MONA announces staffing shake up with hopes for future growth

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) -The Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney announced they have let go of seven employees as part of their restructuring of the museum. MONA said the changes are part of the plan to improve the museum and gain national accreditation.

The museum director said they are thankful for the staff members and all the years they have given to the museum. They’re starting to look at different ways they can help the museum grow in the future. The new Executive Director Nichole Herden joined MONA in March and has been finding ways it can improve. Their ultimate goal is to be accredited to gain national recognition through the American Alliance of Museums.

“One of the big goals moving forward is to get accreditation and with some new leadership in place here the thought was to get where we want to go in the future and meet some of those future goals that kind of reorganizing the staff, changing the job descriptions, bringing new skill sets into the museum was important,” said Todd Gottula, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at UNK.

There are four full time and three part time positions now open. Some new positions will be created to merge some of the job responsibilities and a national search will be opened to fill them.

“Any time you want to grow, and elevate, and increase your presence in the community and the business you’re in then sometimes changes like this are needed,” Gottula said. “The board has a good plan, leadership has a good plan to take MONA to the next level and really increase that presence in the community.”

The museum gets about 30 percent of its funds from UNK but is not part of the budget cuts at the university. So these changes will not change the current budget. The rest of their funding comes from private donations and endowment funds. Herden wants to engage with the community with more events and partnerships.

Gottula said COVID-19 has played a big role in taking a step back and taking a look at how they can make changes to be better connected with the community and find ways to gain attention for MONA.

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