Hours: Weekdays 10-6. Weekends 11-5.


How you can


Your generous donation will help to strengthen and grow the Hot Shops as a crucial arts, culture and educational pillar of the Omaha community!

About the

Hot Shops Art Foundation

We are a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under IRC section 501(c)(3). Your contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

We provide educational opportunities and the space to explore creativity through a variety of artistic and creative processes. We encourage you to explore a different way of looking at things and provide a pool of creatives and educators that you can connect with to help develop and communicate ideas.

We provide opportunities for growth to over 90 publicly accessible working- artists in 58 studios. The public can meet resident artists, watch them work, learn about their tools and techniques and ask them questions.


To be a place where ideas, dreams and what ifs are explored, created and shared.


To be the fire that sparks a more open, creative community where everyone belongs, by increasing access to visual arts education.


  • We catalyze CREATIVITY through bravery, honesty and hard work.
  • We accelerate ACCEPTANCE through inclusivity and celebrating the individual.
  • We build TRUST by providing a safe place to share and develop ideas and creative expressions.
  • We create OPPORTUNITY by breaking down barriers, developing voice and building confidence.
  • We strive for EXCELLENCE and QUALITY in our programs and experiences to the community.


From the very beginning, Hot Shops Art Center has been the place where ideas, dreams and ‘what ifs’ are explored, created and shared. The Foundation was launched to support that mission, expand programming, and sustain the purpose of the organization into the future.

At our heart, we provide makers and artists a place and opportunity to be creative. The greatest gift you can give an artist is space to create. We want Hot Shops to be that place they can come to see how good they can be. For the public, Hot Shops lets everyone see and experience how the art is made. You can see the tools, ideas on sketchpads, scale models, mistakes and do-overs. You can feel the heat from the glass furnace, watch 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.

Looking Back and

Planning the Future

In 1999 a group of creative risk-takers were looking for a spot to co-locate. They found a building and formed the highly collaborative, supportive community of artists that is now at the Hot Shops Art Center. North Downtown looked much different at that time.  The growth has been amazing, and we are proud to be thought of as an anchor to the neighborhood. Our influence there and the impact we’ve made on the broader community are apparent.

We are excited to lay to groundwork for our next 20 years of creative impact that elevates individuals and community.

20 years and counting

Our Greatest Successes

Everyone who comes through our living museum can experience the creative process and how art is made. You can see the tools, ideas on sketchpads, scale models and do-overs. There is no question historical museums are important; cultural gems where you can bring a fifth grade class to see finished art and read plaques describing the pieces. But imagine what happens when you bring that same fifth grade class in to see the artist-at-work, to hear directly from them about their ideas, processes and tools and to have a hands-on experience. That child’s imagination expands, and they begin to think about the possibilities and opportunities for them to create new things and solve new problems.

Education and Programming

With your support of our organization and our ability to support arts-focused education – our planned activities are:



We provide classes and workshops in a variety of mediums, including: Glassblowing, Pottery, Painting, Drawing and Life Drawing, Silversmithing, Fiber Arts, Lampworking, Sewing and more.

Education Fund

Arts education is at times out of reach for schools that want to bring children in for arts education due to transportation and instruction costs. This education fund will allow us to offer hands-on workshops and transportation to as many as 500 under-resourced children.


We have two galleries to host a variety of exhibitions, performances and rehearsals. Approximately 12 special exhibitions are displayed in the galleries throughout the year and the entire building is always filled with both finished art work and art work in progress. Three exhibitions a year are dedicated to metro area high school students.

Creation Station

Materials and instructions are provided to visitors that allow them to drop in and create something of their own.

Partnerships and Resources

We are a resource for other nonprofit organizations. We partner with chamber and tourism organizations with economic development and attraction efforts. We also partner with other arts organizations on a variety of activities and educational needs, and are a resource for artists in those organizations needing access to tools that the Hot Shops specializes in.

Community Studio

Studio space is provided to public members to create their own work in. This shared space is used by students, painters, podcasters, teachers and more to create in a collaborative environment.

Hot Shops Art Foundation

Board of Directors

  • BJ Reed President
  • Retired, Senior Vice Chancellor, University of Nebraska – Omaha
  • Bill Kenedy – Treasurer
    Forensic Accountant, Lutz
  • Michael C. Pallesen Secretary
    Partner, Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P.
  • Tim Barry
    Co-founder, Hot Shops Art Center
  • Doug Bisson 
    Community Planning and Urban Design Lead, HDR
  • Anne Branigan
    SVP Member/Business Development, Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Rowena Cage
    CEO/Owner/Creative Director, Queerarchy
  • Jason Fischer
    Owner, Creative Leader, Surreal Media Lab
  • Teresa Gleason
    President and CEO, Polecat Communications
  • Kim Sellmeyer 
    Executive Director, Hot Shops Art Foundation
  • Robb Steffes
    Project Executive, Kiewit Building Group, Inc. 
  • Frederick M. (Ted) Stilwill
    Retired educator and education administrator, former CEO of the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties 
  • Tammy Williams
    Managing Director, Brand Promotion, Creative and Advertising, FNBO

Annual Reports