Reinstalling the Pershing mural in a prominent location will attract and honor generations of Nebraskans who attended their first concerts, graduation ceremonies, sports championships, and other memorable life events at Pershing Center. The mural is an icon of the Nebraska "good life" from the 1950s through the early 2000s, for hundreds of thousands of participants from across the state. The community's feelings about the mural are evidenced by many small, Phase I contributions; 840 donors, from a variety of local, national and international locations, rapidly committed needed resources in a very short time frame.
With the mural's removal Phase I underway, $100,000 of new UBT funding would fund a significant portion of the Phase II mural reinstallation plan, pursuant to a design proposed by Michelle McCullough of Moment Architecture and Vance Behrens from Structural Design Group (SDG).
The re-installation plan features a "closer to eye-level" positioning, surrounded by attractive, walkable landscaping and seating for public viewing (see preliminary architectural rendering for reference). The plan incorporates sustainable lighting and interpretive resources, along with coatings and other measures to mitigate risks from weather and vandalism. Several reinstallation site options are under review to optimize public accessibility, aesthetic blending, natural and artificial lighting, and site security.
In addition to honoring the past, the mural preserves an important piece of Nebraska history for future generations. When reinstalled, the mural has enormous potential for multi-level educational opportunities. Educational case studies are under development for Nebraska teachers to illuminate the work and stimulate discussion of the historical, cultural, mathematical, and artistic elements of the mural. With the mural's immense size, 38 x 140 feet, and nearly 763,000 1-sq-inch ceramic tiles, it is an attention-grabbing element for use in subject matter instruction. Reinforcement of instruction, with local field trips for teachers and students, will be possible in reasonable timeframes and distances once the mural is relocated in its new venue.
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