Museum of Nebraska Art Announces Major Support for Expansion and Renovation Project with a Gift from Department of Economic Development

Museum of Nebraska Art Announces Major Support for Expansion and Renovation Project with a Gift from Department of Economic Development
Courtesy/ Museum of Nebraska Art.
June 9th, 2024 | jroth

KEARNEY, NE — The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) is thrilled to announce that Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen will visit Kearney on June 12 to announce a generous Shovel-Ready grant through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to support MONA’s expansion, renovation, and restoration. 

The construction project, which began with a groundbreaking ceremony in 2021, involves a comprehensive restoration of MONA’s existing 25,000 square feet and the addition of a new 23,000-square-foot wing. The expanded facilities will offer modern galleries, an enlarged outdoor sculpture garden, a community studio, and flexible event spaces. These enhancements will ensure MONA remains a dynamic cultural hub for local, national, and international visitors.

“We are incredibly excited to unveil the reimagined MONA,” said Andrew Dunehoo, Executive Director of MONA. “This expansion not only increases our capacity to host larger and more diverse exhibitions and programs, but it also strengthens our role as a cornerstone of cultural revitalization in Downtown Kearney.”

Governor Pillen’s announcement on June 12 underscores the state’s commitment to fostering cultural development and supporting institutions that enrich community life. The Department of Economic Development’s gift will play a crucial role in the final stages of the project, ensuring that MONA’s new facilities are equipped to serve the public effectively and sustainably.

The newly renovated MONA will feature:

  • Modern Gallery Spaces: Designed to enhance visitor interaction with art, these spaces will showcase permanent collections and special exhibitions.
  • Community Studio and Makerspace: Equipped with supplies and tools, this space will allow visitors of all ages and abilities to explore their creativity.
  • Expanded Outdoor Sculpture Garden: This green space, accessible to the public, will feature sculptures by Nebraska artists and opportunities for outdoor programs.
  • Flexible Event Spaces: Capable of hosting large programs, performances, lectures, and special activities.
  • Interactive Gallery: A new interactive gallery will provide a safe and welcoming environment for learners of all abilities. Interactive elements, such as touch screens and hands-on activities, cater to different learning styles and abilities, making art accessible to everyone. 

“The support from the Department of Economic Development is a testament to the value of MONA as a cultural and educational resource,” said Beth Quinn, MONA Development Manager. “We are grateful for the state’s investment in our vision and look forward to welcoming visitors to experience the new MONA.”

Located at 2401 Central Avenue in downtown Kearney, MONA serves as the official art collection of the State of Nebraska, housing nearly 5,000 works that span 200 years of artistic heritage. The museum’s transformation represents a significant leap forward in its ability to engage and inspire the community.


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