KEARNEY — Tami Moore wants everyone to own a crane.
“We’re taking a different direction this time,” said Moore, a member of the Kearney Dawn Rotary Cranes on Parade III Steering Committee. “We want to make them more affordable and accessible because they’ve been in the thousands of dollars before. We’re going to do about 10 of the 6-foot cranes again and about a dozen of the 1-foot study cranes.”
The kickoff event for Cranes on Parade III begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Museum of Nebraska Art at 2401 Central Ave. Featured speaker Josh Lamberson, UNK football coach, will offer his remarks at 8 p.m. Tickets to the event are $25.
Created as a fundraiser by Kearney Dawn Rotary, Cranes on Parade III celebrates the sandhill cranes that stop over in the Platte River each spring and also funds the group’s various causes.
“The cornerstone of Rotary is philanthropy,” Moore said. “Sue Bigg started this project about 10 years ago by combining the art community in Kearney with the giving aspects of it.”
Each of the elementary schools in the Kearney School District will receive an artistic crane egg to decorate. Kearney Catholic and Kearney high schools will decorate study cranes.
Moore said that the names of the artists who will decorate the artwork will be announced at Friday’s event.
“Next year about this time we will be having the public auction of the cranes,” she said.
As for the correct term, Moore said she’s not sure how to talk about what the artists will be doing to the artwork.
“It’s hard,” she said. “I keep struggling with that, too. Maybe designing or completing. Some of the artists use paint or glass tiles. They can use any media they want.”
One of the previous crane pieces was decorated with pennies.
The blanks will be based on the two previous designs created by Kearney artist Martha Pettigrew.
“We’re going to mix the two designs this year,” Moore said. “Some of the cranes will have their wings up, and some will have wings down.”
An important part of the event is the sponsorship by area businesses and individuals.
“After we reveal the artists, we will work to find sponsors,” Moore said. “Each crane is sponsored by a business organization or an individual. The large ones are $2,000 to sponsor. The sponsor gets to display it wherever they want until the auction.”
Sponsors who contribute $2,000 receive a $500 credit toward the purchase of the crane.
“The sponsorship helps us pay for the cranes and the materials as well as the promotion,” Moore said.
As public art, Moore understands that the cranes help to identify Kearney to citizens and visitors.
“Every time they’ve interviewed the new governor at the Younes Center, he’s been standing next to the big, beautiful red crane,” Moore said. “That gives us a little publicity.”
Story by: Rick Brown, Hub Staff Writer