Omaha Creative Institute brings entrepreneurship-focused artist education program; Live Minds, Max Fischer collaboration releases debut album; The Wildwoods’s touching, rustic new video

Omaha Creative Institute brings entrepreneurship-focused artist education program 

To aid working artists with the businesses side of creation, Omaha Creative Institute and the Mid-America Arts Alliance have forged a partnership to bring an art entrepreneurship program to the city.

Artist Inc returns to Omaha for a third year this fall. The nationally-recognized program caters to artists of all disciplines, teaching business skills to help spur a successful arts career.

We believe that Artist INC fills a gap in professional development training for artists of all stripes in Omaha,” says OCI’s Mary Talen.

Participants in the program, which starts in September, meet every Tuesday for eight weeks as sessions cover arts planning, marketing, finance and other professional skills through small group discussion, presentation and group activity. Artist INC participants — limited to 25 — are selected through an application process reviewed by community arts leaders and artists.

Talen says the program is especially valuable in that it provides an opportunity to learn from and network with other professional artists, allowing participants to develop last relationships.

“The networking piece of the program is especially valuable and unique, beyond the skill development and knowledge, as participants connect in their small groups on an extremely personal level about their professional lives,” Talen says. “This type of connection strengthens the sense of community amongst creatives in Omaha.”

OCI hosts the first of two free information sessions tonight at 6 p.m. at its 1516 Cuming St location. The second is Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m.

Need to know:

Applications for the Artist INC program are open through June 17, and can be found here. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and live within an 80 mile radius of downtown Omaha. Students are ineligible to apply.

If you are selected to participate in Artist INC Live, there is a $150 fee. Even with the participant fee, the program is heavily subsidized. As a result, selected participants must be available to meet each Tuesday barring illness or emergency.

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Live Minds, Max Fischer collaboration releases debut album

Today is release day for BigChill, the Omaha hip-hop collaboration between emcee Max Fischer and Live Minds Affinity producer Andy Boonstra. It’s the group’s debut self-titled LP, recorded in Omaha and mixed and mastered by Rick Carson at Make Believe Studios.

BigChill is a strong, incisive entry into the Omaha hip-hop narrative. A team effort in many ways, the album features Boonsta’s slick, throwback production, (now Syracuse, New York resident) Max Fischer’s ever-aggressive lyrical onslaught and DJ stylings from Kethro and Dojorok.

Last month, we premiered the video for the album’s second track, “All Up In Your Cuts,” a prime example of the verbal destruction levied by Fischer throughout the album and a taste of Boonstra’s production chops. Watch it here.

Hear the album below, and download via iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud.

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The Wildwoods’s touching, rustic new video

Lincoln folk group The Wildwoods have shared the video for yet-unreleased song “My Friend.” Recorded by Sam Morris at Circle M Studios and shot by Brent Maze in an abandoned opera house in Friend, Nebraska, the heartened melodies and rustic video make a charming pair.

The Wildwoods released its sophomore full-length album Take A Chance in February. “My Friend” does not appear on that album, but nestles snuggly into the group’s gentle folk catalogue.

Watch the video below:

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HN’s Markley on KZUM’s Community Matters

Your columnist hasn’t been the only one on the radio as of late.

Hear Nebraska programming manager Aaron Markley joined radio talk show host Nick Hernandez on his weekly program, Community Matters. The show, which airs Monday mornings at 11:30 a.m. on 89.3 FM in Lincoln and online, focuses on improving community livelihood through leadership and community building.

Markley called into the May 2 show to talk to Hernandez about Hear Nebraska’s vision to make Nebraska a globally recognized cultural destination, HN’s emerging artist educational series and orchestrating the statewide Good Living Tour. Listen in below:

A friendly reminder that we host a Nebraska music show on KZUM every Monday from 8-10 p.m. Submit songs for airplay consideration via email at

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Concert Round-Up

Tonight, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real play The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St. Promise of the Real is perhaps best known as Neil Young’s most-recent backing band, accompanying the legendary songwriter for his 36th studio album The Monsanto Years and ensuing 2015 and 2016 tours. Past Nebraska shows include the “Harvest The Hope” benefit concert in Neligh, Nebraska in September 2014 and a performance at Pinnacle Bank Arena the following year.

Prior to hooking up with Young, Promise of the Real regularly opened gigs for Lukas’s father and activist songwriter Willie Nelson The band comes to Omaha on the strength of its original material. Omaha country/rock band Clarence Tilton (a Good Living Tour artist) opens the show. RSVP here.

Also tonight, Lincoln pop/rock band Sas & the Final Arrangement and Omaha experimental rock band The Cosmic Smiths play Duffy’s Tavern, 1412 O St, for Dad’s Beer Night. As always, entry is by donation. Use that money saved on cheap beer. RSVP here.

For a full listing of this week’s shows, head to our statewide calendar here. If you do not see your show or one you plan to attend, tell us in the comments, add yourself here or email us at Use that same email to send news tips, story ideas and song submissions.