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Riverside Chats

Empowerment vs. Gentrification and Petfest 2023 with BFF's Annie Butler and Zach Schmieder

Promotion image for the 2023 Petfest music festival. Stylized orange and yellow text against a black background with the names of musical acts performing at the event.
BFF Omaha
Petfest is an annual music festival fundraiser held by BFF at the Petshop Gallery in Benson. This year's event is Aug. 19.

BFF Omaha, formerly known as Benson First Friday, is a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to build community through art engagement. BFF started in June 2012, and was named the first official Creative District in Nebraska in 2022.

Petfest is an annual summer music festival in Benson, held by BFF to raise funds for the organization and to showcase independent musicians from Omaha and around the country.

Annie Butler is Petfest’s production manager and the advocacy chair of BFF. Zach Schmieder founded Petfest in 2017.

Courtney is back in her hometown after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2019 with degrees in journalism and film. While at KU, she was the arts and culture editor of the University Daily Kansan and had a summer internship at KCUR, Kansas City's NPR member station. She has three pet rats and has seen almost every Audrey Hepburn movie.
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