All posts by friendsoffice

September President’s Letter

If you haven’t been to Mia this summer you should stop by to see the zinnias blooming at the 3rd Avenue entrance. They are colorful and gorgeous, reminding me of Jennifer Steinkamp’s video installation titled, Hurdy Gurdy Man. 

I am pleased to announce that the Friend’s new Office Coordinator, Claire Goulson, started her position on August 31. Previously, she worked at the Loft Literary Center. Some of you might remember her as an intern for Art in Bloom 2016. Claire is a warm and welcoming presence in our office. Her office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm. 

There are opportunities and challenges facing Friends in the next few months. I will be focusing my attention on the following:

  1. Working with Membership Co-Chairs, Sharon Secor and Alison Greene to increase membership while maintaining our current membership. At this time, our membership stands at about 700!
  2. Working with Friends Treasurer, Renee Kessler and Development Relations Chair, Beverly Houschild-Baron to prioritize reducing our Delacroix pledge to Mia. At this time, we owe Mia about $308,000.
  3. Working with Newsletter Co-Chairs, Tippy Madden and Kris Berggren to ensure every member receives a Newsletter.
  4. Working with Art in Bloom Co-Chairs, Kris Bjorklund and Sheila Folkestad, to plan for a fragrant, beautiful and in-person AIB 2022.
  5.  Working with Centennial Co-Chairs, Mary Merrick and Pam Friedland, for a sparkling Centennial celebration in 2022. 

In this newsletter you will find information on our upcoming events. I hope to see you at all of them! Please know I appreciate every member and am honored to serve as your President. 




Centennial History Publication Committee Column: Stepping Back in Time

Who Doesn’t Love a Tried and True Recipe?

With the ongoing desire to financially assist the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1977, Friends created a committee to develop The Collector’s Cookbook. This 278-page volume showcased recipes from some of the best-known names in the Twin Cities. Business leaders such as Charles H. Bell of General Mills and Philip W. Pillsbury of the Pillsbury Company contributed some of their own favorite recipes.

 Mrs. Sue Zelickson, in charge of cookbook promotions, proclaimed, “We’re going to have a cookbook corner at the Institute and sell cookbooks from museums across the country.” As a matter of fact, when Mrs. Zelickson was scrutinizing cookbooks published by associated organizations, she soon learned of museums she had never known to exist. Her wish was also for the Friends’ cookbook to have the same exposure in other parts of the country. Incidentally, Mrs. Zelickson contributed two of her favorite recipes to the book. Who would not delight in trying her candied pecans or liverwurst pâté? Apparently, whenever there was a party at the museum or a reception, the pâté was requested — clearly a crowd favorite.

Four separate printings of the cookbook produced a total of 25,000 copies sold. It could be found at stores including Jerry’s Foods, Dayton’s, Byerly’s, Polly Bergh in Wayzata, The Cheese Shop, and Penny’s supermarket. The book was available for a cost of $5.95 or a total of $6.60 to include tax and postage.

In 1992, Friends published When Friends Cook, also a favorite of the community. Fundraising was successful as the cookbook was available for sale at B. Dalton Bookseller, The Bookcase and Frost and Budd in Wayzata, Odegaards Books in St. Paul, The Minneapolis Club, Haskell’s, Surdyk’s, Cooks of Crocus Hill, Williams Sonoma, and Lunds. Chef demos and tastings were held throughout the area and Saks even had one of the dessert recipes served in its cafe!

Researching the history of a 100-year-old organization brings into focus how trends change over the decades. Yet a special recipe can remain timeless and nostalgic for so many reasons. Food is enjoyed among Friends and friends alike.

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne



Membership: Friends and Family

Membership Co-chair, Allison Fox Greene, Shares her Friends Membership Story.

When I moved back to Minneapolis after many years away, my mother gifted me a Friends membership. What a wonderful welcome home it was, and a fantastic way to reconnect with Mia and our amazing community of art lovers.

Do you know someone who shares your interest in the arts and is looking for ways to get involved? There has never been a better time to introduce them to The Friends! The year ahead is so full of opportunities to spend time together at Mia, from lectures to book clubs to Friends-only tours, not to mention our Centennial celebration. 

Mia has always been a passion my mom and I have shared, and it is such an honor to now follow in her footsteps and serve on the Friends board. Perhaps you can spark a Friends legacy in your family as well.

This year membership is taking a NEW approach. We are starting all memberships and all renewals on January 1.

Next month, all members will receive a reminder to renew their membership for the 2022 membership year, so this might be a great time to think about which of your family members and/or friends could also become your Friends!

If you have any questions about membership, please email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


October Friends Lecture 

October 14, 2021 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Join us on October 14 at 11am for a virtual discussion provided by the Friends of Mia with special guest speakers, husband and wife duo Aaron Spangler and Amy Thielen.

The term power couple applies aptly to Amy Thielen and Aaron Spangler. Individually, Thielen is an award winning food writer, chef and television cook, Spangler a celebrated visual artist focusing on print and sculpture. Together they find common ground in Amy’s extensive garden and at the cabin Aaron built himself in rural Park Rapids, Minnesota.

Amy’s love of cooking began in Park Rapids and her chef’s resume bursts with flavor. Not only does she have experience working with many renowned chefs, she also brought her Northern Minnesota roots to the Food Network as the host of Heartland Table. Her first cookbook published in 2013, New Midwestern Table, won the James Beard Book Award for American Cooking. Her follow up memoir Give a Girl a Knife earned raves from publications like The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. She continues to write and edit for numerous food publications and general interest media others like Oprah Magazine, People, and The Boston Globe and is a contributing editor to Saveur Magazine.

Aaron Spangler

While Thielen is well versed in culinary art practices, Spangler caters to an art of his own. Revered by many, he has received grants and fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Jerome Foundation. Since 1998 his work has been the subject of many national and international exhibitions, including solo shows in galleries in New York and Berlin, and group exhibitions at the Van Abbermuseum, the Netherlands, SECCA Museum in North Carolina, The Walker Art Center, and Takashi Murakami, among others.  Many Mia visitors are familiar with Spangler’s large bas-relief Songbird.  (pictured)

Spangler’s large woodcut prints made in collaboration with master printer Cole Rodgers and Highpoint Editions staff can be seen in the upcoming exhibition, The Contemporary Print: 20 Years at Highpoint Editions, on view October 9, 2021 – January 9, 2022.

Together this couple provides no shortage of inspiration and these speakers may just leave you hungry for more.

Connect with Amy: @amyrosethielen on Instagram and Twitter.  Amy’s memoir, Give a Girl a Knife, is currently available through Mia’s online store. You can purchase a copy by clicking here.

Get Tickets

Friends Events

October 26, 2021 11:00 am


Ticket Price: Free

You are invited to the Friends’ Only Tour on Tuesday, October 26 at 11 AM on Zoom.

This month we will visit Mia’s Buddhist gallery. We will spend the hour with Mia’s senior educator, Debbi Hegstrom, who will introduce us to “Buddhism 101”, and help us connect this global faith with the fantastic collection of Buddhist art in our galleries. 

Debbi teaches and facilitates continuing education for guide programs at the museum, enhancing Mia as an inclusive learning environment. We appreciate Debbi’s approachability, and her dedication to support and enrich guides and others. Her kindness and calm demeanor lend a warm presence in our museum community. 

Space is limited to 30 participants. Please RSVP by Thursday, October 21 to the Friends office: or call the Friends office: 612-870-3245.


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

Join The Friends

Friends Book Club

October 15, 2021 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Fall is a wonderful season to join the Friends Book Club and curl up with a great book.

The upcoming October Friends Book Club features “This Tender Land”, by William Kent Krueger.  Fun Fact: Krueger was born in Wyoming, but his mystery and crime fiction is set mainly in Minnesota.

Mark your calendar for October 15  at 10 a.m. You can reserve your spot by contacting the Friends Office at Once you reserve, you will receive your Zoom information a day before the presentation.

The book for September, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, was a terrific book to add to your list, even if you missed the discussion.


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

Join The Friends

President’s Letter

Summer Greetings!!

August is here and with it comes the State Fair, school supplies, whiffs of autumn and the stirring feeling that while something is ending, another something is beginning. I am Julie Holland, serving you as President of Friends of the Institute. On behalf of our hardworking board and committees, I welcome you to a new year of opportunities to appreciate the human condition through the lens of great art.

Please join us for our kick-off lecture via Zoom on September 9, at 11 AM, given by the singer, rapper, writer, poet, songwriter and one-woman powerhouse, Dessa. Our tickets are free but numbers are limited. As a Friends member you are entitled to secure your free ticket on August 16, four days before sales open to the general public.

While the Friends pride themselves in our engaging programming, we are also profoundly committed to supporting Mia and extending its influence into our richly diverse community. My decade as a member of the Friends has greatly enhanced my life through learning and friendships. I hope your membership does the same for you. Enjoy reading about upcoming events. Note we start our grand Centennial celebration on January 20, 2022!

Best regards,

Julie Holland

President, Friends of the Institute


So Many Things to Love About Friends Membership 

Here’s how to take advantage of your Friends membership to access events, clubs and other Friends-Only happenings.

We love our Friends! Thank you to all of you who have joined us as Friends members this year and who continue your long association with the Friends. Your support is so important as the Friends celebrate our 100th year as vital volunteers and supporters for Mia.

There is always a place in Friends to show your support and interest in Mia. How can you do that? It’s easy!

Participate – Participate in our monthly lectures, Friends-Only book club and other Friends-Only events like post-lecture luncheons and docent-led tours. Each month you will receive the Friends newsletter with links on how to sign up, in advance, for Friends-Only events and advance signup for Friends lectures. Check out information on the first Freinds lecture of the year: Minneapolis’ own Dessa! on September 9. 

Say Hi – The Friends Office is open weekdays during the year and is located on the first floor of the museum, in the hallway just before Agra Culture. Come meet our members and staff or pick up information about the Friends. Need a Friends lecture bookmark for the 2021-22 Friends year? Stop by the office and pick one up.

Volunteer – Join us as a volunteer! There are so many ways Friends volunteer to help Mia. Join us to promote and staff Art in Bloom, roll up your sleeves to help us send a mailing and meet new Friends. Our Friends board members and staff would love to help you find a place to help out.

Share – Share your ideas! Did you know there are LOTS of programs at Mia that were started by the Friends? It’s true! Consider sharing those ideas with other Friends as a committee member or even a board member. Our working board is more than 25 volunteers strong!

Re-new – Renew your membership when we send our ONCE A YEAR renewal email or letter to you in mid- November. Your membership ensures you are included in all our Centennial Celebrations during 2022.

If you have any questions about membership, please email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


Dessa – In Her Own Words

September 9, 2021 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

2021-2022 Friends Kick-Off Lecture, Thursday Sept. 9, 11:00 a.m. CST via Zoom

Dessa is a rapper, singer, writer and member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree. Dessa has been on the Billboard charts and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, VocalEssence (a premier choral music organization) and contributed to the #1 album, The Hamilton Mixtape. Showcasing her creative chops, she released during the first half of 2021 a series of singles called IDES on the 15th of each month. About the fifth installation, “Talking Business,” Dessa said, “I wanted to make a song that unfolded like a little film where the plot was revealed in a series of objects and still images…To try to build a story in a flash of snapshots, I wrote a song without using any verbs.” 

Yes, Dessa is an inventive musician–and she is also a consummate communicator about a wide range of topics including art, science and entrepreneurship. 

Her wit and candor are revealed in keynote speeches, NPR broadcasts, and a podcast that she hosts entitled “Deeply Human.” She’s written articles for the New York Times and National Geographic Traveler and published a memoir in essays, My Own Devices in 2018. During the pandemic year, Dessa released a clever lyric video about Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. 

She’s even given a TED Talk about the brains of people in love and how she worked with a neuroscientist to get out of love.

In short, Dessa is hard to define but infinitely interesting!

You don’t want to miss this exclusive virtual event. Friends members have access to presale tickets starting on August 16 and tickets are limited.

To reserve your free tickets and receive the Zoom link, go to or call 612-870-3000.


Get Tickets

Friends Only Book Club

September 17, 2021 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Welcome back to the Friends Only Book Club

Our first Book Club meeting will be held on September 17. Due to Mia’s scheduling, we will not meet in-person again until January 2022 for the Book Club and combined guided tours.

 September’s book selection is, “A Woman of No Importance: The untold story of the American Spy who helped with WWII”, by Sonia Purnell.

We  hope you can join us for this presentation and discussion.  Contact the Friends office at to reserve your spot.


Carol Poulson

Chair for Friend Only Book Club


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

Join The Friends