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Open Coffee with Amy Ryan

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No More Empty Cups

1502 South 10th Street

#100

Omaha, NE 68108

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Open Coffees are a gathering for Change Makers of all types and serve as an opportunity to meet some of Omaha's most impacting and influential people. Each week we invite a special guest to join us for a Facebook Live session to share tunity! For those unable to attend, follow the Open Coffee Omaha Facebook page 8am every Tuesday morning to catch the live broadcast and post your questions for the guest under the live stream!
June 2nd join us for Open Coffee with Amy Ryan! She has been a part of the Benson community for over 21 years. Born and raised in north Omaha by a teacher and a small business owner, she developed an early passion for civic duty. Read more about Amy, below...

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Program Schedule
9:00 - Reception Chatter
9:20 - Fb Live Broadcast, Q&A
10:25 - Community announcements
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More about Amy:
She studied Journalism, English, and African-American studies at the University of Missouri-
Columbia and graduated with honors in 1992. After college, she volunteered for Global

Ministries for two years in urban Kansas City and served as the director of women’s programs at
the Newhouse Shelter for Domestic Violence. These experiences enhanced her compassion for
the needs of lower socioeconomic communities.

Ms. Ryan returned to Omaha to pursue her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology at UNO
and acquired The Pizza Shoppe in Benson in 1995. As the restaurant’s owner/operator, she
practiced the application of social service within an entrepreneurial setting, donating 15% of her
sales each year to those in need in Omaha. Over the years, Ms. Ryan was awarded the
Corporate Achiever's Award and SCORE's Entrepreneur of the Year. She expanded the
business to open The Pizza Shoppe Collective in 2005 and successfully hosted private events,
fundraisers, workshops, monthly art showcases, and creative performances of all art forms.

Ms. Ryan is currently working to restore Benson Theatre. Built in 1923 as a vaudeville theater,
the Benson Theatre building is currently closed to public assembly and in need of a full
renovation. The Benson Theatre will offer independent programming and serve as an alternative
stage in north Omaha for existing nonprofits, schools, and performing arts organizations.
Programming in the Benson Theatre will focus on education during the day and entertainment at
night. The Theatre will bring more diverse entertainment and vital business education than is
currently accessible to Benson and north Omaha.

The Benson Theatre has the potential to enhance collaboration among Omaha’s existing nonprofits,
schools, and performing arts organizations while improving the quality of life for Benson and north
Omaha residents. The Theatre’s prime location in downtown Benson has the potential to bring
thousands of new visitors to the Benson business district for more than 500 events annually.
Benson is a flourishing arts and entertainment district, and the timing to restore the neighborhood’s
historic theater has never been better. No organizations in Omaha currently provide both an open
platform for all art forms and business education for the community, and Benson does not currently
have a seated venue for theater and cinema presentations.

After renovations, the Benson Theatre will host an estimated assembly of 250.
The Benson Theatre nonprofit purchased the building in September 2014 and has raised $1.2 million
thus far in the capital campaign. Benson Theatre is currently raising an additional $1.1 million to fully
fund the renovation and one year of operating expenses.

As the executive director of the Benson Theatre, Ms. Ryan will continue to build strong
relationships with other performing arts organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and foundations
to advance the mission of the Benson Theatre and encourage greater community investment
and support for Benson and north Omaha.

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No More Empty Cups

1502 South 10th Street

#100

Omaha, NE 68108

View Map

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