Friends Funds

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.

Friends Provide Support for School Field Trip

The Buy-A-Bus program brings local students to Mia. You can help!

For many years, the Friends Transportation Fund has provided busing grants so that schools can bring their students to see Mia’s world class collection. During the most recent academic year, the Friends Transportation Fund brought 164 buses to Mia, that’s over 94 schools and 6,800 students who may not have had access to the museum. The opportunity for students to experience a world outside of the classroom is one of the many things the Friends can provide for the Twin Cities community.

A special endowment fund from the Friends makes this amazing program possible. In addition to the endowment, Friends can add funds by participating in the Buy-A-Bus program. Anyone can Buy a Bus for $200 or Buy a Wheel for $50.

As the new academic year begins , honor a friend, celebrate family or remember a dear colleague by buying part or all of a bus! For more information, contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045 or friends@artsmia.org

Also, if you know of any educators who might need a grant to bring students to Mia, please contact the Friends Transportation co-chairs, Laura Miller and JeanMarie Burtness at transportationfund@artsmia.org, or head to our website.

Lead An Art Adventure

Bring the joys of art to schoolchildren with Mia’s unique program.
If you love art and kids, then come be an Art Adventure Picture Person in Mia’s own backyard, no prior experience needed. Mia brings this successful program to Whittier International Baccalaureate School, one of Mia’s neighbors and elementary school partners. We’re pleased to be part of this important outreach.

Here’s how easy it is:
Late September/Early October: Attend a free, two-hour Art Adventure training at Mia, where you’ll learn about a themed set of six pieces of art and how to spark discussion about them with young children.

Over three consecutive weeks between October and November: You’ll be teamed with two or three other volunteers and assigned to a classroom. Teams will meet at Whittier School (a block away from Mia) where a Mia staff member will be waiting with your artwork and props. During each 1-hour visit, you’ll share two pieces of artwork from your set. Teachers will remain in the room to supervise the kids.

Between November and January: You’ll also have the option of meeting up with the kids from your classroom at Mia when they take a chaperoned field trip to visit the artwork you shared with them. All fun, no work! If you’ve ever been an Art Adventure guide or Picture Person before, you already know how enriching this is for all involved. If you’ve never done it, please sign up to discover this for yourself. You can volunteer with a friend, or get paired with a new one.

Interested? Curious? To add your name to the list of prospective volunteers, receive final program dates, and for more information, please contact Nancy McRae, Outreach Committee Co-Chair, at friendsoutreach@artsmia.org or 612.240.3774.

Putting Wheels on the School Bus to Mia

Friends inspire Friends to give to the Buy a Bus program, bringing students to Mia.

Nick Hay and Carol Poulson
Nick Hay and Carol Poulson

Ours is a small world, isn’t it? This “shaggy bus story” starts with incoming Friends Board member Carol Poulson selling a Subaru to then-Board member Martha Beery Milberry. In the very model of women doing business, the two became friends and Martha gifted Carol with a Friends membership. Thus begins our story.
Carol and her partner, Nick Hay, have remained connected with a group of college friends. At their annual dinner, Carol and Nick recognized their friendship with a contribution rather than a present. One year it was the Heifer Project and each friend received a miniature sheep.
Their gift to each friend in 2017 was a wheel on a school bus to Mia! The group was delighted to receive their beautifully wrapped little yellow buses, especially when they learned that 45 schoolchildren would be introduced to our amazing museum thanks to this gift that keeps on giving.
This past year 65 bus grants were made to underserved schools in the Twin Cities, giving students the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding collection and be inspired by the wonder of art. Each grant is funded by the Friends Transportation Program. As a token of the gift, each recipient receives a miniature yellow school bus.
Honor a friend, celebrate a friend, remember a friend; contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045 to buy a bus for $175, or a wheel on the bus for $50!

The Bus and Us: Friends for 40 Years

In a wonderfully fitting way to celebrate their long friendship, Barb bought a school bus to Mia in honor of her dear friend Sue.

Barb Levie and Sue Stillman
Barb Levie and Sue Stillman

Friends Board member and Volunteer Chair Sue Stillman and her friend Barb Levie have shared a 40-year friendship. Barb was no stranger to Mia, in fact, she was a 45-year member and a Minneapolis College of Art & Design graduate. However,  Sue introduced her to the Friends of the Institute with a “BOGO” membership several years ago. Now Barb is a Friends volunteer and participant in many events including lectures, luncheons and the 2017 Art and Architecture trip to Cuba.
As Sue says, “We brought our personal relationship here.” In a wonderfully fitting way to celebrate their long friendship, Barb bought a school bus to Mia in honor of Sue. “I started crying when she handed me the bus,” Sue says. Barb comments, “I know how much Sue loves Mia and the Friends. She was a teacher for years and values education. So what better way to honor her than by bringing 45 school children to Mia?”
This past year 65 bus grants were made to underserved schools in the Twin Cities. These grants give students the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding art collection and be inspired by the wonder of art. Each grant is funded by the Friends Transportation Fund, made possible by each $175 gift. As a token of the gift, each recipient is given a miniature yellow school bus.
Honor a friend, celebrate a friend, remember a friend. To buy a bus or for more information, contact the Friends office at 612.870.3045.

What to Give the Person who doesn't need anything? A School Bus!

Pam Friedland's grandson, Asher,
Pam Friedland’s grandson, Asher, is delighted to play with great-grandmom’s yellow bus!

Or “The Story of How Great-Grandma Got a Birthday Bus!”
Many of us puzzle over the perfect birthday gift for a loved one who says, “Oh, I don’t need a thing!”—and mean it.  Pam Friedland solved the problem creatively, with the gift of a “school bus” to Mia for her mom’s birthday.
As a docent and former Friends President Pam has seen on many levels the life-changing effect a visit to Mia can have on kids who have never been to a museum.  “For some, this is their very first real encounter with fine art.  Seeing our beautiful galleries and being led by a friendly, accepting guide makes what could be intimidating into a warm, personal experience. And often, these kids take ownership of the art they’ve seen. They love attending the museum with their families, sharing their new-found knowledge,” Pam said.
So Pam’s daughter, Stephanie Goldman, and grandchildren Asher (pictured) and Greyson, presented the gift of a bus to Pam’s Mom, Joyce Martin, for her birthday. Joyce was delighted that her birthday gift was also a gift to schoolchildren, while Asher and Greyson were delighted to play with Great-Grandma’s yellow school bus.
This past year 65  bus grants were made to underserved schools in the Twin Cities. These grants are essential to these schools so that their students have the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding art collection and to be inspired by the wonder of art. Each grant is funded by the Friends Transportation Fund, made possible by each $175 gift to the fund. As a token of the gift, each recipient is given a toy-sized yellow school bus!
Solve your gift giving-problems by calling the Friends Office (612.870.3045) to buy a bus for $175.  Remember, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day!

Nana's Christmas Bus

Katie Remole, Friends President, received a "yelloe bus" for Christmas as her children and grandchildren made a donation to the Friends buss fund in her name for Christmas in 2017.
Katie Remole, Friends President, received a “yellow bus” for Christmas as her children and grandchildren made a donation to the Friends bus fund in her name for Christmas in 2017.

Friends President Katie Remole was on the receiving end of a memorable gift this Christmas. Daughter Kelly and her husband, Lucas, along with grandkids Elyse (5) and Jacob (3) presented her with a school bus for Mia. “Kelly’s family lives in New York but traveled to Minneapolis for Christmas with Nana and Papa. Long-distance gift-buying (and packing and shipping or carrying on the plane) can be a hassle so they came up with the perfect gift for me, my very own school bus!” said Katie.
As president of the Friends and an Art Adventure Guide, Katie is well aware of the wonderful impact a trip to Mia has for the 45 children on each bus sponsored by the Friends. “I love watching Elyse and Jacob play with my little yellow bus, but thinking about the smiles on the faces of those 45 school children truly brings a smile to my face, too,” she said.
It’s a long way until Christmas 2018, so file this idea away where you’ll remember it. And don’t forget about upcoming birthdays, memorials or special occasions. You can buy a bus for $175 and bring joy to more than just the receiver of your gift. Contact the Friends office for more information.

Transportation Fund Provides Visits to Mia

Still making history with Friends help and generosity!
Celebrating 21 years since its inception, the Friends Transportation Fund continues to provide busing grants to Twin Cities schools in need. Started by a generous gift from the Roberta Mann Foundation, the Transportation Program has been expanded by the Friends of the Institute’s “Buy a Bus” program as well as by fund-a-need donations from Art in Bloom.
This past year, with the Friends support, we were able to provide 64 bus grants to underserved schools in the Twin Cities area. These grants are essential to these schools so that their students have the opportunity to tour Mia’s outstanding art collection and to be inspired by the wonder of art.
In addition to our school year program, we were able to provide 16 bus grants to various locations in the YMCA’s North District. Summer school children were able to tour Mia’s permanent collection and enjoy book tours.  Art Adventure guides and Docents generously donated and delivered 120 copies of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. We hope to expand the summer school grant program into the future.
To kick off this new school year, we partnered with Learning Innovations at Mia to identify and expand our reach in the community. Mia’s participation in the MN Field Trip Expo in August introduced our program to both public and private schools to generate awareness of Mia’s wonderful school programs. We are expecting lots of new applications this year!

THE PERFECT GIFT

Finding the perfect holiday gift is sometimes challenging, turning an opportunity to be caring and generous into a chore. This year the Friends has the perfect gift-giving solution for you!
Do your parents, spouse or kids already have everything? They don’t have this!
Do you want something really big? This is it!
Do you want something small? This can hold about 72 little ones!
Do you want something warm? We’ve got it!
Do you want something totally cool? This is totally cool!
Curiosity piqued? The perfect gift this year is a school bus to Mia! For $175 you can sponsor a bus to bring school kids to our museum. For $50 you can put wheels on the bus!
Building ViewsThe Friends Transportation Fund, along with the proceeds from the 2015 Art in Bloom Fund A Need, will bring more than 2,500 school children to Mia this year — many of whom have never been to a museum. These little ones will ride that really big, warm bus for a totally cool time with our amazing museum guides.
If you’re interested in this one-of-a-kind gift-giving opportunity please contact Robin at 612.418.8138 or robinkeyworth1@gmail.com. One hundred percent of your gift will fund a bus and is tax deductible.

MURALS STRENGTHEN TIES TO THE LATINO COMMUNITY

In Spanish, “raíces” means roots. For over 40 years, Centro Tyrone Guzman has grown the roots of the Latino community in Minneapolis — roots that now extend to Mia and the Friends of the Institute.
Established in 1974, Centro Tyrone Guzman is the oldest and largest multi-service Latino organization in Minneapolis, serving more than 7,000 individuals annually through a holistic array of programs. Areas of focus include education, health and wellness and engagement.
Centro unveiled a mural (shown above) on the southwest corner of its building in September — a mural that reflects the values and life experiences of Latinos in Minneapolis. This is the second mural to adorn the building, with the first one unveiled last fall. The murals are the result of a partnership between Centro and Mia, with funding provided by the Friends.

2015 mural
First mural project, 2015

Consistent with the Mia’s strategic plan, this partnership provided a unique opportunity for Mia to reach diverse populations and extend its reach outside the museum’s walls, directly into the local community. While the first mural project involved both Latina adults and teens, it was teens who led the second mural project. They identified issues important in their lives, visited Mia for inspiration and art-making sessions, created the final design and painted the mural.
The teens were eager to show off their work at an unveiling ceremony on September 15. Members of the local community, Mia staff and several Friends board members celebrated the mural’s completion with a tour of Centro, a ceremony that included an exchange of gifts and hors d’oeuvres. Even a rainy evening could not dampen participants’ enthusiasm for the second colorful mural.
Here is a link to a video prepared by Centro that captures the excitement around the mural project: https://vimeo.com/186446150
Next time you visit Mia, take a few minutes to drive by Centro Tyrone Guzman just north of the intersection of Franklin and Chicago Avenues and see for yourself!
Generous support for Mia’s Community Art Project provided by the Friends of the Institute.