2023 August Press Release

Plains Art Museum Receives Largest Ever Gift from Single Donor

Press Release
For Immediate Release (August 2023)

Fargo, ND – Plains Art Museum is thrilled to announce long-time donor and current board member, Brian Hayer, has pledged $3 million to its Connecting Campaign. This donation is the largest ever the Museum has received from a single donor, and it demonstrates Mr. Hayer’s overwhelming commitment to Plains Art Museum as it begins its next chapter.

I’ve been connected to Plains Art Museum since the ‘90s. This gift was sparked because I have seen the Plains Art Museum be a museum for everybody. I’ve been working downtown for over 30 years, and when I came out about 20 years ago, I was profoundly grateful for the acceptance and warmth this community extended to me. With my gift, I want to make sure everyone encounters the same generous acceptance I experienced by helping to create a Welcome Center at Plains. This gift will open doors to a world of possibilities for business leaders, kids, students, tourists, indigenous artists, and countless others impacted by Plains Art Museum—the museum that warmly embraces and welcomes all. — Brian Hayer

Brian Hayer grew up in Fargo, ND and graduated from South High School. He attended Arizona State University and graduated with his BS in Insurance in 1986 before moving back to Fargo. In Fargo, he worked many roles at Warner and Company Insurance before taking over this family business as its owner. Warner and Company, which has been part of downtown Fargo since 1911, joined forces with Bell Bank in 2019 to form Bell Insurance. Mr. Hayer has been an active community member by serving in various roles with many organizations, including the Fargo Kiwanis Club, MeritCare Foundation, the YMCA, the Downtown Community Partnership, and, of course, Plains Art Museum. Mr. Hayer has two children and is looking forward to his upcoming wedding to Andy Sourdif.

Plains Art Museum’s Connecting Campaign will not only physically connect the Museum to the Katherine Kilbourne Center for Creativity, but it will expand gallery spaces, collection storage, and classroom space. These improvements will allow the Museum to increase programming, quality exhibitions, and classes for the region to enjoy.

The Connecting Campaign is currently in its beginning phase, and Mr. Hayer’s substantial donation serves as a platform as it moves forward. In addition to Mr. Hayer’s transformational gift, he is also co-chairing the Connecting Campaign alongside longtime Museum supporter, Julie Burgum.

Throughout my years of service with Plains Art Museum, I have had the privilege of working closely with Brian, and this donation drives home what a transcendent partner Brian Hayer is not only Plains Art Museum, but to our whole community. — Mark Henze, Interim Executive Director for Plains Art Museum.

For more information about supporting your art museum, contact Janet Zinke at 701.960.8824 or jzinke@plainsart.org.

Plains Art Museum is the largest art museum in the Dakotas and Western Minnesota. It is general admission free and educationally-focused thanks to strong and growing support from over 800 households and businesses. The Museum manages a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects, organizes and presents dozens of annual exhibitions, facilitates public art projects, and leads over 200 educational programs and experiences for all ages each year. The Museum and its Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity are located at 704 First Avenue North in downtown Fargo.