Buses & Backpacks:  A Friend’s Story


Bus funding brings students from underserved schools to Mia where the art inspires and sparks conversation.

This past year the Friends Transportation Program made 70 bus grants to underserved schools in the Twin Cities, giving 8,000 students the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding collection and be inspired by the wonder of art.

Longtime Mia docent and Friends Board member JeanMarie Burtness has lots of stories that personalize those big numbers.  Recently, students clustered around a hundred-year-old handmade doll wearing traditional Anishinaabe clothing with intricately beaded bandolier bags. They said, “It’s just like our backpacks,” comparing the beaded alphabet on the straps to designs on their own.  They wondered what was carried in the bandolier bag and thought it might be lunch or maybe mittens because it gets so cold in Minnesota.  

Could there be a better example of inspiring a sense of wonder? Honor, celebrate, or remember a friend by buying a bus and bringing 45 kids to Mia who might not otherwise be able to visit. 

Contact the Friends Office (612.870.3045 or friends@artsmia.org) to buy a bus for $200, or a wheel on the bus for $50. You’ll receive a miniature yellow school bus to present to your recipient.