Nerman Museum’s opening gala sells out as donations pour in – KC Star

Paper: Kansas City Star, The (MO)
Title: Nerman Museum’s opening gala sells out as donations pour in
Author: ALICE THORSON, The Kansas City Star
Date: October 7, 2007
Section: PREVIEW
Page: H5

The Oct. 21 gala for the new Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College has sold out. A free public opening follows from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

Emily Fowler, development coordinator for the Johnson County Community College Foundation, said the college sold 864 gala tickets, priced from $125 to $10,000.

It also has attracted significant underwriting for the gala, including a $50,000 gift from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, $25,000 from M&I Wealth Management and $25,000 from Marti and Tony Oppenheimer toward travel expenses for out-of-town artists who will have works in the opening exhibitions.

The Nerman family, who helped found the museum with a lead gift of $1.5 million, contributed $20,000 to the gala. Fowler said the college hoped to sell 25 or 30 gala tickets at the $1,000 level. Instead it sold 100.

“We’re all pretty blown away by the response the community has made to the event,” Fowler said.

Stimulated by the college’s recent capital campaign (which exceeded its $15 million goal by more than $5 million), gifts have begun pouring into the museum’s endowment. They include $250,000 from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and $50,000 from art patrons Lee and Carl McCaffree, president of Columbian Bank.

Central Bank of Kansas City and the Tutera family recently gave $100,000 to create the Jerome Nerman lecture series. Established in honor of the well-known Leawood art collector and museum benefactor, the series will begin in 2008.

After the Oct. 27 public opening, the museum will begin regular hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and JCCC holidays. Admission is free.

For more information, call 913-469-2344.

Author: ALICE THORSON, The Kansas City Star
Section: PREVIEW
Page: H5