North Omaha Community Art Project Under Way

Heartland Family Service (HFS) and WhyArts are giving metro residents a chance to voice their thoughts and feelings on a variety of issues this summer via a new community art project.

A series of five mural message boards is planned for five HFS locations, and those who frequent or pass by the locations will be encouraged to record their comments with chalk available at the sites. Each location will ask visitors to consider a different scenario. The message boards will be screen printed with the different prompts.

At the north office of Solomon Girls Center, WhyArts artist Mike Giron created an outdoor message board with panels and chalkboard paint. Those who pass by are encouraged to leave their thoughts about why they love North Omaha.

At Jefferson House in Fremont, the project theme is “I am happy when…”, and the message board now hangs in the lobby. Three additional boards are in the works – one for the HFS rehousing program’s Center Mall office (“Before I die…”), one for the lobby of Nebraska Family Works (“In my life I want to…”) and one for the HFS Therapeutic School in Council Bluffs (“When I find myself struggling personally or professionally…”).

“I like giving people a platform to express themselves in the public space,” Giron said. “As is also the case with our other community projects, I value being the artistic conduit for others.”

Above: Solomon Girls Center. At right: Chris Sewall, director of Jefferson House, and Mike Giron.