About South Omaha Arts
The South Omaha Arts Institute (SOAI) is a 501 C3 dedicated to the cultural preservation, educational outreach, and augmentation of the Arts and has been serving the community since 1990.
Estrellitas de Omaha formed…
In 1990, the group Estrellitas de Omaha, was formed by Dr. James Ramirez and Rosemary Flores to offer students the Mexican, folk teachings of Mariachi music. The group would form its own 501 C3 non-profit organization to do what so many other cities in the Southwest were already doing—teaching the Mariachi genre to youth. The program would go on to offer South Omaha students the opportunity to study Mexican traditional music and to preserve and share its cultural art form with the community through performances and classes.
2000 Estrellitas continues…
Teachings were available for all youth from the ages of five years old to eighteen years old. Mariachi Las Estrellitas de Omaha practiced weekly during the school season and performed for numerous public celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic Heritage Month, Festivals and many other events. The group also attended National Mariachi Workshops with some of the greatest maestros from world famous groups such as: Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Cobre.
With such a high demand for the arts—Latino groups such as Sabor and Mariachi Luna y Sol were doing consistent tours in the public schools and special events throughout the Midwest. SOAI also implemented the arts into the schools to form a number of unique after-school programs. At Spring Lake Magnet School, weekly classes were implemented all year long in Latin dance. At Catlin School mariachi lesson were given to assist mariachi program. In 2009 the organization assisted and ran programs in seven schools.
The institute now focuses on advanced level students for professional development in his/her field in the arts along with assisting youth in recording, video production, photography and archiving historical arts photos from the early 1900s to the present in the South Omaha musical scene to maintain and preserve its history.