The Center houses a MonDak pioneer town exhibit in its lower level with a street scene depicting an early MonDak region pioneer town. Upstairs are two art galleries, two libraries, and a gift shop featuring the work of regional artists, area authors and other unique gift items. Proceeds benefit the Center, which is operated by the MonDak Historical & Art Society, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, membership-based organization.
The MonDak Historical & Arts Society
The Society was originally formed in 1967 and opened a temporary museum known as the J.K. Ralston Museum and Art Center in 1972 in the “old hospital” in Sidney, Montana. Named after Ralston, the famed western artist and Richland County native, the Ralston Center operated until 1984, when the museum was moved to the “MonDak Heritage Center,” its permanent and present location at 120 3rd Avenue SE in Sidney, Montana.
Some of the special services offered by the Society and the MonDak Heritage Center include:
- Genealogical research materials and assistance upon request.
- Extensive Art History Library and local History Research Library.
- Handicapped accessibility.
- Art classes for adults and children.
- Narrated tours of the museum.
- Copies of historical photographs and information on museum collections.
- Space for public meetings and private events.
- Poetry and book readings, music performances and other cultural events.
- Travelling exhibitions from various sources including MAGDA and the Smithsonian Institution.
- When was it built?
- Designed in the style of frontier blockhouses, the MonDak Heritage Center was built in 1984.
- How much did it cost?
- The total construction cost was $450,000 or $27.50 per square foot.
- How large is it?
- The building is 90 ft. by 90 ft., with 8,100 square feet per floor or about 16,200 total square feet.
- Other details:
- The facility’s center gallery has total exhibit space of 900 sq. ft., while the outer gallery has 1494 sq. ft. of exhibit area. The temperature and humidity in the museum are carefully controlled and the building has an “R” factor of 28.