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Densel’s Dream one step closer to reality after large donation

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 7:30 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Partnership for the Arts is now one step closer to bringing a new sculpture to the area after a generous donation from the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation.

The project is called Densel’s Dream and is in honor of the late Densel Rasmussen. Rasmussen was a Grand Island resident and a big supporter of public art.

Rasmussen said in 2006 that he wanted to see something creative as you enter Grand Island. Now three years after he’s passed, the Grand Island Partnership for the Arts is making that dream come true for him.

“Densel was such an influence in Grand Island,” Dr. Steve Anderson, President of the GI Partnership for the Arts, told Local4 News. “He was on many, many boards and he did so much for the community with his presence of being, with the way he handled the organizations he was the head of, and he also did so much anonymously.”

Among his many involvements, Rasmussen was on the board for the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation. GGICF CEO Melissa DeLaet said donating to his project was only fitting.

“Densel made a huge impact on a lot of different people throughout the community in a lot of different ways,” DeLaet said. “His name is special to the foundation, his memory was special to the foundation and we’re just glad to be a part of that in a small way.”

The foundation donated $60,000 on Tuesday, bringing the project’s funds up to $250,000. The total cost of the sculpture will be closer to $600,000.

Dr. Anderson said while they aren’t quite at the goal yet, he’s very thankful for how much has been raised.

“With this year we’ve been going through with the COVID going through twice and people have been short on funds so we feel very fortunate to be as far as we are,” Dr. Anderson said. “Hopefully we can get the project funded and start construction by late summer of 2021.”

The sculpture will be about 50 feet wide, 14 feet tall and 9 feet deep and will sit at the intersection of 281 and Webb Road.

The group says having it on a heavily traveled street will give many something beautiful to look at as they enter Grand Island.

“It’s been proven many times over that public art enhances a community,” Dr. Anderson said. “It makes its residents more proud of their community. It makes visitors look with a little more awe at a community and it makes business associates that join the community for meetings or whatever have a little more respect for the community too.”

If you are interested in making a donation, you can send it to the Grand Island Partnership for the Arts at 908 North Howard Suite 106 Grand Island, NE 68803-3529.

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