Dominique Morgan to receive NAACP Freedom Fighter Award
Omaha musician Dominique Morgan, long an active member of the city’s activist and musical communities, will receive one of the highest honors for the former this fall.
The Omaha National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will honor Morgan with a 2016 Freedom Fighter award for his community work. It will be given as part of the organization’s Freedom Fund Banquet Friday, Nov. 4.
“It means the work I’ve done and that I’m doing is being validated,” Morgan tells Hear Nebraska via email. “It means my impact is real and that’s all I’ve really wanted.”
An North Omaha native, Morgan is perhaps just as well-known for his long history of social activism as for his standing within the local music community. The R&B singer/songwriter is currently the President of Queer People of Color Nebraska, Vice President of the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards and serves as board member for the Bryant Center and Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition.
“I’m a musician at heart and those things that make me a great artist — the ability to feel, care and bring attention are the same skills that make me a great advocate,” Morgan says. “I want to thank my community for embracing both sides of me.”
Morgan, who recently received his degree in Public Health, works during the day as an Adolescent Health Educator at Charles Drew Health Center, not far from the neighborhood near 25th & Ames in which he grew up. He says he honors that upbringing through his work.
“I believe that whatever helped make you who you are deserves your loyalty,” Morgan says. “The ups and downs of my life are real but North Omaha is where my foundation comes from. I owe my community my support and dedication. I know I can’t save anyone but I can empower people. I want to leave my community better than when I got there”
The Omaha NAACP has yet to respond to phone call and email requests for comment.
The Freedom Fund Banquet — the Omaha NAACP’s primary fundraising event — happens Friday, Nov. 4 at Creighton University’s Mike & Josie Harper Center, and will feature Omaha native keynote speaker Symone Sanders. The former National Press Secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Sanders has since served as an advisor to the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee and has been featured numerous national news outlets like NPR, CNN and MSNBC and profiled in the Washington Post, Essence Magazine and Black Enterprise.
Find more information on the Freedom Fund Banquet here.
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Conor Oberst announces 40th St Theater show
photo by Lauren Farris
Conor Oberst has added a rather intimate Omaha date to the his end of year tour in one of the city’s most historic locations.
The Omaha singer/songwriter will play the newly restored 40th Street Theater, 4006 1/2 Hamilton St, Thursday, Nov 3. Oberst’s only previously scheduled in-state date was a free show in Grand Island last month.
The show is part of a sparse nationwide trip that supports Oberst’s forthcoming record Ruminations, which drops October 14 on Nonesuch Records. The album was written and recorded over the course of last winter, and looks to be a bit quieter, sonically, than his prior two solo efforts. Our On The Record podcast duo attempted to forecast it here.
Tickets to the Nov. 3 show are available as of noon today, and can only be obtained with cash at Pageturners Lounge, Ground Floor Guitar and Almost Music. They are limited to two per person. Doors open at 7 p.m, capacity is 200.
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Photos of Shawn James & The Shapeshifters, Bien Fang, High Ruler at Duffy’s Tavern
HN multimedia intern Connor Lepert went to Duffy’s Tavern last night to catch Fayetteville, Ark., blues rock band Shawn James and The Shapeshifters, on tour in support of its June 17 release On The Shoulders of Giants. The album centers James’ southern roots through a gruff, howling voice and a proclivity for swampy guitars and fuzz electric slides. The Shapeshifts head to Kearney tonight to play Gillie’s Bar with J Rod’s String Band (9 p.m., RSVP here).
Lincoln’s Bien Fang and High Ruler opened the show. The former garage rock trio will play the bar’s back lot Saturday, Oct. 8 for Lincoln Calling, smack in the middle of a bill with No Thanks, Once A Pawn, Better Friend, See Through Dresses, Screaming Females and Ceremony. RSVP here and grab weekend or single-day passes here.
See Lepert’s photos below:
Shawn James & the Shapeshifters
Photos by Connor Lepert
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Tonight, Omaha hip-hop trio M34n Str33t plays its first show in six months as the nightcap for Heartland 2050’s Broadly Speaking speaker and performing arts series in downtown Omaha. Heartland 2050 connects people through regional thinking providing a roadmap for strategic and proactive efforts across the greater Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, according to its website.
Leading up to the show, attendees will walk down S 10th St starting at 6 p.m. at No More Empty Cups, 1502 S 10th through a half-mile of dance collectives, fire performers and drum groups. At 8 p.m., featured speaker Zach Mannheimer, founder of Des Moines Social Club, will speak (broadly) about making an impact in Omaha. M34n Str33t performs at 8:30 p.m.
Also tonight, Little Brazil is in action at O’Leaver’s, 1322 S Saddle Creek Rd, with Denver indie rock band Dressy Bessy and Kansas space punk duo Arc Flash. Dressy Bessy submitted another entry into its 20-year career with full-length album Kingsized, which dropped Feb. 5. RSVP to the show here.