Led by Omaha Economic Development Corporation (OEDC), Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, Love Jazz Arts Center, and the City of Omaha, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town Grant was granted for the Village Square Development Plan as part of the Street of Dreams - 24th and Lake Arts District Revitalization Project. The main goal of the NEA grant is to make communities more lively and attractive through the arts, a process that they define as Creative Placemaking.
As part of the NEA Our Town Grant, the Cooper Carry Team performed a feasibility and design study for the Village Square, an urban, 3.1 acre outdoor public space with programming that celebrates the arts and other activities as a new civic destination in the Village. The Village Square design also identifies pathways to finance and sustain the construction, management, and operations of Village Square. In addition a Community Action Plan revitalization strategy was developed for a roughly 16 by 5 block area centered on 24th Street connecting Village Square to Creighton University. The revitalization strategy consists of developing a Village core around Village Square; rebirthing 24th Street as the “Street of Dreams,” increasing density; providing creative space to support the arts, artists, and artisans; incorporating market-rate housing; activating vacant blocks; growing and distributing fresh food; and creating a university village and town center adjacent to Creighton University.