Voices Creating Change
Voices Creating Change is a semi-annual collaborative event in which Omaha Children's Choir gives voice to the issues of our time. We use music as a tool to inspire social change in our community; a tool that can open our eyes to other cultures, open our emotions to different perspectives, break down social barriers, and unite people of all backgrounds. We use the power of people, art, and collaboration to tell the stories of organizations doing life-changing work. Omaha Children's Choir donates 100% of our Voices Creating Change proceeds to a chosen nonprofit organization doing important work in our community.
At the inaugural Voices Creating Change concert in March 2017, Omaha Children's Choir collaborated with Magdalene Omaha to educate the community about human trafficking. Through generous donations, we raised $2,087 to support Magdalene Omaha in assisting survivors of human trafficking. An additional donor matched our total dollar for dollar, bringing the total to $4,087. What an amazing feat!
Applications and nominations for our Spring 2018 Voices Creating Change performance are now open! The deadline for nominations and applications is December 15, 2017. Please review the eligibility and requirement section below before filling out an application or nomination form.
If you have questions about eligibility, please contact Samuel Bertino, Director of Operations and Community Engagement.
Beneficiary Eligibility and Requirements
Please note the beneficiary eligibility and requirements for collaboration before completing the application or nomination form.
- Size of the organization: The Omaha Children's Choir wants the amount of funds raised to make an impact on the beneficiary. In general, working with smaller organizations whose operating budgets are smaller than $1,000,000 a year is ideal for this collaborative partnership. However, we do need the organization to have capacity to meet our collaborative needs (see “Requirements for Collaboration” below.)
- Nondiscriminatory: If there is a religious connection, it must be interfaith. Accessibility and inclusion are key parts of the OCC mission, so all events and missions of the partner organization must be accommodating to all people.
- Marketability: To ensure the growth and support of both organizations in the partnership, extensive marketing must be done to advertise the event. How do we sell the idea of Voices Creating Change and the work of the concert beneficiary to those who are not “in the know?” Can we tell a powerful story in 60-90 minutes? Can we articulate to others the importance of what this group is doing?
- Musicality: Omaha Children’s Choir strives to put together a concert that is interesting, diverse, and accessible. Is there a global or cultural connection between the organization's work and the music the choir will perform? Does the music selected lend itself to a concert of 60-90 minutes? Are there guests we can invite that help tell this story?
- Location: While the non-profit does not need to be local, there must be a local connection. Are there supporters in the Omaha metro area or is there a way to connect with our community? Also, if it’s not a local organization, it needs to provide a service that is unique to the Omaha metro. For example, we would not choose to support a food shelf in Ohio, as there are food shelves here that could use our assistance.
Requirements for Collaboration:
We do our best to not add a significant amount of work to your already-full plates in order to put on this event. However, in order to be successful and collaborative in our efforts, we do require the chosen organization to contribute to the planning and execution of the event in the following ways:
- Attend 3-4 planning meetings to discuss the community engagement event and collaborative concert in the months leading up to the concert. Meetings begin in July for the fall VCC series and in December for the spring VCC series.
- Staff person(s) from the chosen beneficiary must attend a choir rehearsal to greet the choir and give a brief introduction about the work of the organization. We want to build excitement, momentum, and connections between the children in our choirs and the beneficiary organization before VCC begins. Rehearsals for VCC begin in early September for the fall series and early January for the spring.
- Host an open house event or tour at the beneficiary organization to help the children in OCC see the work that goes on. Of course, this is not always practical due to the location or specific mission of the organization, so this portion may be waived on a case by case basis.
- Organize a meeting between the Omaha Children's Choir Managing Artistic Director and/or other staff to visit with your Board of Directors to create a plan of action for promoting the event and calling upon donors of both organizations to attend and give generously.
- Advertise for all Voices Creating Change events connected to your organization. The collaborative concert is stable of each VCC series and typically generates the majority of funds donated. An additional community event of the beneficiary's choosing will also need to be developed and promoted; the community event should reflect some of the work the beneficiary does and be educational.
- Provide all necessary materials for the Director of Marketing and Development and Director of Operations and Community Engagement to create marketing materials for the events. In preparing for the concerts, we may ask you for photos or videos to be shared during the concert or about community connections your organization holds that could be utilized to further enhance the events. The specific needs are determined by the Artistic Director as the concert comes together.
- All contributing staff members must be available and in attendance during the concert weekend as appropriate. To drive home the message and mission of the chosen beneficiary, attendance at all VCC events is crucial.
- Ensure that one staff member will be available to serve on the committee for selecting the next season's Voices Creating Change beneficiary.
Please Note: Requirements for Collaboration will be provided to the selected beneficiary upon selection.
Fall 2017 Voices Creating Change
The Omaha Children's Choir partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands for the Fall 2017 Voices Creating Change Concert. Omaha Children's Choir raised $644 to help further the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands.
With a mission similar to our own, Big Brothers Big Sisters works to "[provide] children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever."