Collaborator, peacekeeper, risk-taker. I lead the Hot Shops Art Center, an arts organization that provides educational opportunities to explore creativity through a variety of artistic and creative processes. For the makers/artists, we give them a place and the opportunity to be creative. For the public, Hot Shops lets everyone see and experience how the art is made. You can see the tools, the ideas on sketchpads, scale models, mistakes and do-overs. You can feel the heat from the glass furnace, watch the potters bring a lump of clay to life or the sculptor pour the molten bronze.

Our greatest pride comes from putting sparks in minds of people young and old. The looks on their faces when the glass blower pulls the 2000-degree glass out of the furnace are priceless. Our values are to celebrate the individual through education, inspiration and creation, providing a place to share and develop ideas and creative expressions. One of my proudest achievements is the role I played in developing We Don’t Coast, a brand for the Omaha region. I am a graduate of the Colorado Institute of Art and Bellevue University.

The Omaha community and We Don't Coast.

Details. And saying no.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Dave Nelson. His support and kindness to others goes above and beyond.



Every soup recipe I've ever attempted to make.

How to use a Wacom Pen/Tablet and ditch your mouse.

← Load previous
I think just being alive is an accomplishment – you know what I mean? It’s super huge. And a lot of people don’t realize that because they have all this work they need to be doing and they’re not doing it and they’re feeling depressed, feeling like I can’t do anything. ‘What am I doing? I guess I’ll just do telemarketing or something.’ The thing is – just being alive at any point is a big deal. I don’t know… It’s hard to express that… it’s like do you understand this? Do you? Do you?
“The reason that I love community – and the reason I love people so much – is because all of this (the Highlander Neighborhood) has happened because of really community-focused, forward-thinking, and if we’re honest, brave early investors. It involves actual artists, artists who live across the street, artists that are from this neighborhood who have helped 75 North in this community, in this effort to revitalize that involves the City of Omaha, educators, committed parents and stakeholders.”

Cydney Franklin

“When you first start out as a creative, you think, ‘I have to be original. Everything has to be totally original.’ That’s a bogus idea to start with. The idea is – everything evolves from something else. I like to go to conferences. I like to hear other artists that are doing things that I admired because I could learn from them. I don’t want people to say, “Oh, you’re wonderful” because there is no benefit in that to me. But if I hear people talking about what they’re doing and talking about their own ideas, then that is very stimulating to me. The idea that something is totally original has always been a myth. The more you work – it’s stimulation around you; it’s what other artists do; it’s ideas that are floating in the air that just seem to land here and there. That’s what you’re really looking for and that’s what drives you forward.”
“People are confronted with problems all day long, every day. Or at least I am. Most of the time a problem you’re trying to solve has already been solved by someone else. And when somebody solves a problem, they’re typically very excited to talk about how they solved that problem and share that information. And if you’re excited to listed to them, and you’re not too far up your own butt, chances are they probably have made your life easier by solving that problem for you first. So just listen to them.”
To improve commitments, to love them more, feel great about them more, you want to love the work and be flexible with the outcome. And the best way to love the work and be flexible with the outcome is to develop connection and develop perspective. And the way towards connection and the way towards perspective was to let my damn imperfect life right into the front door and ask it to walk me up and to the right. Imperfection creates connection and perspective, creates love of work and flexibility of outcome.

Karen Borchert