MONA Programs

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

Francisco Souto: “There is no food”
Wednesday, September 27 • 2:00 p.m.

Artist Francisco Souto, a native of Venezuela, is a professor in the School of Art, Art History & Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2015 he began a series of drawings about the current economic collapse and momentous political crisis occurring in his native country. Unique and personal to Souto, every mark on each drawing is a thoughtful considered one, every person he portrays is a composite, and all are drawn with a calm reverence. They exemplify his emotional connection to the Venezuelan people and those in similar situations throughout the world. There is no food is one of those drawings, and was recently acquired by MONA. This is a wonderful opportunity to listen and understand the world from the perspective of this noted contemporary artist.

Ed Zimmer: John Johnson (1879 – 1953)
Wednesday, October 25 • 2:00 p.m.

John Johnson was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1879, the son of a former slave who served in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Johnson worked in Lincoln at the menial jobs available to African-Americans in the early 20th century, but was also a highly talented photographer, recording the lives of the local African-American community from his own perspective. MONA is fortunate to have recently acquired 33 of Johnson’s glass plate negatives, a gift from Lincoln Public Schools.

Ed Zimmer has been the Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Lincoln Planning Department since 1985. From 1996 until 2015, he also served on the Board of Education of Lincoln Public Schools. A native of Omaha, he earned a Ph.D. in Architectural History from Boston University in 1984. His long-time interest in John Johnson has led to continuing research on this artist.

H. Jason Combs: Pioneer Life on Glass, The Balcom-Green Collection
Wednesday, November 15 • 2:00 p.m.

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. They were active from the mid 1890s until the 1920s, by which time Henry was in his 70s. This collection of photographs presents a sustained significant record of the realities of daily life, particularly in Hall County. These informal portraits and images 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. Combs has written a number of articles appearing in journals such as Material Culture, Journal of Cultural Geography, and Professional Geographer.

Doris Ourecky: Czech Christmas Customs
Wednesday, December 20 • 2:00 p.m.

Join us for a seasonal celebration of Czech Christmas Customs with the President of the Wilbur Czech Museum, Doris Ourecky. She has been an active member of the Nebraska Czechs of Wilbur since its inception 56 years ago. Accompanying her will be Sue Placek, the museum’s kroje curator and a third generation accordion player. Sample some houska and Becherovka, and get into the spirit of Christmas, Czech style!


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 • 10:30-11:30 a.m.
MONA’s Gary E. Zaruba Library & Research Center

October 3 – The Submission by Amy Waldman
November 7 – I Always Loved You: A Novel by Robin Oliveira
December 5 – Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keefe by Dawn Tripp
January 9, 2018 (2nd Tue due to holiday) – Blizzard 1949 by Roy V. Alleman


MONA Showcase is a five-program evening series featuring talented visual, performing, and literary artists held once a month in October, November, December, 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.

October 19 – Horses in the Central Plains
November 2 – Elizabeth I: In Her Own Words
December 14 – UNK Collegium
February 15 – Thornton String Quartet
March 15 – UNK Chamber Orchestra


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.

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