A Letter from Friends President Pamela Friedland

Portrait of Friends President Pam FriedlandI look back at the last two years of my life and of course recall all the personal fortunes in my life such as moving into a new home my husband and I helped design and welcoming our first grandchild Greyson, into our lives. This would certainly be enough to fill anyone with happiness it would seem. But I have had the good fortune of continued fulfillment by leading the Friends of the Institute through an incredible two years. Doing it with the most loyal, diligent, and genuinely warm group of board members I have worked alongside, has so greatly added to these successful two years. Seeing our Office Administrator Kate Smith everyday, has given me great support and introduced me to someone with the most amazing smile ever and incredible competency to boot! Our Friends Lecture Series has enjoyed a year of tremendous success. As the auditorium fills each month, our members have learned an incredible amount about so many different art topics. We continue to be grateful to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund for its generosity in supporting this enormous endeavor. We look forward to a stellar lineup, beginning once again this September. Our Transportation Fund this year is spending nearly $17,000 for 90 buses bringing almost 4,500 schoolchildren through our doors for guide-led tours. Our goal in the next year is to offer transportation to older children also, exposing and capturing their future interest in the arts. We continue our long tradition of decorating the front MIA lobby with lovely fresh flowers weekly calling upon the generosity of the Harris/Phelps Fund. This year, like so many others, we generously provided via our Friends Endowment for Education Fund over $80,000 to the Learning and Innovation Department, allowing them the proper outreach to the community the museum prides itself on. Our Children’s Fund works closely with this department also targeting specific projects. Perhaps Friends is most proud this year of speaking up first to become one of the MIA’s three top Presenting Sponsors honoring the museum’s 100th Birthday Year. We are proud to say we have now paid off $250,000 of our $500,000 gift to the museum! We have our members to thank for helping raise this kind of money. Your belief in our mission, tireless support of our fall fundraisers and our annual community favorite Art in Bloom, as well as countess volunteer hours, allows us to be this generous. This organization is nonexistent without all of you, not only your time, financial support, but personal interactions so important to the success of a volunteer organization. We certainly have the MIA staff to thank also. Our partnership with everyone in the museum is cherished and enjoyed. I leave you all in great hands as Connie Sommers takes over as president in July. I certainly hope I may speak for all of you, as we plan to bop into the Friends office often to see Connie and Kate, and continue to be a part of the growth and success of the Friends.
With very warm wishes, Pamela Friedland