Established in 1998 by Jun Kaneko and Ree Schonlau, KANEKO is headquartered in three turn-of-the-century warehouses in the Old Market District of Omaha, Nebraska. KANEKO’s mission is to encourage and explore creativity through exhibitions, performances, lectures, and education. Collaboration and innovation are the principles that guide all of KANEKO’s programming.

The roots of KANEKO began to take hold in 1982, when Jun first visited Omaha to work at the Alternative Worksite - now the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Omaha’s positive spirit, large workspace opportunities, and innovative-thinking appealed to him. He felt a deep connection to the people of the city, and was drawn to the urban warehouse district.

In 1986, Jun moved to Omaha spent the next twelve years acquiring a string of old concrete warehouses along Jones Street in the Old Market. He wondered how he might use the warehouses to give something back to the people of Omaha, since they had so warmly welcomed him into their community.

Jun imagined a non-profit institution with programming to draw together all types of creative spirits – artists, philosophers, scientists, and educators. After developing his concept with Ree, the two created a non-profit foundation dedicated to fostering the creativity they believe to be at the heart of all groundbreaking innovation. Jun and Ree opened KANEKO as a gift to the community, a space that both explores and encourages creativity.

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