OMAHA, NE (September 7, 2023) – Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) has announced that the newest addition to its downtown campus will be named the Tenaska Center for Arts Engagement in recognition of a principal gift from Tenaska, a leading U.S. company with business operations across the energy value chain.
“We are thrilled to name the Tenaska Center for Arts Engagement after an Omaha-founded and based leading company – one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S.,” stated Joan Squires, President of O-pa. “This generous commitment, together with gifts from other donors, will support our newest venue, serving O-pa’s mission and broadening our ability to reach thousands of students and participants through performing arts education and engagement programs for the community.”
The Tenaska Center for Arts Engagement will offer additional rehearsal, workshop and classroom spaces to accommodate O-pa’s expanding education and community engagement programs, which already serve more than 100,000 students, teachers and community members each year. A large event venue will also be part of this new center. Project plans were developed when O-pa determined it was out of space for these activities and after interviews with local organizations and community leaders, as well as research about similar venues around the country.
Site preparation has begun for the new $108 million facility east of the Holland Center at 12th Street between Dodge and Douglas Streets. The official groundbreaking is set for Oct. 11, 2023, with an estimated opening in the Spring of 2026.
“Tenaska’s roots will always run deep in Omaha,” said Howard Hawks, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Tenaska. “We specifically searched for a project that would be enjoyed by anyone and everyone; would draw people together; and would tangibly demonstrate Tenaska’s pride and loyalty to our larger Omaha community. We are thrilled to partner with O-pa on this project, and we firmly believe O-pa’s goal of increasing space to expand quality arts, education and engagement programs is a perfect fit. Tenaska’s executive team, Rhonda and I cannot adequately express our thanks – or the pride we feel – for Tenaska employees who have proven to be generous in their contributions of time, talent and treasure to worthy causes in Omaha and across the country. The partnership with O-pa will be a visible reminder of Tenaska’s dedication to the community.”
In addition to enhancing arts education options in the region, the Tenaska Center for Arts Engagement will complete the O-pa campus that is centered around the Holland Performing Arts Center and includes Steelhouse Omaha (opened in May 2023). The three venues are designed by Ennead Architects, original designers of the Holland Center, along with Holland Basham Architects of Omaha (Steelhouse Omaha and the Tenaska Center for Arts Engagement). Additional project partners include Fisher Dachs, Threshold Acoustics, Kiewit Building Group and TRI Project Solutions.
“On behalf of the O-pa Board of Directors, we are honored to recognize Tenaska’s generous commitment to performing arts education and the young people of our community,” said Jack Koraleski, Chair of the O-pa Board of Directors. “Tenaska understands the impact of these programs and recognizes the value this serves in further activating other philanthropic investments in downtown Omaha and enhancing the Heartland’s quality of life.”
Omaha Performing Arts welcomes more than 550,000 people to the Holland Performing Arts Center and Orpheum Theater each year, along with the recently opened Steelhouse Omaha that will bring even more people downtown for concerts, comedians, community events and more. The organization’s current estimated annual economic impact on the region is $61 million.
Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) is steward of three landmark venues – the Orpheum Theater, Holland Performing Arts Center, and Steelhouse Omaha. O-pa presents a wide spectrum of performing arts and entertainment, including Broadway, jazz, dance, comedy, family, popular entertainment, and live music. With a commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, O-pa serves a growing audience in Omaha and the region through a broad range of education and engagement opportunities. As Nebraska’s largest arts institution, O-pa is recognized as a leader both locally and nationally. For more information, visit o-pa.org.
Consistently ranked among Forbes List of America’s Largest Private Companies, Tenaska is a leading energy company with business operations across the energy value chain. Tenaska Marketing Ventures (TMV) and Tenaska Power Services Co. (TPS) are among the largest natural gas and electric power marketing companies in North America. The Company has an operating fleet of 7,500 megawatts (MW) of natural gas and renewable generating facilities and throughout its history has developed, managed and/or operated approximately 22,000 MW of natural gas-fueled and renewables generation. Tenaska’s development services portfolio includes more than 23,000 MW of solar, wind, energy storage and 10 carbon sequestration projects, capable of storing 50 million tons of CO2 per year. For more information, visit tenaska.com.