In Memoriam: David Catalan

Daena SchweigerMemorials

by Shery Fletcher

SNAP! Productions would not be in existence without David Catalan. He introduced the idea of educating our community about AIDS and other LGBTQIA+ issues through the arts. In February of 1992, he set about to bringing awareness by mounting a production of “Safe Sex” at the Firehouse Dinner Theater. SNAP! Productions was born. The proceeds of the shows were to fund the Nebraska AIDS Project. It was a huge hit. It was quickly followed by productions of “Bent” and “The Normal Heart” in September of 1993. Under his leadership, SNAP! Productions continued to thrive, mounting productions all over Omaha. In 1999, David left the board to pursue other passions.

Prior to SNAP! Productions, David Catalan worked as an Executive for Union Pacific Railroad. He held a cabinet position in former Mayor Hal Daub’s administration and worked at Metropolitan Community College. He acted as executive director of the Omaha Press Club and the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands. He served on the Opera Omaha, Omaha Symphony and Nebraska Arts Council boards. In Omaha, he helps organize one of the fastest growing Optimist Clubs in the nation.

David was very proud of his Latino heritage. He served as President of South Omaha Business Association (SOBA) and supported the Mexican American Historical Society of the Midlands. He has authored several books that focused on his culture and growing up in America, as well as a collection of his writings and poetry.