“To-Gather” by Tri-Faith Initiative Invites Artists and Architects to the (Picnic) Table

Tri-Faith Initiative invites proposals for “To-Gather,” a public art initiative encouraging conversation about religious diversity and bridging differences.

“To-Gather” encourages architects to form multi-disciplinary teams of artists, contractors, and fabricators to conceptualize, design, and build one-of-a-kind picnic tables to be placed throughout the city.

The project is part of a larger effort by Tri-Faith Initiative to utilize art as a vehicle to inspire participation and public discourse on social issues and shared community values.

“Picnic tables are an iconic representation of people gathering for hospitality, sharing food, and taking time to sit and hear each other’s stories,” says Wendy Goldberg, Executive Director. “The basic features of the iconic American picnic table are similar, yet distinguishable by the details. In the differences, we notice the table’s essence — the aspects that make it both unique and familiar. Religious pluralism also creates and honors space for both the unique and the familiar.”

Picnic tables are also central to the story of Tri-Faith. As the idea was formed to build a synagogue, church, mosque and interfaith center together on shared land, it was said that “if only a picnic table were constructed as a place for interfaith gathering, the mission of Tri-Faith would be fulfilled.”

“Picnic tables are a place we come together to share food, stories, and a sense of community. Like the Tri-Faith Commons, the picnic table is a symbol of a place where we can build relationships and trust across lines of difference,” adds Goldberg.

Locations throughout the city — including North Omaha, South Omaha, Midtown, Downtown, and the Tri-Faith Commons — have already been selected to host these unique gathering spaces.

“To-Gather” teams are expected to self-fund or self-sponsor their projects. A limited number of stipends are available to teams who qualify. New community donors are invited to join the growing group making this project possible.

Details, project timeline, and team instructions can be found at trifaith.org/to-gather.


Inspired by the faith of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim congregations, Tri-Faith Initiative cultivates inclusive environments to advance interfaith relationships and understanding. The Tri-Faith Commons is located in Omaha, Nebraska and currently houses Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church, American Muslim Institute, and the Tri-Faith Center.


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