The Holland Community Opera Fellowship works collaboratively with community partners to co-create programming that helps individuals, organizations, and communities reach their goals, serving as a creative and artistic resource to the community.

HCOF is transformational, and as a result supports the creation of an inventive, creative, empathetic and inclusive community that inspires joy, self-discovery, kinder discourse, and opportunity for all.

In today's world, the arts play a pivotal role in shaping our communities and the quality of life of our citizens. In service to the community, we are bringing opera into new environments illustrating and promoting the value of creativity in both the arts and non-arts sectors. The Holland Community Opera Fellowship is the centerpiece of Opera Omaha’s strategic vision for the future.

VALUES

Collaborative
Creative
Engaging
Expressive
Innovative
Respectful
Responsive
Transformational
Pride in Service

Learn More about Beliefs, Strategies and Outcomes

The Fellows

The Holland Community Opera Fellowship brings community-minded, entrepreneurial artists to live and work in Omaha. Fellows serve as ambassadors of the company by developing relationships with community leaders and to design and implement unique projects combining artistry and musicianship, leadership, advocacy, and citizenship.

Community Partners & Programming

We bring our artistic talents and resources to the table to partner with experts in the field who are actively working to solve the most pressing issues in our communities, like homelessness, income disparity, immigration, and segregation.

We create responsive programming that acknowledges the specific strengths of each participating individual or community partner.

Some of our projects include Masterclasses with individuals from the Ollie Webb Center, supporting the Meerkat Melodies Choir at Nelson Mandela Elementary, Creativity Workshops at the St. Joseph Tower and MICAH House, Healing Arts Concerts at the Buffet Cancer Center, supporting Gotta Be Me Heartlight Choir original productions, just to name a few.

Collaborating with HCOF creates the opportunity for the safe expressions for a full range of emotions from joy to sadness.

"Opera is just like everything we do at Gotta Be Me – you experience it, feel it, be there in all the moments to get it – to let it touch you and become part of who you are. And then to make it your own. Throughout our time together the technical skills we have learned were evident and important. However, the most meaningful things to come from our partnership have been the changes in our crew as people, humans who are becoming who they want to be."

—Tiffiny Clifton, Founder and Executive Director Be Me

Since 2018, HCOF has collaborated with Gotta Be Me on a variety of classes, workshops, and productions.

"…When you take the stories of women staying with us and combine them with an artistic medium like opera, magic can happen."

—Jaymes Sime, former Executive Director MICAH House

Since 2019 the Fellows have collaborated with MICAH House and conducted a creativity workshop for women staying in the Women’s Shelter.

21/22 Programming Partners

22/23 Programming partners coming soon

Our 2022- 2023 Fellows

Taylor Adams

Taylor Adams is a multiple award-winning scenic designer focused in creating community through art. Born and raised in Omaha, NE, they received a BFA in Theatrical Performance and Direction from Creighton University. Taylor was most recently a Teaching Artist Fellow at the Rose Theater, where they worked on the Every Single Child Program which aims to reach every child in the Omaha Metro with some form of arts programming. While at The Rose, Taylor led a metro touring production of Silver Cash, directed a gender queer'ed high school production of All Shook Up at the Young Playwrights Festival, and was a lead instructor for Alternative Curriculum Programming for those with disabilities and exceptionalities. They recently assistant directed The Sound of Music at the Rose Theater and will direct Popularity Coach in October 2022. As a passionate artist that strives to make space for all within their art, Taylor is thrilled to serve as a Fellow, bringing programming to the communities they serve and hopes to expand the elements of opera, classical music, and their love of puppetry to more young people in our community.

Fernando Antonio Montejano

Fernando Antonio Montejano is a Mexican American writer, author, storyteller, and poet, in addition to being a public speaker, event host, and radio personality. Fernando has been reading, writing, and performing all over Omaha since graduating high school in 2010. Beyond that, Fernando has used his love of music, film, television, cartoons, visual art, classical music, opera, theater, and the celestial bodies themselves to propel himself into the pantheon of passionate artists, healing wounds through their art. Now a 3rd year fellow, Fernando is thrilled to continue connecting art and its many transformative properties to the communities he gets to work with through the Holland Community Opera Fellowship. Hoping to not only instill within others the way art has helped him overcome his own struggles with mental illness, but also to be a reminder to other artists of color that the art world is waiting for them, should they choose it.
Fernando can be heard on KVNO Classical 90.7, as the voice of Saturday mornings from 9 to Noon. He has the honor of writing and presenting the prelude talks for each of Opera Omaha’s season productions, as well as being the host of their outdoor concert series, Opera To-Go. Fernando is also a member of The Nebraska Arts Councils Artists Roster, on the Benson Theater programming board for Spoken Word, and a dog lover.

Charisa Ramsey

Charisa Ramsey is a teaching artist, actor, director, and playwright. She studied Theatre Performance at the University of Nebraska - Kearney and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Theatre Pedagogy at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Charisa has a background working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health, and substance abuse struggles, and is a proponent for making theatre inclusive and accessible for all. She is a member of the Angels Theatre Playwrighting Collective and has had several of her short plays selected for performance at the annual First Flight Festival in Lincoln, NE. In 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 she was selected as a Directing Fellow at the Omaha Community Playhouse serving as both an Assistant Director for a mainstage production and Director for a production in their Alternative Programming series. Some favorite productions include assistant directing Annie at Omaha Community Playhouse, as well as directing Dead Bird Play at Omaha Community Playhouse, Greetings! At Beatrice Community Players, and The Wave at The Angels Theatre Company.

Jaime Marie Webb

Coloratura soprano, Jaime Marie Webb, is a second-year Holland Community Opera Fellow. Recently, Webb premiered seven new works for Opera Omaha’s Poetry & Music Project and performed as a soloist in the Opera To-Go series. In 2022, Webb made her company debut with Charlottesville Opera as an Ader Emerging Artist featured in The Merry Widow and The Sound of Music. During the 2021-2022 season, Webb sang Musetta with Opera at Florham in their production of La Vie de Bohème and sang Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán under the baton of Maestro Jorge Parodi. Webb graduated with her Masters in Vocal Performance from the University of Georgia Opera Theater where she was the Resident Artist Soprano and a recipient of the Dr. Carl and Patricia S. Hoveland Fellowship in Opera. Webb performed Norina in Don Pasquale under the baton of Maestro Hilary Griffiths, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia under the direction of Nic Muni. Webb currently studies with internationally renowned artist Julia Faulkner, Director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. Additional operatic credits include Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in Die lustige Witwe, Casilda in The Gondoliers, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. An avid concert performer, Webb partnered with the Lied Center for Performing Arts to make her debut in a tribute concert for Justice Ginsburg, performing the works of composers Patrice Michaels, Lori Laitman, Stacy Garrop, and Vivian Fung. In Spring 2022, Webb premiered the five movement Chorus of Psalms by Dave Gardner, composer-in-residence, with the Omaha Symphonic Chorus.

Community Panel

The panel represents a cross-section of the community including organizations, businesses, neighborhoods, and community groups. Those serving on the Community Panel develop a partnership with Opera Omaha to engage in meaningful conversations to identify community issues and program development and potential partners and opportunities across different neighborhoods and sectors. The panel considers high level strategic decisions and priorities, helping set the direction of the Fellowship and is a critical part of the Fellow selection process, With the panel, residents from neighborhoods across the greater Omaha metro area have a voice in choosing who and how artists interact with their diverse districts and constituent groups.

2021-2022 Community Panel

Camtrice Bexten, NU Foundation
Tiffiny Clifton, Gotta Be Me
Colleen Heavican Cass, UNMC Nebraska Medicine Healing Arts
Rachel Morgan, Nebraska Arts Council
Rita Paskowitz, Storyteller
Graciela Sharif, UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute
Paula Wallace, Artist/Hot Shops
Cammy Watkins, Inclusive Communities
Roberta Wilhelm, Girls, Inc.
Gwyn Williams, Independent Leadership Coach
Nancy Williams, No More Empty Pots

Fellowship Alumni

Jared Hiscock

2019-2022
Nicholas Davis

2020-2021
Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor

2019-2021
Kate Pomrenke

2018-2020
Jessica Johnson Brock

2017-2019
Chabrelle Williams

2017-2019

Holland Community Opera Fellowship Sponsors