The Roundup -

MonDak Heritage Center Celebrates 50 Years


The MonDak Heritage Center will soon be celebrating its 50th birthday. Originating as the MonDak Historical and Arts Society in 1967, the society started its first museum, the J.K. Ralston Museum and Art Center in 1972, named after famous artist and Richland County resident, J.K. Ralston. In 1984 the society moved to its current location and became the MonDak Heritage Center.

Located at 120 3rd Avenue in Sidney, the building hosts several art galleries, two libraries, and a gift shop. It is at this facility that the birthday celebration will take place.

The director for the MonDak Heritage Center, Dan Karalus, told the Roundup, "On Friday, May 26, we are having our fiftieth birthday party. It marks 50 years to the day it officially became nonprofit and officially organized."

The museum will be celebrating its birthday with an open house, free treats, opportunities to make crafts, and more. Local businesses have helped to make it a special day for the center, and the public is invited to join in the festivities.

Dan Karalus, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, has served as director since January. At the time of publication, Dan was back in Minnesota, preparing to move his wife and two sons to the Sidney area, after having waited for the school year to end there before bringing them to the MonDak region .

Karalus spoke of the upcoming event, "What makes the MonDak unique from my perspective, is that it came out of community. The people came together and wanted to preserve the history of Sidney and Richland County, while sharing it with the public."

The MonDak Heritage Center offers a myriad of services to the local area including assistance for genealogical research, an art history library and local history library, art classes for both adults and children, museum tours, poetry and book readings, art displays and musical events, as well as traveling exhibitions associated with the Smithsonian Museum. Some of these items will be highlighted for the public on May 26.

The MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney has a large selection of gifts and artwork featuring local artists in the region in its gift shop.

According to Karalus, "[The MonDak Heritage Center] is going to have an open house, with hours extended from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We are inviting people in to check out photographs and history relating to the MonDak. We will also be serving free cake, thanks to Reynold's Market, which is kind enough to provide it. There will be activities for people to create their own birthday hats. There will be other birthday refreshments as well."

In June, another exciting event called "Burger, Blues and Brew" is coming to the MonDak Heritage Center. Local businesses sponsoring the event include, but are not limited to Meadowlark Brewing Company, Reynolds Market, Beagle Properties, Candlewood Inn and Suites, Wheat Montana and Reese and Ray's IGA. This third annual event will feature blues musicians from Montana, along with grilled burgers and locally crafted beer.


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