Annual Meeting/Report for the Friends of the Institute

May 14, 2020 11:00 am


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Read the State of the State of the Friends!

Group portrait of the 2019-2020 Friends of the Institute Board. September 2019. Target Park and Walkway, Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The Friends organization is making history in 2020 by holding the first virtual annual meeting! The current state makes the temporary change a necessity. 

NOTE: Please read the following agenda and committee reports before attending our virtual meeting at 11AM on Thursday, May 14. Thank you for your attendance and your vote.

The Friends of the Institute is an organization of members dedicated to supporting, enhancing, and sustaining the collection, programs, and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.


  1. Confirm that there is a quorum – at least five percent of Friends membership.
  2. Vote to suspend the reading of the minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting. The minutes from past annual meetings are available in the Friends office or on the web page.
  3. Report the financial state of Friends.
  4. Answer questions about annual report.
  5. Present the slate of 2020/2021 Friends officers.
  6. Ask for nominations from the floor.
  7. Approve the 2020/2021 Friends officers.
  8. Adjourn the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Institute.



I would like to begin by thanking our members for their loyal support of the Friends organization, Mia, and the arts. Art is a vital part of life in good times and challenging ones. Its wonder energizes and inspires us. Friends volunteers time and talent to make the wonder of art more accessible during 2019/2020. Although cut short, the year was a productive one, thanks to dedicated volunteers, who gave their creativity, time, and talents, and also to the capable Mia staff, who gave their solid support to every project. 


Molly VanMetre reports:

As of February 2020, our resources totaled $435,947.47. This number includes $69,044.80 specifically earmarked for the purchase of the Delacroix work which was transferred to Mia in April. Our position compares favorably to total resources of $382,304.39 at the same time last year, including $59,675 in donations specifically designated for the purchase of the Delacroix. This year’s figure includes $31,087.11 in similarly designated funds.

A highlight of this year through February is that we’ve funded 43 buses for 26 different schools to bring young students to Mia, thanks to both direct donations to our Buy a Bus Fund and the income we are allocated each year from the Transportation Endowment Fund. 

The cancellation of Art in Bloom 2020, and the blizzard-impacted results from Art in Bloom 2019, are having a significant impact on our financial condition. As such, we are carefully examining all of our activities while attempting to come up with a budget for fiscal 2021 that reflects ongoing support for the mission of the Friends, and in turn that of Mia itself. 

We appreciate all that you do as Friends members to support our mission, both as monetary contributors and as volunteers. Your continuing support and commitment will help us to achieve our mission to serve Mia’s goals and objectives.


Lucy Hicks reports:

The wonderful May 2020 Friends trip to Portugal was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Therese Blaine and Maria Reamer report:

Art in Bloom 2020, scheduled to run from April 23 – 27, was canceled due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. Beginning in early October a team of 56 team Art in Bloom Committee members began planning activities and events for what would have been a spectacular 37th Annual Art in Bloom. Under the leadership of AIB Co-chairs Maria Reamer and Therese Blaine, twenty-nine separate Committees invested time, creativity, and talent to eventually host five days of packed scheduling, guaranteed to engage and delight all visitors including patrons, flower lovers, and children. 

This year the mission of the Co-Chairs was to create an enriching experience for AIB volunteers and visitors while raising funds to ensure that busloads of school children could come to Mia. With this goal in mind, the Co-chairs set out to support their volunteers with clear communication channels, ample Friends office staff and Mia professional staff assistance, and team building events including a November House party and a mid-winter pizza party. 

The Co-Chairs also worked cooperatively with Mia’s Advancement team to secure corporate sponsorships, and with Friends advisors to cultivate and secure individual sponsorships. This effort was very successful, with new Corporate sponsor Target, legacy sponsor Bachman’s, and Special event sponsors, Galleria, Hirschfield’s, Artful Living, StarTribune, and MetroTransit, to name a few. 

In an attempt to raise awareness and money from the thousands of Art in Bloom guests, the AIB team developed a “Wheels on the Bus Campaign”, enabling all AIB attendees to easily contribute cash to the important Friend’s mission of bringing students to the museum via bus transportation grants. Especially of note this year, was the smooth transition of Pedestal Floral Artist registration to an online system that included artwork selection numbers assigned by lottery; the decision to return the Preview Party to a formal reception and sit down dinner; the excitement created by the selection of a Native American Signature Artwork: “Floral Legacy” by a living Dakota Artist, Holly Young; and the AIB Co-Chairs productive and respectful working relationships with all areas of Mia’s professional staff forged by monthly and sometimes weekly “Strategy Team” meetings that began in early July 2019.


Barb Champ reports:

Committee members continue to work on a fabulous one-hundred-year birthday celebration for Friends of the Institute. 


Tammy Meyer kept the Friends board and e-guides informed of one another’s activities.


Elizabeth Winga reports:

The Book Club for Friends members met monthly on Friday mornings in Mia’s Research Library.  Docents and Friends members served as moderators.  Following each discussion, custom-designed gallery tours on the book’s theme were led by Mia’s docents.  Unfortunately, the year was cut short in March due to the Covid-19 virus restrictions.

Michele Byfield-Angell and Julie Bolton report:

A variety of Friends-Only programs were held each month including curator tours, tours arranged by Julie of the Midwest Conservation Center, and the framing department at Mia. Mia’s Senior Educator Debra Hegstrom was scheduled on March 17 to show participants how art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. It was postponed until next year.


Beverly Hauschild-Baron reports:

On November 7, 2019, more than 90 guests enjoyed an evening of information and conviviality at a fundraiser celebrating  Mia’s relationship with the Bell Museum of Natural History. Docent-led tours were a hit, as were the three speakers: Ford Bell who spoke of his philanthropist grandfather, James Ford Bell, Bell Museum Executive Director Denise Young, and architect David Dimond. The James Ford Bell Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and head of the Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture Ghenete Zelleke also spoke in the galleries.


Jeanne Scheiderer reports:

The committee is gathering material for Friends hundredth year celebration in 2022.


Carol Poulson and Kris King arranged great luncheon gatherings after the September, December, and February Friends lectures. Their menu selections from Deco catering were delicious and the table settings and centerpieces added to the fun gatherings.  


Helen Leslie and Barbara Proeschel report:

The 2019/2020 Friends Lecture Series brought us a broad array of speakers, starting off with a talk on Hmong textiles and ending two months early with one on Women and Impressionism. Most of our lectures, which are free and open to the public, were ticketed close to Pillsbury Auditorium capacity this year. Due to the pandemic crisis and closure of the museum, we were obliged to cancel our lectures in April and May. We are grateful to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund, which continues to generously fund two of our speakers each year.

Look at the April Friends newsletter for the Vimeo link to Women and Impressionism, a fabulous March 12 Friends lecture by former Mia curator Lisa Michaux.


Teresa Luterbach and Melanie Nelson report:

The number count as of April 1, 2020, is 679 Friends members.

In October, Friends 101 was held for Friends to have a conversation about the history, activities, and opportunities available through the Friends of the Institute. The event was followed by a tour of the newly refreshed Americas galleries led by Associate Curator of Native American Art, Jill Ahlberg Yohe.

Renewal reminders were sent to members during the year. And many thanks go to those volunteering to make calls to Friends members, recognizing them for their support and loyalty. 


Sharon Secor and Laurie Fontaine-Junker report:

Newsletter turned out more than 12 Friends newsletters in 2019/2020 that were electronically sent to all members and are available to the public on the website. The newsletter keeps us informed and entertained.


Barb Edin reports:

Outreach worked with the Art Adventure program to bring volunteers to Whittier School to make presentations of objects that will be followed up by tours at Mia. This year’s program had to be canceled because of Coronavirus. 


Shelly McGinnis and Lisa Berg report:

The holiday tree in the rotunda was so attractive. Participants of all ages on docent tours that commented on how beautiful it was.


Pat Gale reports:

Pat enjoyed her relationship with Rochester president Sharon Parham and attended several Rochester Friends functions. Rochester continues to contribute to treats and coffee before the Monthly Friends lectures and we thank their generosity.


Boyd Ratchye reports:

Boyd has enjoyed acting as the liaison to St. Cloud Friends and attended several of their functions. He enjoyed working with St. Cloud president Libbie Brunsvold.


Laura Miller and JeanMarie Burtness report:

Transportation co-chairs worked with Paula Warn and Jennifer Curry in the tour office to obtain the figures. 

Thirty-three schools took tours before the academic year was cut short. Most school tours take place in spring.

A total of fifty-seven school busses were funded by mid-March

Reimbursement checks amounting to $11,400 *were sent to schools through March 13, 2020.

*Please note the different totals from the treasurer’s report, ending with February numbers.


Sue Stillman reports:

A loyal corps of volunteers sent out printed newsletter to members without e-mail. Volunteers ushered guests in Pillsbury for the monthly Friends lectures and were ready to assist with any other Friends needs. Sue was always there to coordinate the effort.


Kathryn Koessel, Julie Holland, Nikki Lewis, Tracy Schaefer, and Katie Searl

Friends board advisors contributed their time and expertise to provide guidance when needed.


Katie Remole reports:

Nominating worked hard this year to put together a superb slate of nominees for the 2020/2021 Friends Board.

The slate of Friends board officers:

Friends president – Maria Eggemeyer

First vice president/president-elect – Julie Holland

Research and Planning (second vice president) – Liz Short

Secretary – Carol Stoddart

Treasurer – Renee Kessler

Development Relations chair – Maria Reamer

I am profoundly thankful to the 2019/2020 Friends board. I am also appreciative of having had the privilege of working with a talented Executive committee, including First vice president Robin Keyworth, Research and Planning and second vice president Liz Short, Secretary Chris Vickery, Treasurer Molly Van Metre, and Development Relations chair Carol Stoddart.

Friends thank Mia’s leadership team composed of Director Katie Luber, Board of Trustees Chair David Wilson, Deputy Director Pat Grazzini, and Chief Advancement Officer Julianne Amendola who are expertly and thoughtfully guiding the Mia community in uncertain times. Friends also thank Julianne Amendola for her role as Friends liaison to Mia.

Mia staff plays an instrumental part in supporting all our events and activities, and Friends are deeply grateful. 

And last, but not least, the Friends organization depended on the daily dedication of our talented and knowledgeable office staff – Jackie Figueroa, Lizzi Ginsberg, and Sara Westman. We wish Jackie the best in her new role as Mia Store manager and Sarah good fortune in her new endeavors. Thank you to everyone.

We are particularly indebted to our well-versed office assistant Lizzi, who now from home handles any office task and coordination with utmost grace and preparedness. 

In closing, I again would like to show my deep appreciation for all Friends members, past and present, who have kept our organization healthy and active for almost one hundred years. Together we can look forward and work to make 2020 a fitting birthday celebration for a strong group that has been devoted contributor wonderful Mia. 

This event is a Friends Only Event. Join the Friends today and attend the event!

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