MONA Programs

Exhibition EncountersMONA’s Not Just A Book, Club | MONA Live | Sounds of Summer | Program Podcasts


Learn more about art in one-hour presentations by regional experts. FREE and open to the public.

Sarah Baker Hansen and Matthew Hansen: The Better Half
Wednesday, February 28 • 2:00 p.m.
The Better Half
, a new book co-authored by these award-winning co-presenters, explores the independent spirit of Nebraska through a compilation of stories about its food and people. “We knew Nebraska had great untold stories, and we wanted to tell them. The book is the result of that goal.”

Sarah is the Omaha World-Herald food critic, and grew up in suburban Omaha. Husband Matthew, a metro columnist at the Omaha World-Herald, hails from Red Cloud, Nebraska. Copies of The Better Half will be available for purchase after the presentation.

H. Jason Combs: Pioneer Life on Glass, The Balcom-Green Collection
Wednesday, March 28 • 2:00 p.m.
(rescheduled from November 2017)
Henry Balcom and his son-in-law Ray Green were farmers and highly skilled, talented amateur photographers who took around 1200 glass plate photographs of settlement experiences in the Central Great Plains. This collection presents a sustained significant record of the realities of daily life, and are a true and rare account of pioneer life through the eyes of pioneer photographers.

Dr. H. Jason Combs, Professor of Geography at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, is co-author of a recent publication about the Balcom-Green Collection, along with Nebraska historian Kenneth Harders.

Lonnie Pierson Dunbier: Nebraska Women Artists Who Did It Their Way
Wednesday, April 25 • 2:00 p.m.
Lonnie Dunbier is the principal behind a major undertaking, in conjunction with MONA, to research and compile a comprehensive biographical study of nearly 700 women artists connected to Nebraska before 1945. As the first extensive list of these early artists, the information will be an invaluable reference for decades.

A native Nebraskan, Lonnie earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Omaha and Lincoln campuses of the University of Nebraska. While living in Lincoln, she was a docent at Sheldon Museum of Art and active with the Sheldon Art Association. In 1991, several years after losing her first husband, she married Roger Dunbier, son of artist Augustus Dunbier, and together they created the database that now is, a major online source about artists and their work.


Avid readers whose interests lie in authors from Nebraska or reading about Nebraska or art are welcome to these free sessions, and may join at any time.

1st Tuesdays: Jan 9-May 1, 2018
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Mar 6: The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse
Apr 3: A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
May 1: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay


MONA Showcase is a six-program evening series featuring talented visual, performing, and literary artists held once a month in October, November, December, January, February, and March. Each program is 7:00-8:00 p.m., followed by conversation, art viewing, and light refreshments. Free and open to the public.

7:00-8:00 p.m.
February 15 – Collecting History: Stories from the Frank Museum – Will Stoutamire
UNK Thornton String Quartet – Led by Ting-Lan Chen
March 15 – UNK Chamber Orchestra


Gather your friends and join in the fun! Enjoy a lovely evening the fourth Thursday of the month, with your friends at Sounds of Summer in the Cliff Hillegass Outdoor Sculpture Garden. We provide the music along with tables and chairs. You are welcome to bring a picnic, including beverages of your choice! FREE and open to the public.

2018 Schedule – Now on the 4th Thurday of the Month!
May 31 • Bases Loaded
June 28 • Flatwater Jazz Orchestra
July 26 • Formerly Three

MONA’s Cliff Hillegass Sculpture Garden
Gate Opens at 6:00 p.m. • Music 7-9:00 p.m.
Contributions are appreciated when we “pass the hat” to keep admission free.

Want to walk right in and sit right down?
Contact the Museum at (308) 865-8559 to reserve your table for 10.
• $500 Level – Table, for 10, and favors to all three performances.
• $200 Level – Table for 10 and chairs to the performance of your choice.

Proceeds from Sounds of Summer help to support the MONA Guild and its contributions to MONA’s art acquisitions and conservation, art exhibitions and education.

(open seating on a first come, first serve basis)


MONA volunteer docents lead tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions to K-12 student and adult groups. They receive training on MONA’s collection, art history, and teaching and learning strategies. Candidates should enjoy interacting with groups of all ages and must have time available during the week to give tours. Training is weekly in August for an 8-10 week period. Docents are expected to make a two-year commitment, give a minimum of eight tours per year, and attend all training sessions.

Admission to the Program
 – To apply to the Docent Training Program, please email a one-page letter of interest to Director of Education, Jackie Abell, at Your letter of interest should explain why you would like to be a MONA docent as well as your interest in art, any teaching experience, and any other relevant skills (e.g., bilingual abilities).


Watch recordings of past MONA Programs at iTunes.

back to Collection Connection

For further information, call (308) 865-8559.
Museum of Nebraska Art
2401 Central Ave.
Kearney, NE 68847
(308) 865-8559