News Channel Nebraska will carry Gov. Pillen's news conference live on TV and social media on June 12 at 9:00 a.m.

KEARNEY, Neb. — The Museum of Nebraska Art is getting a financial boost toward the end of its years-long renovation project.

MONA announced on Tuesday that Gov. Jim Pillen will visit Kearney on June 12 to announce a shovel-ready grant through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. It will support the museum’s expansion, renovation and restoration.

"We are incredibly excited to unveil the reimagined MONA," executive director Andrew Dunehoo said in a statement. "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."

Construction on the museum started in December 2021. It 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. MONA placed the final beam of the expansion in October. At the time, the museum planned to reopen in late summer or early fall.

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

The renovation and expansion project is valued at more than $30 million. 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.