Joslyn Castle neighborhood celebrates creative district designation

Castle & Cathedral District highlights the historic and varied arts community
Joslyn Castle and Cathedral celebrated its cultural arts designation in style on Thursday.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The artistic generosity of the Joslyn family can be seen throughout Omaha, including the 35-room mansion known today as the Joslyn Castle, an Omaha landmark historic structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

The neighborhood that has built up around it over the past 120 years is special in its own right, which has now been officially recognized

Around the Joslyn Castle, there may be no moat, but there is art everywhere.

“We do have art everywhere, and we like to celebrate that,” Joslyn Castle executive director Amy Richardson said. “This was so important to Sarah Joslyn, that’s why they built the Jocelyn Art Museum, to have everybody get to have a point where they can be exposed to [art] and joy, and our goal here in the arts district is really just to have a place where everyone can experience a little bit of joy, come back with a little bit more information and some education that they didn’t know before, and we think we have met our goals if that happens.”

The district Amy refers to is the Castle and Cathedral Creative District, designated through the Nebraska Arts Council.

“You definitely gain the energy from your fellow artists, and you see their work, it’s inspiring,” sculptor and multi-media artist Eva Neufeld said. She has lived in the Joslyn Castle neighborhood for 30 years and said there is a rich and varied community of artists there. “It might trigger an idea for you, and plus (you share moments with) everybody, you know, it’s an enjoyable visit... it’s great.”

Even for a neighborhood with roots more than a century old, this art walk is a neighborhood welcome party of sorts, from the castle, along 40th Street to Cuming Street.

From the emerging energy inside and out of eclectic Cali Commons, to the pleine air aura in Sunderland Gallery at St. Cecilia’s Cathedral, part of the Cathedral Arts Project, and more, the district does make it seem all are welcome and wanted here.

“I think it just draws attention to our neighborhood that this is a vibrant neighborhood, this is a great place to live, it’s very nurturing,” said Golden Anvil Jewelry artist Margie Magnuson, who’s lived in the area her whole life. “I’m really excited. That it’s a new arts district and that it’s promoting the arts and the people who are artists.”

“We feel like it’s very important and it’s important to the city, too,” Richardson said. “To have the first arts district that is situated in a historic district in town, and it’s also a residential district (where) we can really celebrate the art and humanities and all the wonderful work that’s done in this neighborhood.”