Friends Funds


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:
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.

Friends Transportation Fund: Growing and Active

True to the Friends’ mission statement, each year we provide grants that enable Twin Cities schoolchildren to tour Mia’s world class art collection and be inspired by “the wonder of art.”  Thanks to the Friends Transportation Fund, we provided 111 buses to under-served schools in the Twin Cities area last school year. Thousands of students were able to visit Mia and participate in guided tours of Mia’s outstanding collection.
Thanks to our friend Jennifer Komar Olivarez, Mia’s Head of Exhibition Planning and Strategy, the Friends Transportation Fund has new support. The 17th Annual 20th Century Art and Design Show and Sale will donate a portion of its proceeds to our highly important Transportation Fund. “From Mission to Modern” is the largest event of its kind in the Midwest and will be at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, September 24 and 25. David Rago will provide an “Antiques Roadshow” experience by doing individual appraisals in his booth throughout the show. Check this link, or click on the show name above,  for more show information.
The 2016-2017 Friends Transportation grant application website is up and running. This year, we can once again offer these grants to grades 9-12 thanks to special funding from the Art in Bloom 2015 Fund-A-Need campaign. K-12 schools within 25 miles of Mia are eligible.
The application deadline is September 30. For information and to access the simple online application, visit:


Pictured above is phase one of the mural project.
Community engagement, creative placemaking and intergenerational exchange – these are all phrases that describe Mia’s Community Mural Project. This initiative, which directly supports the museum’s strategic directive to “globalize the local and localize the global,” was entirely funded by the Friends of the Institute’s Children’s Fund.

Studio Time
The teens spent time at Mia learning painting techniques.

Established in 2007, the Children’s Fund’s mission is to provide enriching opportunities for children, from preschool through teens, to experience and be inspired by the world of art. The Fund provides awards for selected new program initiatives by Mia’s Learning Innovation Department – with emphasis on initiatives that reach children of need who might not otherwise have exposure to art education. The Children’s Fund is not an endowed fund; rather, it is funded at the discretion of the Friends Board. Since its inception, the Fund has provided $335,000 in awards to Mia educational programs that benefit children. The Community Mural Project received the most recent Fund award totaling $30,000.
The Community Mural Project is a two-part collaboration among a professional artist, trained Mia facilitators and members of the Latino community in Minneapolis. Because the Latino community is very family oriented, the project involves women and teens from the local community. The first phase of the project took place from May through October. Working closely with members of the Centro Tyrone Guzman staff, a group of 14 women from Centro’s community identified the most pressing issues impacting their lives. These topics were researched and discussed, leading to sketches that would inform a mural. A group of 23 teens were invited to discuss the issues identified, learn from the women and share their own ideas. The women and teens visited mural sites across the city. Both groups visited Mia at different times in August for a tour of selected works in the galleries and a painting workshop in the studios. Artist Leilani Mendoza created a master sketch for part one of the mural. Community members participated in several “paint days” in August during which they could see the mural’s progress and participate with the women and teens in the painting process.
Under clear blue skies, community members and project participants celebrated the mural’s unveiling on October 10.
Paint Day
Painting days brought many people together.

The festivities included a blessing by a Peruvian faith healer, a program that included several of the women telling their stories and a presentation of gifts to participants, followed by music and a reception. Karleen Gardner, Director of Learning Innovation at Mia, and Connie Sommers, Friends President, made comments during the program, and several members of the Friends Board were also in attendance. The unveiling was also one of Mia’s 100th Birthday Year Surprises.
The second phase of the project will take place during this coming spring and summer. For this project, the roles will reverse, with the teens taking the lead on identifying issues important to them, followed by research and sketches. From these sessions, the artist will create a master sketch for the second part of the mural, which will complete the Chicago Avenue project.
To document the project, the team interviewed the women, who shared very moving stories about life as immigrants in Minnesota. The teens translated these stories into English, and two videos will be created to document this project – one centered on the teens in English and the other in Spanish focused on the women.
The women were honored at the unveiling and reception on October 10.
The women were honored at the unveiling and reception on October 10.

On your next trip to Mia, take a short detour to see the mural, which is located on the Chicago Avenue side of the Centro Tyrone Guzman building at 1915 Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis. And stop by an exhibition of photos and sketches from the project, which will open at Mia on November 5 in the community commons area on the first floor.
By Joan Kampmeyer

Apply Now for K-12 Mia Field Trip Transportation Grants!

Each year the Friends of the Institute provides grants that enable Twin Cities School children to travel to Mia for free. Historically this opportunity was available to only grades K-8. This year, with special thanks to the generous donations of Art in Bloom 2015’s Fund-A-Need campaign, grades 9-12 are also eligible! For information about these grants and access to our simple online application, visit: .
The application deadline is October 1.
Mary Bachhuber and Barbara Proeschel
Co-Chairs, Friends of the Institute Transportation Fund

Bring on the Yellow School Buses!

The Friends of the Institute plays a key role in bringing students to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Our Transportation Fund, an endowed fund, annually awards MIA transportation grants to Twin Cities public and private schools. This school year, the Fund, bolstered by additional funding from the Friends, extended grants totaling $16,835 to 54 schools. The Friends’ generosity will allow approximately 4,500 students in grades K-8 to take advantage of tours of the MIA’s outstanding permanent collection and special exhibitions. As a Friend of Institute member, you helped make this happen! The Transportation Fund grant application for schools K-8 will be available in August on the MIA website at
Transportation Fund Co-chairs, Joan Kampmeyer and Mary Bachhuber