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Love’s Jazz & Arts Center sees changes in future

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 3:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The City of Omaha will not renew the lease on a north Omaha jazz and arts center that was a major part of the north 24th Street corridor.

The Love’s Jazz & Arts Center has been operating for about 15 years. But city leaders and Love family members say the doors will re-open again.

Omaha-born Preston Love Sr. played the saxophone, wrote songs, and was a bandleader -- he worked with some of the greats including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

The city named a street in his honor, a jazz and arts center bearing his name sits on that street.

Omaha has notified the center’s board of directors of the decision not to renew the $1 a year lease, citing recent violations of the lease agreement that called for the location to be used as a jazz, cultural arts, humanities museum, and performing arts complex.

Now the center is closed but officials say, it’s just to restart and re-open and take the center in a different direction.

Part of the center’s restart includes for the first time getting a family member involved.

“I will actively be involved in the next chapter of the Love’s Center and looking forward to it. Right now, I’ve had very preliminary conversions with the city but we have agreed to have a serious conversation about my involvement in the new Love’s Center,” said Preston Love Jr.

Love said he already has some ideas on how to move the center forward.

“More programs for youth to instruct in music and in arts. That’s really part of the plan and to make it a cultural center with some dotted lines towards our history -- that’s what the Love’s Center should be,” he said.

Love said getting children involved in music is something his father would have enjoyed.

City officials say one first big step to reopening will be to hire someone to operate the center.

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