KEARNEY – The Museum of Nebraska Art has hired Andrew Dunehoo as its new executive director.
Dunehoo has more than 20 years of experience in museum leadership, historical interpretation and education, curation, art exhibits and program development. He was formerly director of museums and cultural affairs at Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation in Custer, South Dakota, where he worked since 2017. The Indian Museum of North America that he managed had 1.2 million visitors annually.
Dunehoo’s first day at MONA is Monday (Nov. 6).
“What excites me about this position is the endless possibilities for where the museum can go in the future,” Dunehoo said. “MONA holds an immense potential to create a lasting impact for the arts and Nebraska, and I am humbled to lead the team toward reaching this potential. Having spent my life and career immersed in the arts, for me this position is truly a dream come true.”
Dunehoo was hired after a national search and replaces Nicole Herden, who left as executive director in July.
“We found ourselves searching for a new director at a moment when we already had our hands full with the most ambitious undertaking we’ve tackled since our founding,” said Tom Gallagher, search committee chair and past board president. “Thanks to the search committee’s care and effort, we found someone with the background and expertise we need, as well as palpable enthusiasm for the role.”
MONA is undergoing a $31.5 million renovation, restoration and expansion, which is planned for completion in May 2024. The project includes an additional $5 million for an operating endowment that supports programming. The museum, governed by a statewide board of directors in collaboration with the University of Nebraska at Kearney, will reopen in late summer or early fall 2024.
Located in Kearney, MONA celebrates the state’s artistic culture and heritage by collecting and preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the art of Nebraska. It serves as the official home of the Nebraska Art Collection – a permanent collection of nearly 6,000 pieces reflecting the state’s history.
“We look forward to Andrew’s leadership as we move into an exciting new phase for the museum,” said Gallagher.
Dunehoo’s career includes managing the Town of Windsor Museum and Art and Heritage Center in Windsor, Colorado. He was director of library and museum services for the City of Fort Morgan in Colorado and historical interpreter for the Johnson County Museum of History in Shawnee, Kansas. He also worked as an adjunct professor for the University of South Dakota / Indian University of North America.
He served many years on regional and national boards and committees for museum professionals. He is currently board president of the Mountain Plains Museums Association and serves as spokesman for the museum profession across a 10-state region.
“The MPMA advocates for national funding in the arts and humanities and promotes collaboration among various institutions and disciplines,” said Sue Quambusch, board president. “Andrew’s board service will help position our organization to receive recognition and representation within our region as well as on a national scale.”
Dunehoo has a master’s degree in history with an emphasis in material culture studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor’s degree in history from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.