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"Live & Local"

billymcguiganTOGETHER is Billy McGuigan’s 16 track original album, written, recorded and played by Billy during lockdown, 2020. The live performance features Billy with a band of brothers and friends.

Billy spent some time with Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” feature to discuss how the album came to be, what he looks forward to while performing it live for the first time (April 10th), and how we all can heal after the lockdown.

More information can be found at https://www.billymcguigan.com/schedule.

Julie Kalkowski, Executive Director of Creighton’s Financial Hope Collaborative, received a phishing scam email claiming her “stimulus cancellation request was approved” and she had just hours to reverse that process. 

Julie reported the email to the Better Business Bureau and contacted Mike Hogan to chat on “Live & Local” about scams like this one, how to keep from being a victim, and “the Dos and Don’ts” one should take when confronted with this type of situation.

More information about the Financial Hope Collaborative can be found at https://business.creighton.edu/community-connection/financial-hope-collaborative

Bellevue, NE has been recently been designated as an official “Bee City USA,” which means it has a plan and is committed to creating and enhancing pollinator habitats on public and private land.  Bees are a big deal in terms of the overall ecosystem and they’ve been threatened lately.  Notably, with this designation Bellevue becomes the first city in Nebraska to achieve the Bee City USA designation for its work.  To give some context, there are about 133 Bee City USAs across the country.

Tyler Moore is a biology professor at Bellevue University and he joined Mike Hogan for a two-part “Live & Local” chat about bees, their short and long term impacts on the environment, and how small steps made by each of us can help these important pollinators thrive in our communities.

For more information, go to the website https://beecityusa.org/.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how fragile our local food systems are:
food supply chains were interrupted, jobs were lost, and families lined up for blocks around local pantries to receive food.  The Big Garden was able to help by growing roughly 15,000 pounds of nutrient-dense garden-fresh produce to distribute through local food pantries & food distribution programs.

This year, they are doubling the internship program so that they can grow even more food.
Donations will help them to strengthen local food systems by building more gardens,
teaching more school garden classes, planting more orchards, and growing more food for and with neighbors in need.

Cami Cavanaugh Rawlings is the Development Manager for The Big Garden.  In this two-part “Live & Local” interview with Mike Hogan, Cami details how the organization grows food and distributes this food the hungry families. 

For more information or to help them grow more food for the community, one can go to https://biggarden.org/

KANEKO is hosting the 2021 Creative Camps this summer and they have expanded the age range of welcome campers!  They have also announced that the camp has moved to a 100% donation-based model to make Creative camps available to all learners in the community regardless of their financial ability.

Katherine Scarpello, Education Manager at KANEKO, chatted with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” to discuss the new financial terms, the additional grade levels that are welcome, and how one can get their children in this safe and socially distanced, creative summer camp.

Camps are held Monday - Friday 9 AM-4 PM, lunch and snacks are provided and camp t-shirts will also be provided for each camper.  More information is available at https://thekaneko.org/creative-camps/

Arbor Day Farm is 260 acres of natural beauty and outdoor exploration in Nebraska City, Nebraska. This National Historic Landmark—and the birthplace of Arbor Day, the tree planter’s holiday—is packed with fun and adventure for the whole family.  Krystl Knabe is the Event Marketing Manager and she spent a little time with Mike Hogan talking about all the activities at the farm as well as the Radler Bike Festival.

More information can be found at https://www.arbordayfarm.org/

After his 2017 performance to a sold-out Omaha audience, nationally renowned cellist Joshua Roman returns to the Holland Performing Arts Center stage – once again under the baton of Maestro Thomas Wilkins, the two join the Omaha Symphony to perform Saint-Saëns’ groundbreaking Concerto No. 1 in A minor for Cello and Orchestra.  The performances March 26 and 27 are Omaha’s chance not only to see one of the beloved Maestro’s final performances as Music Director of the Omaha Symphony, but also to see one of the United States’ greatest soloists in action.

In this two-part interview, Joshua shares some insights into his approach to music, fond memories of Maestro Wilkins, and much more with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local.”

For information or tickets to this socially distanced Holland Center performance, go to https://www.omahasymphony.org/concerts/wilkins-roman

Urban League Nebraska is building a resilient North Omaha through strategic partnerships, generous giving, and community engagement that helps clients navigate their challenges and negotiate solutions.

Their vision is to lead Nebraska in helping people achieve social equality, economic independence and personal growth. 

President and CEO, Thomas Warren, spent some time chatting with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” about the Tech Boot Camp, an accelerated program that provides AIM Code School’s accredited Foundations of Web Development curriculum paired with the Urban League’s professional bootcamp and career-readiness skills training. 

For more information, or to sign up for an opportunity to become “career ready” go to https://urbanleagueneb.org/jobs/career-boot-camps/

The Omaha Community Playhouse has opened a new production called Fully Committed. The show, held in the Howard Drew Theatre at OCP, stars Josh Peyton.  This comedic tour de force has Josh portraying 40 larger-than-life characters!

Josh took a little time out of “talking to himself” to chat with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss how he keeps all the voices in his head straight, how to approach the mechanics of the show and how excited he is to be in front of a live, socially distanced audience!

More information can be found at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that has touched the lives of all of us.  There are several fronts to battle this insidious illness: the search for a cure, improving treatments, caring for those afflicted, and caring for the caretakers.

Terry Streetman is the director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association-Nebraska Chapter.  On a daily basis, Terry is working hard to make sure Alzheimer’s issues are front and center in the minds of our government leaders.  In this two-part interview with Mike Hogan, Terry discusses how he leads the charge, tells us about progress, and what needs to happen next.

For more information on Alzheimer’s resources, one can go to the website https://www.alz.org/nebraska/about_us/staff

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem, a not-for-profit, is offering free resources online.  The Omaha STEM Ecosystem and AIM Institute announced the launch of the online STEM Community Platform. The mission of the STEM Community Platform, stemplatform.org, connects youth, parents, educators and professionals to an online hub of high-quality STEM programs, resources and events in the Greater Omaha area.   

Julie Sigmon, the director of The Omaha STEM Ecosystem, joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to discuss these free resources, the importance of STEM education, and the partnership with AIM.

As part of the Generator Series, Omaha Under the Radar presents “How are you, really?” a virtual program of films set to new, original scores exploring health in one of our most difficult years in memory.  The program features original film scores by composers from the United States, Mexico, and India.  One video looks at how mugger crocodiles and people manage to live in close proximity in Western India.  Another explores sexuality, sanity and family pressures set to film clips from a 1919 Mexican film, El Automovil Gris (The Gray Car).  Another is an original score created for a 1947 educational film teaching about hygiene and how to avoid illness. 

Curator Stacey Barelos checked in with Mike Hogan to discuss the program and the work that went into collaborating during a pandemic. 

More information on the program can be found at the website www.undertheradaromaha.com or you can view the program at

Sarah Lynn Brown has put together a non-traditional adaptation of Shakespeare’s most complex political villain, Richard III, which will be presented by an ensemble of three actors- all of whom share the title role among them. The show is called R3³ and it is at BLUEBARN Theatre right now.

Sarah took the time to chat with Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program about how she wrote the show and the great performers she directs in it.  The show can be seen live or streamed in the comfort of your own home.

More information can be found at http://bluebarn.org/

Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason.  He arranges the perfect murder.  And it's never that easy in the suspense thriller "Dial 'M' for Murder" now playing at the Bellevue Little Theatre.

Actress Laureen Pickle plays the wealthy Margot who finds herself a potential murder victim, then a suspect, and fighting for her life on death row!   Laureen spent some time with Mike Hogan on the "Live & Local" to discuss this production, having two "gorgeous" leading men in the COVID era, and the thrill of safely performing in front of a live audience again.

More information can be found at http://bellevuelittletheatre.weebly.com/

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American doctor in the United States.  She was also a reformer in the late 19th century.  She campaigned for public health and for the formal, legal allotment of land to members of the Omaha tribe. In addition, she started a hospital on the reservation in Walthill, Nebraska that needs some restoration help today.

Joe Starita is a journalism professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and he joined Mike Hogan “Live & Local” for a two-part chat about the amazing life, achievements, and work that Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte accomplished in her short life.

More information about this incredible woman, her hospital and its renovation can be found at  https://drsusancenter.org/

March is colorectal cancer awareness month.  In fact, the governor’s office finds the topic so important, the governor himself issued a proclamation officially naming March "Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month."

Joining Mike Hogan in a two-part “Live & Local” discussion is Dr. Josh Evans.  Dr. Evans specializes in gastroenterology and is involved with the Nebraska Cancer Coalition, the nonprofit organization behind the "Dress in Blue Day" and Colon Cancer Awareness efforts.  He breaks down the steps that you can take to not only detect colorectal cancer early (increasing chances of survival) but actually preventing any colorectal cancer from developing in the first place.

For more information, visit the Nebraska Colon Cancer Screening Program website, call (800) 532-2227, www.coloncancertaskforce.org or go to https://www.necancer.org/.

Emily Matis, Director of AIM Code School, joined Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to talk about the AIM Institute’s free Introduction to Technology course the nonprofit is now offering in an effort to connect people with an interest in technology to opportunities they haven’t been able pursue as a result of financial barriers. 

More information can be found at https://interfaceschool.com/workshops/?utm_medium=article&utm_source=community_calendar&utm_campaign=code_school&utm_content=intro_to_tech_class

The Last Five Years is a captivating, intimate musical that retraces the rise and fall of a five-year romantic relationship.  The story is presented in chronological order by Jamie, the man, and in reverse by Cathy, the woman, with the two versions of the story meeting only once—at their wedding in the middle. Profoundly emotional with comedic moments sprinkled throughout, The Last Five Years is beautifully heartbreaking.

Susan Baer Collins directed this production and she spent some time “Live & Local” with Mike Hogan to discuss the show, the fantastic efforts by cast and crew in this pandemic era, and what it means to mount the first musical in months in front of a live audience.

More information can be found at https://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/LastFive/

Pandemic or not, we can still count on the Girl Scouts to make sure we get our cookies!  Susan Payne, Public Relations Specialist - Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, chats with Mike Hogan about our favorite annual sweet tooth satisfaction and what the proceeds do to help the organization help the girls.

More information can be found at https://www.girlscoutsnebraska.org/

"I Be Black Girl" is a collective that creates space for Black identifying women, femmes and girls to grow, connect, give and take action. We envision a world where Black women, femmes and girls can access their full potential to authentically, be.

Founder Ashlei Spivey took the time to chat with Mike Hogan on "Live & Local" to introduce us to the work of the organization and the future goals.  More information can be found at https://www.ibeblackgirl.com/.

Five University of Nebraska―Lincoln students announced the creation of “The Civility Effect,” a communication campaign aimed at promoting civility, a topic that 93% of the public believes to be a major problem, according to a recent report from global PR firm Weber Shandwick.

Emerson Belitz is the Project Manager for the Bateman team, and Amanda Barker is the Deputy Executive Director + Director of Civic Health at Civic Nebraska.  They spent some time with Mike Hogan on “Live & Local” to discuss the project and the hoped for results in this two-part interview.

If you would like more information on the project, please go to the website  thecivilityeffect.org.

Jesse White plays Hedwig Schmidt in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  This is Billy McGuigan’s company, Rave On Productions, first show in The Omaha Series, performing a limited run at The Waiting Room in Benson.

Jesse chatted with Mike Hogan "Live & Local" about the show which is a groundbreaking show that tells the story of “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing East German rock ‘n’ roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just “an angry inch”.  Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, playing to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway.

More information can be found at https://www.billymcguigan.com/theomahaseries.

The 29th Annual Irish Fest to benefit the works of Catholic Charities takes place tonight.  Otis Sallid, Director/Choreographer, and Annette Tanner, Writer, join Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” program to discuss their work to make this fest a memorable one.

More information about Irish Fest and the work of Catholic Charities can be found at www.ccomaha.org.

This past year has been like no other in recent memory regarding the great need for help so many in our community have experienced.  The statistics are staggering.  Catholic Charities has given out nearly six times the amount of food they usually do in a single year.  They have helped twice the amount of people.  That all takes funds and they are able to raise those funds with their 29th Annual Irish Fest Gala event.

Fr. Mike Eckley joined Mike Hogan "Live & Local" to discuss the massive volume of assistance, safety, comfort, and help Catholic Charities has provided and to invite one and all to join Irish Fest this year.

Top notch talent has gotten very creative to provide an evening of fun and entertainment for the entire family.   The livestream program will be produced and directed by nationally known Choreographer, Otis Sallid, and Founder of Broadway Dreams, Annette Tanner.  Sallid and Tanner have been bringing Broadway entertainment to people across the world for decades and have strong ties to the Omaha entertainment scene.

More information can be found at https://www.ccomaha.org/irish-fest-2021

Step Up to Quality, Nebraska’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care and early childhood education providers, has reached a significant milestone: more than 500 programs across the state are participating, and have been rated.

Step Up to Quality Director, Lauri Cimino, spent some time with Mike Hogan of “Live & Local” recently to discuss the milestone and explain the multi-step program which helps improve the quality of childcare across the entire state.

If parents want information about what QRIS means for their children or if a childcare provider wants to know how to participate in the program, go to the website https://stepuptoquality.ne.gov

This month, SHARE Omaha turns two years old!  They have spent the past 730+ days connecting metro supporters throughout eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa to local causes. 

Executive Director Marjorie Maas spent a little time with KIOS-FM’s “Live & Local” host to talk about what everyone has been doing to help make this area a great place to live. 

She also discusses how as we enter 2021 with renewed energy, SHARE Omaha will continue to serve this eight-county metro region in Nebraska and southwest Iowa.  Continually expanding upon their mission of helping local nonprofits to fulfill their missions, year-round, by connecting everyday philanthropists – (that’s YOU!) -  to easy ways to do good.

For more information, go to the website https://shareomaha.org/stories/share-omaha-turns-two-years-old

The Nebraska Regional Officials Council (NROC) announces the launch of a statewide broadband mapping initiative.  Every Nebraskan is encouraged to partake in the one-minute speed test from any internet-enabled device, including cell phones.  Speed data will provide decision makers a better understanding of where internet accessibility is limited or not available, and where speeds are not meeting the needs of today’s users.

Tom Bliss, Executive Director of the Southeast Nebraska Development District, took the time to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about this important project.  During this two-part interview, Tom says the purpose of this initiative is to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.  The captured information will provide statistically sound data that can be used by communities, counties, and key stakeholders as they plan for broadband infrastructure expansion or enhancement projects.

For more information or to participate in the speed test, one can go to the websites https://www.nebraskaspeedtest.org/ or www.speedtestne.org.  Thanks for helping!

Following a two-year search process, a unanimous decision, and a much-anticipated announcement, Ankush Kumar Bahl returns to Omaha to conduct his first performance as recently named Music Director Designate of the Omaha Symphony.  The Maestro takes the podium to  lead the orchestra in a jubilant program featuring Mendelssohn’s unfettered concert overture, “The Hebrides” and Sibelius’ colorful Symphony No. 2 in D Major.

Ankush recently sat down with Mike Hogan for a two-part "Live & Local" interview about his new role, how he stayed “fresh” during the shutdowns, and gave insights into his conducting heroes.

Performances with Ankush on the podium will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13 and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 14 at the Holland Performing Arts Center Peter Kiewit Hall. 

Performances at the Holland Performing Arts Center feature physically distanced seating and will only be seated at a maximum of 30 percent capacity.  All patrons will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to accessing their mobile tickets via the Ticket Omaha app.  Masks are required at indoor Omaha Symphony performances.

For information, one can go to the website  https://www.omahasymphony.org/concerts/mendelssohn-sibelius

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, Max I. Walker has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 event.  

Due to space limitations Max I. Walker is only able to accept donations of long formal dresses and modern wedding gowns until further notice.

Steph Dorland and Casey Walker of Max I. Walker joined Mike Hogan on the “Live & Local” show to talk about the cancellation and the hope that this event will still take place sometime this year.  They have also asked that people please consider donating short or cocktail dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, and vintage or other dresses to another local charity at this time.

More information can be found at https://www.maxiwalker.com/ultra-chic-boutique/

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.  Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations.

MENTOR Nebraska, formerly Midlands Mentoring Partnership, was launched in 1999 to improve the number and quality of mentoring programs available for Nebraska’s youth.  Training and Partnership Development  Manager, Marisa Hattab, joined Mike Hogan for a two-part interview discussing the rewards of mentoring, the recruiting drive currently underway, that no one is expected to be perfect, (just engage with the kids), and her favorite part of the job.

For more information, to donate, or to get involved, one can go to the website https://www.mentornebraska.org/

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