you will have for the rest of your college career, so make use of this time by reaching out to as many different people as possible.
Noise canceling headphones. Even though you will want to make as many friends as possible your freshman year, there will inevitably be times when you will want to be alone. Whether it is finishing a paper or just getting away from all the noise and excitement, a good pair of noise canceling headphones and
an MP3 player will make all the difference.
You will not have to splurge too much to drown out the world,just about any decent pair of headphones or earbuds will do the trick. They also help cut down on noise complaints from your roommates. Despite what you may think about your musical taste, not everyone is going to like the same tunes and not everyone is going to want to listen to music at the same time.
With just a few entertainment essentials, filling unscheduled freetime in the dorms will be much easier to manage, and you will have a place both to entertain guests and unwind after a long week.

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Stefan Snijders
Dan Vaughn stood in the beer garden of the Sydney Bar in Benson wearing a t-shirt and shorts,  Blue Ribbon in hand, casting off the adrenaline that comes with performing two live shows back to back.

“When I first started doing stand-up I thought, ‘I’ve been on stage a million times, so this should be a cake-walk,’ and then I sort of froze,” he said with a laugh.

Vaughn had performed with local ska band The Bishops, then taken a quick drive downtown to the Backline for a comic set. He returned, tired but triumphant, to chat about the comedy scene in Omaha and regionally.

Vaughn is one of several former and current students from University of Nebraska at Omaha who have forayed into stand-up comedy. Vaughn graduated in 2012 with a degree in marketing, and holds a daytime job. His involvement in the local comedy scene this past two years stems from a love of the town and a love of talking with and to people. Vaughn said there exists a great camaraderie within the local scene. It’s a competitive field, but one that is friendly in nature.

Balancing is an issue for most comics.

“It’s about time,” Vaughn said. “The hardest part for me about having a band, a comedy career, and a day job is finding time to do the everyday stuff. I don’t really like to do that stuff anyway, so it makes it sometimes even harder.”

Mollie Bartlett, a creative writing junior at UNO, who also invests time in stand-up comedy, concurs. “It’s about priorities. Homework and school is important, but a lot of times I have to choose between do-ing a show and writing a paper for a class…my paper is going to suffer,” she said with a laugh. “But comedy
is what I intend to do with my life, so it’s important.”

Bartlett, whose focus is television and comedy writing, said that after repeated encouragement from a friend, doing stand-up became a natural extension of what she intends to do for a career. Many successful comedy writers –Jerry Seinfeld, Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey, for example – spent time do-ing stand-up at some point in their careers. She and Dan Vaughn both agree that there aren’t enough fe-males involved in the local scene. Bartlett offers a unique perspective, being a female in a male-dominated field of entertainment.

“I think a lot of people judge you right away. I’ve had people come to me at an open mic, saying, ‘Oh, are you going on tonight? Girls aren’t funny,’” she said. “Or you get people who will pay attention to you because you’re a woman, because of the way you look. I’m not up there for Fashion Week; I’m up there to do comedy. It’s annoying that people are still so closed-minded about that sort of thing.”

Eastern Nebraska’s comedy scene has flourished in recent years, not just in Omaha. Dedicated clubs, such as the Funny Bone Club and the Backline in Omaha, provide excellent spaces to perform. Ben-son’s Barley Street Tavern has an open mic on Wednesdays. Duffy’s in Lincoln has hosted to a weekly comedy “workshop” for 25 years.

Don Bowen, an instructor in the school of communications at UNO, is a semi-regular attendee at Duffy’s. He’s done local comedy for seven years, and has seen the local comedy scene blossom.

“There are some really good local comics, enough that some are touring regionally. They’re going to Denver, to St. Louis and to Chicago, doing gigs there, sometimes as the feature or even headline act,”
Bowen said.

That sort of exposure helps the development of the local scene.
That said, Bowen believes that the scene could benefit from “more welcoming venues,” as he put it. Bowen said there aren’t many willing to take a risk by hosting a comedy event.

“They’re in a business to sell alcohol and food, you know,” Bowen said. “It’s easier for a venue to decide to switch to a music gig if a comedy gig isn’t bringing in people right away, because they know they can make some money off that. You can’t fault the bars, because they are in business to make money.”

Venue limitations aside, the consensus with these three is they’ll keep on doing their level best to make us laugh.

“It’s a labor of love, and it’s something that you pretty much can’t escape in this town,” Vaughn said