News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

O-pa Spotlight: Anne Thorne Weaver Tribute

Posted On Feb 3, 2021, 09:41 AM by Joan Squires
Donor, Anne Thorne Weaver at the 2018 Broadway Ball

Community patroness.  Arts lover.  Consummate hostess.  Animal-lover.  Social-service supporter. Friend.

Anne Thorne Weaver was much more than a supporter of Omaha Performing Arts – she was my dear friend, and her passing on November 23, 2020, represents a significant loss for all of us.  I remember when I first met Anne almost 20 years ago.  It was easy to spot her – she attended almost everything at the Holland and Orpheum – Broadway shows, Opera Omaha, Omaha Symphony, O-pa events and more.  She was passionate about the arts – and held strong opinions about her likes and dislikes.  You didn’t need to ask – she was always forthcoming and you knew what she thought! 

Kristin Chenoweth and Anne Weaver at O-pa’s 10th Anniversary Event

Anne truly was everywhere – and loved to attend dinners and events as well as host them herself.  She planned every detail, and her parties and dinners were always great fun.  I still have the light-up ring she gave at a dinner once –  you could always count on a creative party-favor!  She also loved to host friends at her beloved Okoboji home, and I still remember her piloting her boat at top speed around the lake – it was always an adventure to ride with her!  Joining her for a weekend at the Museum of Nebraska Art benefit, Anne ensured that every meal and every moment was planned.  I am grateful to have accompanied her to more events and dinners than I can count.

Anne Weaver in the lounge during the original construction in 2009

At Omaha Performing Arts, Anne was a generous supporter and transformed the Orpheum experience with her funding of the Anne Thorne Weaver Lounge, among her many contributions.  When we first talked to her about the space and described our vision, Anne’s initial response was, “I’ll provide two bar stools.”  Well, those bar stools eventually turned into a beautiful, warm and inviting room where she loved to “hold court” before shows and at intermission – and enjoy a glass of pinot grigio that was kept especially for her.

The Weaver Lounge

She adored her pets, homes, friends, and all arts, from opera productions to the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater!  And she truly loved her family – her children and grandchildren and spoke about them as well as her ancestors often.    

Anne Weaver and Gregory Popovich 

Most of all, Anne was my friend.  I will always be grateful to her for her companionship and friendship.  Underneath it all, she cared – for the arts, for the community, for her friends.  I know many people miss her – I know I do. 

Joan Squires, O-pa President and Anne Weaver 

Weaver Lounge 
An evening at the theater is not complete without enjoying the Orpheum’s best kept secret…the Weaver Lounge. It’s a great place to hang out with friends, enjoy a beverage or two, taste some of Omaha’s finer hors d’oeuvres, and just plain relax before the show.  The Weaver Lounge is like coming home. You are always welcome, and it feels so comfortable.” -Ed Burchfield

“We welcome the opportunity to stop by the Weaver Lounge before shows and during intermission. This is a great place to catch up with friends and business contacts, enjoy the refreshments and talk about the show.” -Karen Nelsen