Annual Meeting/Report for the Friends of the Institute

May 14, 2020 11:00 am


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Join the Annual Meeting on May 14 via THIS LINK (or by calling  402-821-1185 and entering the PIN: 274 712 587#).

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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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Friends Lecture for May Features Psychologist

Art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist like Ellen Winner to try and pin down why that is.


The Friends Lecture Speaker for May is Ellen Winner, Department Head, and Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab which focuses on cognition in the arts and is the author of more than 200 articles and four books.

We all know that art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist to try and pin down why that is or to attempt to tease out the ways in which we all benefit from exposure to art. It takes a psychologist to bring the rigors of science to bear on easily made assumptions that sometimes prove not to be as obvious as they seem. For example, it was Dr. Winner who debunked the claim that exposure to arts education raises students’ scores on standardized tests, a finding that spurred her ongoing investigation into arts education and the actual benefits students derive from studying art.

In her most recent book, “How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration,” Dr. Winner looks at art through psychological and philosophical lenses and discusses answers to timeless questions such as, “Why do we need Art?” After all, no one has ever discovered a culture without one or more forms of Art. Is Art inherent to our species? Is it, like language, something we are just programmed to do, part of being human? Is it true that people have stronger emotional reactions to music than to the visual arts? Is it true that people actually can tell the difference between abstract art created by artists and that created by “my five-year-old” and, if so, how? And why is it that we are drawn to art that depicts tragic or horrifying events? Is it possible that interacting with art helps us develop empathy?

For the answers to these and other questions, come hear Dr. Winner speak. Part of the Friends Lecture Series. For tickets, go to


Don’t forget the March Friends Lecture!

March 12, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Don’t miss out on revolutionary opportunities, the French Salon, and slanderous art critics at the next Friends lecture.

Please join the Friends of the Institute as former Mia curator Lisa Michaux speaks on  “Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Bracquemond and the Impressionist Exhibitions.”

Life as an artist was a challenge for women in late 19th-century France. Banned from studying at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, women had to find other means of artistic instruction. This lecture will examine the women of the Impressionist movement, and provide greater understanding of the social and historical factors at play in late 19th century France.

Lisa Michaux was a curator in Mia’s Prints and Drawings department from 1990 to 2010 and is now a private art consultant and dealer. She divides her time between Paris and Minnesota and loves all things French, despite her inability to master the language. Join us in welcoming her back to Mia!

Reserve your ticket through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Friends only tour with Mia’s Senior Educator

March 17, 10:50AM- 12:15PM, Mia First Floor Lobby

Ticket Price: Free

Join us for a FREE Friends Only tour developed by Debra Hegstrom, Mia’s Senior Educator.

Debra Hegstrom is Mia’s Senior Educator and oversees the docent program, which includes teaching, evaluating and coaching docents.  Debra is involved in exploring new gallery strategies that incorporate critical thinking and cultural fluency.

In this tour, we’ll examine various points of view by changing our viewing lens while looking at works of art.  Viewing art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. Debra received her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.  We’ll meet at 10:50 in the upper lobby across from the gift shop.  The tour is limited to 15 to 18 people so contact the Friends Office ( / 612.870.3045) to register soon! 

March Book Club meets for Exit West

March 20, 2020 10:00 am


Art & Research Library

Ticket Price: Free


The Friends Book Club will meet in the Art & Research Library on the first floor of the Target Wing.  All Friends members are invited to attend.

The March selection will be the award-winning book, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Described as a visionary love story tracing the immigrant journey from homeland to an uncertain future in new lands, the story of Nadia and Saeed reveals the global perils that so many must face. 

Honors for this inventive work of fiction include Finalist for the Booker Prize and one of the 10 Best Books for 2017 by the New York Times Book Review.  The Review stated, “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future…”

The discussion will be led by docent Bruce Robbins who holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history.  During his career he spent 30 years as a diplomat and teacher for the Methodist Church. Mia docents will guide members on gallery tours following the book discussion. 

Reservations are recommended. Please call in or email a reservation prior to the Friday meeting, or 612.870.3045.   Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends.

For further information about this Friends Only event please contact  We hope that you will join us!   


April Friends Lecture features MacArthur Fellow

April 2, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Titus Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history in his April lecture “Making Space for Black History.”

Titus Kaphar


“Art is a language. There is always a narrative coded in the painting and sculpture. When you look at something, ask yourself, “who is represented and who is invisible?” asks Titus Kaphar.  A painter and sculptor, Kaphar is one of the country’s most exciting young artists. In 2018, he received a MacArthur Fellowship– a 5-year award given to individuals who show exceptional creativity and outstanding talent in their work. 

Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history: envisioning new spaces for marginalized or forgotten bodies to enter and disrupt the evolving fabric of a culture. For this creator, the artist’s role is clear– to draw back the curtain on ignorance and deception and amplify the voices to those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Kaphar’s work speaks to issues around race, diversity and social change in America today. TIME Magazine commissioned him to create an artwork in response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Recently, he worked with poet Reginal Dwayne Betts on The Redaction, which draws inspiration from lawsuits on behalf of people incarcerated because they cannot pay the court fees and fines. In Drawing the Blinds, Kaphar re-mixes the work of Classical and Renaissance painters to reveal forgotten figures. 

Kaphar’s works capture Roosevelt riding a horse and boldly staring into the future while nameless African Americans and Indigenous people walk on foot beside him. Who are the anonymous slaves, servants, and laborers appearing as footnotes? What values are being expressed by the constitutional monuments dotting our American Landscape? And why do we skip over chapters (entire peoples, entire histories) in our national narratives? 

To help support and give direction to the next generation of artists, Kaphar co-founded an arts incubator, NXTHVN. This $12 million nonprofit center and fellowship program nurtures rising talents.

Kaphar’s work has been included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum. He received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and a BFA from San Jose State University.

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Annual Art in Bloom Fashion Show and Luncheon Planned for April 24

April 24, 2020 10:30 am


Target Atrium

Ticket Price: $85-$175

Mark your calendars and get your tickets early for this annual Art in Bloom event featuring spring-inspired fashions and food!

Art in Bloom 2019 Fashion Show hosted by Grant Whittaker.

The Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon is just around the corner. With your generous and sustained support, we continue to grow this event year after year. This spring we look forward to expanding the event, and with your help, its philanthropic impact. Please join us for another fabulous afternoon of fashion, music, and cocktails as we celebrate the spring season!

The Fashion Show & Formal Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 24, 10:30AM-2PM. Check-in begins at 10:30AM in the Star Tribune Atrium on the first floor of the Target Wing. Before the show, please join us for sparkling wine, a signature cocktail, and hors d’oeuvres in the Donna and Cargill MacMillan third floor Atrium. At 11:15AM, General Admission guests can begin gathering for the fashion show in Mia’s Contemporary and Modern Art Galleries. Around 11:45, the models will hit the runway. Immediately following, please join us in the Reception Hall for the spring inspired luncheon.

The Fashion Show is generously sponsored by the Galleria Edina and will once again be produced by internationally renowned stylist and fashion personality Grant Whittaker. We are also thrilled to announce that it will be included in the lineup for Fashion Week MN.

The Formal Luncheon is graciously sponsored by Linda and Phil Boelter and Friends, in memory of past Friends member and generous Mia supporter, Pauline Altermatt.

General admission tickets start at $85 ($35 tax-deductible) for early registration, and increase to $100 ($45 tax-deductible) after March 29, 2020. These tickets include one drink ticket for a signature cocktail, sparkling wine, or a non-alcoholic beverage during the cocktail event, general admission seating for the fashion show, and a seated lunch (gluten free and vegetarian options available) with wine. A cash bar will also be available.

VIP tickets are available for $175 ($100 tax-deductible). VIP tickets include express check-in, sparkling wine upon arrival, early admittance into the galleries, reserved front row seats for the fashion show, a swag bag, two sparkling wine or signature cocktail tickets, and priority seating at the luncheon. VIP tickets are limited, and tend to sell out quickly.

To purchase tickets and specify luncheon seating requests, please visit or call 612.870.6323. After you have purchased your ticket, you can also email Heidi Ault to confirm luncheon seating requests at

Art in Bloom raises funds to support Mia projects and Friends of the Institute initiatives, including educational programming and free transportation to Mia for young students, exhibitions, art acquisition, education, and community programs.

don’t miss February lecture by Naima J. Keith

February 13, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Naima J. Keith to discuss curating and the museum of the future. 

Naima Keith Mia

Naima J. Keith
“Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture presented by Friends of the Institute and Mia

Naima J. Keith, the new Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be presenting “Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches” at our February lecture on

Tickets are free but must be reserved by following the link at the bottom of the page, or calling 612.870.6323.

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February 13, 2020 12:30 pm


Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $30

February luncheon to be held immediately following the February Friends Lecture.

Following the February 13 lecture by Naima Keith, “Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches,” join the Friends for a Valentine’s luncheon in the Reception Hall, Target Wing.

The menu includes a Strawberry, Feta, Spinach Side Salad served with red onions, pecans, and poppy seed dressing, Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka Sauce served with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, followed by Mini Strawberry/Rhubarb Crisp topped with Chantilly cream (Gluten Free & Vegan).  A vegan option of Trottole Pasta topped with roasted veggies and marinara will be available; please request when making your reservation.

The cost is $30 including tax and gratuities. All reservations MUST be received by Thursday, February 6, by 4 p.m.  Tickets are available through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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

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Behind the scenes: Framing at Mia

February 18, 2020 11:00 am


Target Wing, Mia

Ticket Price: Free

Ever wondered how they decide which frame to use with various works of art? Now’s your chance to find out! 

Jason Ressler, Framing Technician at Mia.

Join us for a Friends Only tour Tuesday, February 18 at 11AM with Mia Framing Technicians Jason Ressler and Sam Molstad.  We’ll tour the framing facilities to see some of the tools and materials they use, and then go into the galleries to look at art through the eyes of professional framers.

Each of Mia’s Framing Technicians has studied art and apprenticed in matting, framing, and shipping for many years, including locally at the Swedish Institute and the Walker Art Center before coming to Mia.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes! Limited to 20 Friends, so don’t wait; to reserve your spot, contact the Friends Office  at 612.870.3045 or

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

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