Letter from the President

A Letter from the Friend’s President

Meet our new Friend’s President Maria Eggemeyer!

Maria Eggemeyer,  Friends President

Dear Friends –

When you walk through gallery 321, you will surely notice Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums, a painting nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire once called “a volcanic crater disguised as a bouquet of flowers.” 

The Friends of the Institute supported the acquisition of this spectacular artwork to celebrate our hundred-year anniversary and it is a shining example of our mission—to support, enhance and sustain the collection, programs, and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

I am happy and honored to be the incoming Friends president to further this mission and help our organization prepare for its centennial celebration in 2022.

I joined the 2001 Mia docent class and soon became a Friends volunteer. One of the more gratifying moments I’ve had as a docent came at the 2017 “I Am Somali” exhibition at Mia. I showed third-grade students an object by multi-media performance artist Ifrah Mansour. One boy was so touched by her artwork that he asked to sing a Somali song to our group. It made me proud to be a Friend!

Thanks to our fundraisers and many supporters, the Friends pay for buses that bring over eight-thousand students for tours of Mia’s fabulous collections each year. That is something we can be proud of and I’m certain every Mia guide has a delightful story to tell about these wonderful students. 

Katie Remole and all the other former presidents have left me with big shoes to fill, and I’ll do my best to promote and enhance the Friends and Mia. I am thankful to be working with the Friends board, Operations Manager Jackie Figueroa, and all the Mia staff to further the goals of this worthy and wonderful museum.

Drawing on our rich history, the Friends join Mia in its commitment to policies and practices that value diversity, foster equity, and empower an accessible and inclusive environment—now and into the next one hundred years!

All my best,

 

 

Maria Eggemeyer

 

President’s Letter

As Katie Remole ends her two-year presidency of the Friends, she reflects on all the wonderful ways the Friends have helped Mia thrive and grow.

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

As my term as Friends president comes to a close, I want to let everyone in our organization know how the vibrancy and commitment of Friends members continues to astound me.  Meeting and working with so many talented and dedicated members who share a passion for Mia has been an incredible experience.

This past year has seen our Board and Executive Committee, Art in Bloom co-chairs and office staff work together to support, enhance and sustain the collections and programs of Mia.  Here are some highlights.

My job would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of the executive committee.  First Vice President Maria Eggemeyer, always ready to tackle new projects; Second Vice-President Julie Holland, a great support and confidant to me who lead Research and Planning through many needed improvements; Secretary Fran Megarry besides taking wonderful notes during our meetings, had a wealth of institutional knowledge to share; Treasurer Molly Van Metre did a huge and important job updating our bookkeeping and in simple language explained the complexity of our monthly finances and Carol Stoddart who took the reins of Development and more closely melded our efforts with Mia’s office of philanthropy.

Eugene Delacroix’s masterpiece Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums now hangs in the galleries, Friends’ gift to Mia in commemoration of our 100th anniversary in 2022.  Within two years we are over 75% toward fulfilling our commitment to the museum.  This acquisition nicely punctuates the power of Friends working together to further our mission.

Art in Bloom 2019 was a splendid event thanks to our Art in Bloom co-chairs Barb Champ and Kris King.  Many thanks also to the Art in Bloom committees, all the volunteers who donated thousands of hours before and during the event, and Mia leadership and staff. There were 165 pedestal floral artists and 20 commercial florists who transformed Mia into a flower filled festival that brought in nearly 50,000 people during our four-day event. And this, despite an April blizzard on opening day!

Each year we work hard to enhance our endowed Transportation Fund through our Buy-A-Bus campaign.  Our Transportation co-chairs, Mary Meuwissen and Laura Miller coordinated 164 buses filled with more than 8,000 school children to Mia for a docent or art adventure led tour.  We can be proud of the numbers of lives we touch with this program, exposing young minds to our world-class collection at Mia.

Lecture co-chairs, Liz Short and Helen Leslie and their hard-working committee continued the tradition of providing exceptional lectures, free to the public, September through May. The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund generously supported two of these lectures.  Speakers this year were diverse as always and ranged from a White House photographer to a local art critic, a nationally recognized Native American potter and poet to an international historian on book forgeries. Our year concluded with Lonnie Bunch, the founding and current director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.

The Hospitality co-chairs, Arna Yetter and Carol Poulson planned and executed luncheons after four of our lectures and under their guidance and creativity, attendance climbed significantly with each luncheon.

Our Newsletter co-chairs Sharon Secor and Laurie Fontaine-Junker continue to publish an informative and interesting Friends Newsletter  This year we started publishing our Newsletter on our web page. Laurie also updated our web page to make it easy to navigate and fun to click around to learn all about the Friends information.

Our Friends Only Events fill up quickly and this year was not an exception.  Under the able direction of Michele Byfield-Angel, we offered five very interesting and well received Friends Only tours, including curator led tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions.  Jeanne Scheiderer led our book club, which changed its location to the beautiful Mia library for book discussions and coffee, followed by a docent led tours.

Due to the very capable leadership abilities of Linda Boelter and her hardworking Centennial committee the planning for our 100th anniversary celebration in 2022 is well underway.

Barb Edin and the History committee made great strides this year in organizing and cataloging Friends history. This is ever more important as we gear up for our 100th anniversary.

Under the tutelage of membership co-chairs Teresa Luterbach and Boyd Ratchye, our renewal reminders are back on schedule and the membership climbing numbers show their efforts are working.

Our annual Art and Architecture tour stayed local this year and sold out within days of being offered. Barbara Proeschel planned a very interesting tour on June 6, of mid-century modernism in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Look forward to seeing photographs in the next Newsletter.

Volunteer Services chair, Sue Stillman is ever ready to call on her faithful list of Friends members whenever we need volunteers to step up and help.

Fundraising co-chairs, Beverly Hauschild-Baron and JeanMarie Burtness planned what promised to be a wonderful event, but had to be deferred due to apocalyptic weather that shut down Minneapolis, a city that prides itself on braving blizzards. They have already re-scheduled the event for Fall 2019.

The Outreach Committee, under the direction of Nancy McRae and Kris Bjorklund continued its program with members training to be Picture People for the Art Adventure program. Friends volunteers went into elementary school classrooms as Picture People and chaperoned the students at Mia for their guided tour. This program has been enjoyed by our Friends volunteers and the students who enjoy learning about the art in their classrooms and coming to Mia for an Art Adventure tour.

Maria Reamer and Therese Blaine and their Plants and Flowers committee put together an outstanding seasonal display this winter, enjoyed by all Mia’s guests.

The Friends board next year promises to be outstanding thanks to the nominating committee well run by Connie Sommers.

The very capable liaisons Chris Vickery and Melissa Semrad respectively, worked with Rochester president Sharon Parham and St. Cloud president Amanda Falloon. We are fortunate to have strong Friend’s affiliate networks for their important community leadership on our behalf.

I would like to thank my advisors, Linda Bolter, Carolyn Dahl, Mary Olson and Joan Kampmeyer, and also Sheila Morgan and Katie Searl from my first year. Thank you for your support, friendship, and advice during my presidency. Your wisdom, perspective, and insight helped me immensely with the sometimes tough decisions that come with this office.

All of this could not happen without the solid support of our Friends Operations Manager, Jackie Figueroa. Also, we were fortunate to have two very capable Project Assistants, Kimberly Peterson and Lizzie Ginsberg, help leading up to Art in Bloom. Their contributions helped Friends put together a very smooth and well-run Art in Bloom 2019.

The Friends are privileged to work with the very helpful and dedicated Mia staff and administration. I particularly want to thank Julianne Amendola, Mia’s Chief Advancement Officer and Kaywin Feldman, the former Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of Mia. Their support, along with that of the curators and support staff, provided the framework that allowed Friends to deliver on our mission.

In July, Maria Eggemeyer will begin her two-year term as president of Friends of the Institute.  I know Maria will be an exceptional Friends president.

As we near our 100th anniversary, the Friends remain a strong and vibrant organization–important in the many ways we support Mia.  It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve as your president. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you in the galleries of Mia.

A Tribute to Our Rock Star, Kaywin Feldman

March 1, 2019 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

THIS EVENT HAS PASSED

Wells Fargo Community Room, Mia

Ticket Price: Free + RSVP

Friends members to celebrate Mia’s departing Director at an open-house reception.

Kaywin Feldman, Minneapolis Institute of Art Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President.

Dear Friends,

The music world has Beyonce, Bono, Adele – all recognized by one name. The museum world has Kaywin.  She is our rock star.

During her time at Mia, Kaywin consistently challenged the Friends to think beyond our comfort zone, to further our mission of supporting, enhancing, and sustaining the collections, programs, and influence of Mia.

The support and recognition Kaywin has given to the Friends cannot be understated, and in particular, she has always been a strong supporter of Art in Bloom, the Friends main fundraiser. In 2018 the Friends raised the most money in our history of Art in Bloom and brought in record-breaking numbers of attendees.  The funds raised by Art in Bloom enable Friends to make substantial contributions to our museum.

In 2014, Kaywin challenged the Friends to be one of three major sponsors for Mia’s 100 birthday-year celebration in 2015.  When this idea was brought to the Friends Board, we were overwhelmed with the thought of raising that much money. But we reached our goal with the help of generous donors.  Without Kaywin there to challenge us, we wouldn’t have realized this success and such heightened visibility.

In 2017, Kaywin presented us with the opportunity to support the acquisition of Eugene Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums for Mia’s permanent collection.  This masterpiece will always be connected to the Friends of the Institute.  This acquisition has been a central part of my tenure, and I will always be appreciative of Kaywin for bringing this opportunity to the Friends.

In spring 2008, I started touring at Mia as an Art Adventure Guide, at the same time Kaywin started her tenure as Director and President of Mia.  For me, it is hard to imagine Mia without Kaywin leading us.

As Kaywin—our rock star—begins her next chapter, we will be cheering for her as she brings her signature combination of vision, motivation, and passion for the arts to a larger audience at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Please join us in celebrating Kaywin and wishing her well at an open-house reception on her final day at Mia, Friday, March 1, 2019. Friends members are welcome to stop by the Wells Fargo Community Room between 10AM and noon to enjoy hospitality and extend Kaywin our thanks and best wishes. Please RSVP with the Friends Office (612.870.3045).

 

 

 

 

Katie Remole
President, Friends of the Institute

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

Join The Friends

Happy New Year, Friends!

A New Year’s Note from the Friend’s President.

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

Dear Friends,

As the Friends begin their 98th year, I am humbled to be a leader in this vibrant organization which works so hard to share with our community this treasure, which is Mia.

The past twelve months have been exhilarating.

Art in Bloom 2018 was a success by any measure, bringing more than 52,000 people to Mia, hosting the collective creativity of 260 pedestal artists, and raising over $200,000!

Last year saw our Transportation Fund host more than 9,000 children at Mia for tours of the museum. We also started a new program in conjunction with Mia’s Art Adventure guides, in which Friends volunteers went into the schools as Picture People, teaching the Art Adventure pieces in the classroom.  Friends volunteers then supported the Art Adventure guides as chaperones for the students during their tours.

For our members, this past year we greatly expanded our offerings of gallery tours.  These included increasing our focused pre-lecture tours prior to the Friends monthly lecture, and offering more Friends-only tours given by Mia curators and docents.

Our presence on Mia’s web page was enhanced and is now filled with information about Friends, and live links to facilitate donations, membership renewals and event ticket purchases.

I wish to give special thanks to Friends board committee chairs, all Friends members and volunteers, who so generously share their time and expertise in support of the Friends.  You are truly valued.

For we who have much, it is important to give back.  As I reflect on my service here, I realize that Friends fulfills my need to serve.  I hope you feel the same. The Friends is a vibrant organization because of all of our dedicated members.

Best wishes to each of you in the New Year. I look forward to seeing you in the galleries, or stop by the Friends office for a cup of coffee!

Happy New Year!


 

 

 

Katie Remole
President, Friends of the Institute

A Letter from Our Friends President, Katie Remole

The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund was established in 1990. Mary Goff Fiterman’s gift to the Friends is a lasting testament to her generosity and curiosity about all that is art.

Mary Goff Fiterman.

Dear Friends,

The Friends are grateful for our many generous and dedicated members throughout our 96-year history. One of those stood apart—Mary Goff Fiterman. Many Friends had the pleasure of knowing Mary, but many newer members only know her as the namesake of the Friends lecture series.

Mary Goff Fiterman was a lifelong lover of the arts with a soft spot for Mia.  Prior to Mary’s passing in 2010, she would often recall childhood Sunday visits to the museum with her mother, getting to know and love the collection.  Mary came to embrace all forms of art, including books, theatre, architecture and music and was a passionate supporter of artists.

She was also a devoted member and supporter of the Friends of the Institute.  When Mary established the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund in 1990–and later bolstered it with a substantial legacy gift–she wanted to bring the people behind the art to Mia, in order to enrich all of us. Her gift is a lasting testament to her generosity and curiosity about all that is art.

Mary Goff Fiterman wasn’t content to merely write checks.  In the early days of the fund, she used to delight in brainstorming ideas for speakers, and she loved to entertain them during their visit to Minneapolis. Mary invited film stars, designers, artists, art historians, princesses, ballerinas, entertainers, collectors and cultural icons. The fund’s roster has included people from varied artistic disciplines—designer Gloria Vanderbilt, arts champion Kitty Carlisle Hart, Fabergé expert Archduke Dr. Geza von Habsburg,  ballerina Suzanne Farrell and actress Debbie Reynolds. After their visit, Mary often continued to correspond with our speakers and became close friends with many of them.

As Friends of the Institute continue her tradition of inviting interesting and engaging speakers, we wish to invoke Mary Goff Fiterman’s quick wit, twinkling eyes and engaging smile.  She wants us to, and I quote from her bequest, “…focus on well-known celebrities in their fields…” She went on to say,  “I want the lecture series to be exciting, unusual, eclectic—all resulting in a big draw and attendance, as it has been since its inception.”  

The first two lectures of the Friends 2018-19 Lecture Series were sponsored by the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman lecture fund.  Aileen Riberio and Amanda Lucidon were immensely successful in a way Mary Fiterman would have approved. It is our hope that Friends continues to meet and exceed Mary Goff Fiterman’s expectations.

Warmest wishes,

Katie Remole
President, Friends of the Institute

Thank you, Kate Smith Williamschen!

Friends longtime operation manager moves on to exciting new art adventures

Friends Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen, accepted an exciting position with the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine as their Exhibition Manager. Her last day at Mia was Friday, July 20.

Leading the Friends organization comes with many joys and some sorrows, and I share with you an event that combines both. Friends Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen, accepted an exciting position with the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine as their Exhibition Manager. Her last day at Mia was Friday, July 20.  Although Friends is very happy for Kate and know she will do very well with this new opportunity, we will greatly miss her.

Kate had been the face of Friends for four years, with an ever-present smile, an admirable efficiency and great ideas for advancing our projects. Kate’s attention to detail and close comraderies with Mia staff, helped the Friends volunteers create four immensely successful Art in Blooms and many events in-between.

We miss Kate but know that her many strengths and talents will be much appreciated at the Portland Museum of Art.

In the interim as we look for our new Friends Manager, Jackie Figueroa will be filling in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 AM to 5:OO PM. Please call Jackie at 612.870.3245 or email at jfigueroa@artsmia.org with any questions or concerns about Friends.

                                                                                       All my best,

                                                                             Katie Remole

President, Friends of the Institute

 

FRIENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

Friends of the Institute has been very privileged to work with an outstanding Mia administration and staff.  We are grateful for the leadership of Kaywin Feldman, the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of Mia, and we are thankful for the guidance of Julianne Amendola, Mia’s Chief Advancement Officer.  Their contribution to Friends cannot be overstated.

The Friends greatly appreciate our invaluable Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen.  Kate was instrumental in helping Katie through her first year as Friends president.  Kate has an ever-ready smile and quick laugh that amplifies her organizational skills and ability to keep the Friends office running smoothly.

This year we were fortunate to have great support in the office with two very capable Project Assistances, Jackie Figueroa and Frannie Kuhs.  Their contribution enabled Friends to put on a very smooth Art in Bloom.  Thank you.

We are also thankful for our strong Friends affiliate groups in Rochester and St. Cloud.  These members help us support Mia through their networks of friends who enjoy the many benefits of the museum through group tours of Mia’s collection and curator lectures.  We thank them for their important community leadership on our behalf.

I now want to recognize our wise and talented past presidents.  Will you please stand when I call your name:  Carol Burton Grey, Suzanne Payne, Carolyn Dahl, and Connie Sommers.  Thank you for joining us today and thank you for your contribution to Friends.  CLAP.

Friends of the Institute had a very eventful year.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Two weeks ago we were in the midst of Art in Bloom. This was our 35th year celebrating art and flowers.  The event brought more than 52,000 visitors to Mia.  I want to recognize our co-chairs Lezlie Pinske and Barbara Proeschel; the Art in Bloom committee; all the volunteers, patrons and the Mia staff who make this event possible.
  • Art in Bloom was filled with energy and beauty, but the biggest star of the event was Mia’s new acquisition and Art in Bloom’s signature piece of art, Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums.” In celebration of Friends 100th anniversary in 2022, Friends was given the opportunity to raise the funds needed to acquire this masterpiece.  Last year Patrick Noon, Mia’s curator of paintings, and the world’s leading expert on Delacroix, learned of its availability and confirmed its authenticity as a Delacroix.  It had never before been displayed publically.  Kaywin Feldman and Patrick Noon immediately thought this picture would be a perfect way for Friends to celebrate our upcoming centennial.   I am happy to announce we are well on our way to our fundraising goal, thanks to lead donations by Friends members Nivin MacMillan, Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn, Sheila Morgan, Mary and Douglas Olson, Nikki Lewis an many others,  With ongoing fundraising, we expect to reach our goal by our  Friends Centennial Celebration in 2022.
  • Each year we work hard to enhance our endowed Transportation Fund through our Buy-A-Bus campaign, and this year was no exception. We brought 121 buses filled with 5121 school children to Mia for a docent or art adventure guide led tour, and that number does not include our busiest months of May and June.  We can be proud of the numbers of lives we touch with this program, exposing young minds to our world-class collection at Mia.
  • The Friends continued the tradition of providing nine exceptional lectures, free to the public, the second Thursday of the month, September through May. The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund generously support two of these lectures. Speakers this year were diverse as always, and ranged from Apollo art magazine’s editor Thomas Marks, to tattoo scholar and historian Anna Felicity Friedman.
  • The Friends monthly Newsletter Committee continues to deliver a very informative monthly online newsletter to our members. This year we added a special edition dedicated exclusively to Art in Bloom.  All tickets for Art in Bloom events were a simple click away.
  • Those of you who are Friends members enjoyed some special perks including Friends Only Events.
  • In the fall, we held a Friends 101 class informing members about our organization, followed by a behind the scenes look at rarely seen Andy Warhol prints in the Prints and Drawing Library, given by Mia’s curator of Prints and Drawings, Tom Rassier.
  • Our Friends Only Committee planned and executed five Friends only tours, including Mia’s new China Gate, highlights of Mia’s collection of jewelry and curator led tours of Eyewitness Views, I am Somali, and Horse Power. Our sixth Friends Only tour is scheduled for Tuesday June 12th at 11 AM.  Marla Kinney, Fellow in the Mia’s Prints and Drawing Department will led us through the exhibit “The Rabble-rouser and the Homebody:  Minnesota’s Elizabeth Olds and Wanda Gag”.  Please join us!
  • Friends Only Book Club met monthly for lively book discussions, docent led tours and refreshments.
  • The Outreach Committee started a new program with members becoming Picture People for the Art Adventure program. Friends volunteers went into the schools as Picture People and chaperoned the students at Mia for their guided tours.  Friends also donated art supplies to these students.
  • On Wednesday June 6, Friends will embark on the Art and Architecture tour of Washington, DC. The itinerary includes exclusive tours and receptions of great museums and government buildings, plus the trip is a great opportunity to enjoy friendships and camaraderie.

Again, this is a short list, but you can tell from all that goes on here, being a Friends member is a tremendous opportunity to enjoy the museum, build friendships and be part of something that enhances our communities.  I strongly encourage you to think about joining us, if you are not already a member.

2017-2018 Annual Report

Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President
Katie Remole, Friends of the Institute President

Saluté Friends,

As our 2017-2018 year draws to a close, I want to celebrate all of you and what you have done for Friends and Mia. This year’s Annual Report touches on a few of the outstanding aspects of a year we can all be proud of.

Although the highlight of the year was Art in Bloom 2018 Honorary Chair Nicki Lewis’s unveiling of the Delacroix masterpiece purchased by Friends for Mia, the numerous gatherings throughout the year that make up the work of Friends have been the core that touches us in our volunteer efforts. I invite you to read on for more.

Kind regards,

Katie Remole
President

The 2017-2018 Annual Meeting as read by 1st Vice President, Julie Holland.
Good morning and welcome to the Friends of the Institute Annual Meeting and the May lecture.
Friends of the Institute has been very privileged to work with an outstanding Mia administration and staff. We are grateful for the leadership of Kaywin Feldman, the Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia, and we are thankful for the guidance of Julianne Amendola, Mia’s Chief Advancement Officer. Their contributions to Friends cannot be overstated.
The Friends greatly appreciate our invaluable Operations Manager, Kate Smith Williamschen. Kate was instrumental in helping Katie through her first year as Friends president. Kate has an ever-ready smile and quick laugh that amplifies her organizational skills and ability to keep the Friends office running smoothly.
This year we were fortunate to have great support in the office with two very capable Project Assistants, Jackie Figueroa and Frannie Kuhs. Their contributions enabled Friends to put on a very smooth Art in Bloom. Thank you.
We are also thankful for our strong Friends affiliate groups in Rochester and St. Cloud. These members help us support Mia through their networks of friends who enjoy the many benefits of the museum through group tours of Mia’s collection and curator lectures. We thank them for their important community leadership on our behalf.
I now want to recognize our wise and talented past presidents. Will you please stand when I call your name: Carol Burton Gray, Suzanne Payne, Carolyn Dahl, and Connie Sommers. Thank you for joining us today and thank you for your contribution to Friends.
Friends of the Institute had a very eventful year. Here are a few of the highlights:

      • Two weeks ago we were in the midst of Art in Bloom. This was our 35th year celebrating art and flowers. The event brought more than 52,000 visitors to Mia. I want to recognize our co-chairs Lezlie Pinske and Barbara Proeschel; the Art in Bloom committee; all the volunteers, patrons and Mia staff who make this event possible.
      • Art in Bloom was filled with energy and beauty, but the biggest star of the event was Mia’s new acquisition and Art in Bloom’s signature piece of art, Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums. In celebration of Friends 100th anniversary in 2022, Friends was given the opportunity to raise the funds needed to acquire this masterpiece. Last year Patrick Noon, Mia’s Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of Paintings, and the world’s leading expert on Delacroix, learned of its availability and confirmed its authenticity as a Delacroix. It had never before been displayed to the publicly. Kaywin Feldman and Patrick Noon immediately thought this painting would be a perfect way for Friends to celebrate our upcoming centennial. I am happy to announce we are well on our way to our fundraising goal, thanks to lead donations by Friends members Nivin MacMillan, Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn, Sheila Morgan, Mary and Douglas Olson, Carol Burton Gray, Nikki Lewis and many others. With ongoing fundraising, we expect to reach our goal by our Friends Centennial Celebration in 2022.
      • Each year we work hard to enhance our endowed Transportation Fund through our Buy A Bus campaign, and this year was no exception. We brought 121 buses filled with 5,121 school children to Mia for a docent or art adventure guide-led tour, and that number does not include our busiest months of May and June. We can be proud of the numbers of lives we touch with this program, exposing young minds to our world-class collection at Mia.
      • The Friends continued the tradition of providing nine exceptional lectures, free to the public, on the second Thursday of the month, September through May. The Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund generously support two of these lectures. Speakers this year were diverse as always and ranged from Apollo art magazine’s editor Thomas Marks to tattoo scholar and historian Anna Felicity Friedman.
      • The Friends Newsletter Committee continues to deliver a very informative monthly online newsletter to our members. This year we added a special edition dedicated exclusively to Art in Bloom. All tickets for Art in Bloom events were a simple click away.

Those of you who are Friends members enjoyed some special perks including Friends Only events:

      • In the fall, we held a Friends 101 class informing members about our organization, followed by a behind-the-scenes look at rarely seen Andy Warhol prints in the Prints and Drawing Library, given by Mia’s John E. Andrus III Curator of Prints and Drawings, Tom Rassier.
      • Our Friends Only Committee planned and executed five Friends Only tours, including Mia’s new “Gate of Prosperity”, highlights of Mia’s collection of jewelry and curator-led tours of “Eyewitness Views”, “I am Somali”, and “Horse Power”. Our sixth Friends Only tour is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12 at 11AM. Marla Kinney, Fellow in Mia’s Prints and Drawings Department will led us through the exhibit “The Rabblerouser and the Homebody:  Minnesota’s Elizabeth Olds and Wanda Gag”. Please join us!
      • Friends Only Book Club met monthly for lively book discussions, docent-led tours, and refreshments.
      • The Outreach Committee started a new program with members becoming Picture People for the Art Adventure program. Friends volunteers went into the schools as Picture People and chaperoned the students at Mia for their guided tours. Friends also donated art supplies to these students.
      • On Wednesday, June 6, Friends will embark on the Art and Architecture tour of Washington, DC. The itinerary includes exclusive tours and receptions of great museums and government buildings, plus the trip is a great opportunity to enjoy friendships and camaraderie.

Again, this is a short list, but you can tell from all that goes on here, being a Friends member is a tremendous opportunity to enjoy the museum, build friendships and be part of something that enhances our communities. I strongly encourage you to think about joining us, if you are not already a member.

Friends Annual Report 2016-2017

Connie SommersGreetings Friends!
Spring has arrived and we helped usher it in with our glorious Art in Bloom 2017.  Congratulations! This is such an exciting time to be a Friend of the Institute. Our organization’s history is strong and the horizon bright with creative and innovative members. Before the new board takes office July 1st, I’d like to share the past year’s achievements. The annual report follows in its entirety for all members to read. I am privileged you have allowed me to be your President. Thank you.  
Wishing you sunshine and roses.
Take care,
Connie
Friends Annual Report 2016-2017
The 94th Annual meeting of the Friends of the Institute is now in session.  
I would like to recognize the past Friends Presidents who are with us today. Jane Nelson, Sheila Morgan, Carol Burton Gray, Linda Goldenberg, Suzanne Payne, Katie Searl, Carolyn Dahl and Pam Friedland. This very special, accomplished group represents 32 years of outstanding Friends leadership.
The past twelve months have been a significant year for our organization. Many new initiatives, through creative thinking and tireless work from outstanding members, will assure the Friends organization’s viability as we approach our 100th birthday in 2022, and beyond. Our goal is to be an innovator and leader not only in the Twin Cities but in the nonprofit world. I have no doubt we will accomplish our goals because we are privileged to work in such a supportive environment, thanks to the staff and administration of Mia. The Friends are fortunate to have the special friendship of Duncan and Nivin Macmillan Director and President of Mia, Kaywin Feldman; the guidance of Director of Advancement and liaison to the Friends, Julianne Amendola; the support of Maurice Blanks and the Mia Trustees who all stand with us.
Two weeks ago we were hosting thousands of guests at Mia for the 34th annual Art in Bloom. To be exact we had a record setting crowd — 52,000 guests in four days! We were all enjoying flowers, lectures, shopping and good cheer throughout the museum. AIB is the largest fundraising event of the Friends and takes over 300 volunteers and 165 pedestal florist to make sure our spring gift to the community is the best ever! The financial figures are not finalized but we are hopeful with the funds raised we will be able to bring more children to the museum, support more programs for Mia and expand the business of the Friends. Thank you to all who helped make AIB 2017 a success.
AIB was not the Friends only fundraising event this past year. We successfully offered two new opportunities to enjoy Mia. On October 7 the Friends hosted a cocktail reception and then heard Kaywin Feldman share her thoughts on the Art of Wonder.  On December 1, the Friends hosted a second cocktail reception during the Martin Luther exhibit. Deanna Thompson, a published Luther expert and Hamline University professor spoke to our guests about Luther from her perspective as a woman. Many of our guests experienced a docent led tour of the Luther exhibit. Both evenings were most enjoyable and quite successful.
The Friends continued the tradition of free monthly lectures. The lectures were sponsored by the generous gift of the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund. I’m sure none of you will be disappointed with today’s lecture or the line-up of speakers beginning the fall of 2017.
The Friends Transportation Fund has had a successful year bringing thousands of students to the museum. All students receive a docent led or Art Adventure tour. There is nothing like the excitement of school buses pulling up to the front of Mia and discharging all the excited school children for a visit to Mia. It may be noisy but it’s good noise. For the first time, the Friends will be bringing children to Mia in the summertime under a new initiative called the Transportation Program. Friends are partnering this summer with the North District YMCA to bring 16 buses of summer campers for a visit. This is exciting for the Friends and we hope to expand the program to other non-profits, like the Boys & Girls Club, with the funds raised through AIB 2017 Fund-a-Need.
And more good news. The 2016 AIB Fund-a-Need was so successful we were able to triple the number of scholarships awarded last summer to underserved campers for Mia’s arts camps and will be able to bring campers to the arts camps this summer, 2017, too!
The Friends Children’s Programs funded the second phase of the Community Mural project at Centro Tyrone Guzman Community Center. Many of the Friends went to its dedication last fall. The multi-generational Latino Community Center now has a beautiful, colorful facade created by their members fronting Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. The Friends are committed to sponsor a third Community Mural to be completed in the fall 2017 in the Hope-Whittier neighborhood. Also this fall, a group of Friends will be trained to be Art Adventure “Picture People” at Whittier School. These volunteers will share the marvels of art and the kids will come to Mia for a visit. This is all very exciting for our neighborhood.
The Friends Endowment for Education contributes nearly 12% to Mia’s educational department’s budget, Learning Innovation. Mia’s LI department and the Friends organization are dedicated to providing programming for children and adults.
The Friends Membership Committee successfully started an Outreach Initiative this year. It developed into an active sub-committee and next year the Outreach Committee will be a new voting voice on the Friends Board. The plan is to reach out to other Twin Cities like-minded organizations and explore what we can do together to make ourselves stronger. So far, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra have come to the March lecture and members of the Swedish Institute joined us for the April lecture. Just this Monday a group of Friends went to a Kinder Konzert at Orchestra Hall. We hope this is the beginning of mutually beneficial relationships.
There are summer plans for the Friends to do an exchange of speakers with the Minneapolis Woman’s Club. We are calling this initiative The Art of Power/The Power of Art. On Friday, June 2 Friends are invited to a luncheon at the Basilica of St Mary’s with guests from the Vatican. We will visit a special exhibit: A Day in the Life of the Swiss Guard. That’s just what’s happening this summer. Stay tuned and check out Friends Newsletter for future opportunities to participate in Outreach activities.
Another successful idea that came out of the Outreach Initiative was “Buy-a-Bus.” It started as a wonderful gift idea for Christmas giving. However, it proved to be so popular that we have extended the idea of purchasing a bus for other celebrations in the year like birthdays or maybe Mother’s Day! And with each bus purchased a tiny toy bus is awarded to you for your donation. This endeavor allows the Friends to bring 50 children in a bus to Mia.  
The Friends Art & Architecture trip is in June. Twenty Friends will “Skedaddle off to Seattle” for a wonderful, fun trip to that beautiful city, their museums and other points of interest. Safe travels Friends!
The Friends Only committee plans events for your enjoyment of the museum, to meet new friends and get acquainted with Mia curators. In the fall we had Friends #101, informing new and present Friends members about our organization’s activities, followed by a tour with Assistant Curator of Textiles Nicole LaBouff, focusing on textiles. We also toured the Guillermo del Toro exhibit with Curator and Head of Contemporary Art, Gabriel Ritter. The Friends Only Committee organizes the docent led pre-lecture tours each month and the Friends book club.
We could not possibly plan all these exciting Friends events without the support, professionalism and tireless enthusiasm of our Operations Manager, Kate Smith. Kate, along with her team of Project Assistants, Lydia and Jackie, are the liaisons to our members, our Board and to Mia’s staff. They are dynamic young women and a joy to work with. Stop by the office any time to say “hi.” Kate keeps the candy dish full of chocolate just for you.
My term as Friends President will conclude next month, on June 30. I want to thank you all for your Friendship and support over the past two years. I do not look at the completion of my job with sadness, but with happiness for the privilege I have had, being your President. Thank you!

Connie Sommers

FRIENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2015-2016

Hello Friends! 

We missed you in June. The Friends Office has had a bit of a respite this month after Art in Bloom but the planning really never stops, especially as a new board takes office July first.  But before we dive into future plans I’d like to report on our organization’s 2015-2016 accomplishments.  In May, at the Annual Meeting, I reported on the past year’s achievements.  Following is my report in its entirety for all members to read at their leisure.
I hope your sun filled days are fun filled days!

Take care,

Connie

FRIENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2015-2016
The 93rd Annual meeting of the Friends of the Institute is now in session.

One year ago we were half way through Mia’s 100th Birthday Year.  The Friends was part of this very significant celebration as the first sponsor to pledge $500,000 to Mia’s Birthday. Because of the work and dedication of Friends members, at the end of this fiscal year we will have paid off more than 4/5th of our pledge.  This accomplishment emphasizes the close connection and mutual respect we have for Mia, the staff and administration.  The expert leadership of Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President, Kaywin Feldman, as well as the guidance of the Chief Advancement Officer and liaison to the Friends, Julianne Amendola, and support of Maurice Blanks and the Trustees of Mia, cannot be underestimated.  We are privileged to work in such a supportive environment.
Just two weeks ago we were hosting thousands of guests at Mia for the 33rd Art in Bloom.  To be exact, we had over 35,000 guests enjoying flowers and lectures and shopping and friendship throughout the museum for four days. This is the 3rd consecutive year attendance has been 35,000 or more.  Art in Bloom is the Friends’ largest fundraising event.  We don’t have any final financial figures; however, the work of over 300 volunteers and 160 pedestal floral artists promises to be quite successful. The money we raise enables us to run the business of the Friends.

The Friends continued the tradition of free monthly lectures, with many attracting crowds large enough for substantial overflow.  These lectures are sponsored by the generous gift of the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture Fund.  I’m sure none of you will be disappointed with the line-up starting in September.

This school year was an outstanding year for the Friends Transportation Fund.  Friends provided a record 111 buses for students who all received a docent or Art Adventure led tour at Mia.  We were able to add buses for high school students this year and next, thanks to the 2015 Fund-a-Need donation of $20,000.  Schools represent the greater Twin Cities area and were chosen depending on their percentage of free and reduced lunches.

The Friends Children’s Programs had a unique experience when we funded a community mural project at Centro Tyrone Guzman Community Center.   It’s an active multi-generational center for the Latino community located on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.  Some of the Friends attended the mural dedication in September to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the project.  We look forward to the completion of the final phase in the next few months, now that the weather is milder.

The Friends Endowment for Education contributes nearly 12% of Mia’s educational department budget, Learning Innovation.  Mia’s LI department is dedicated to providing programming for children and adults.Our Friends membership stands at approximately 1,200 members.  That includes not only the greater Twin Cities but also St. Cloud and Rochester.  We are very proud of our membership and all the varied activities that we are able to offer.  Most of our communication with our Friends members is through our digital newsletter.  It is able to deliver Friends news to Friends in a timely fashion, inexpensively and efficiently.  We appreciate our members’ patience as we transition from paper to 21st century technology.
A bit earlier this year, the Friends had their Art & Architecture tour in March.  We went to Cuba!  We had a delightful trip; it was extremely educational and a lot of fun. Our group of 24 Friends felt as if we had stepped back to the 1950’s.  It was quite an experience learning first-hand about the friendly Cuban people.

The Friends Only events have given us numerous opportunities to enjoy laughter, knowledge and time with our comrades.  In the fall, we had a Friends #101 class, designed to inform Friends about our organization, followed by a tour with Nicole LaBouff focused on the large tapestries in the Fountain Court.  Later, we had a tour with curator Aaron Rio through the recently acquired Mary Griggs Burke collection.  Winter brought an evening of wine, coloring and a tour with John E. Andrus III Curator of Prints and Drawings Tom Rassieur through his delightful exhibit in the Cargill Gallery.  We also visited Mia’s Archival Library with Janice Lurie, Mia’s head librarian.  Our Friends Only committee organized docent lead pre-lecture tours prior to these monthly lectures and the ever-popular book club that includes a docent lead tour followed by a discussion and treats.

Of course, all of these exciting events could not happen without the friendly, professional help of our Office Administrator, Kate Smith.  She is the Friends liaison with our members, our Board and Mia’s staff.  I am so grateful I have the pleasure to work with her.  Please stop by the office just to say ‘hi’ and help yourself to a piece of chocolate.  If you’re not a Friend, why not join us?  Our memberships start at $45.  Become a member of this dynamic, exciting group and enjoy the friendship.

I love the job of Friends President because of you.  It is a privilege to work with such an outstanding, talented group of individuals.  Thank you sounds a bit underwhelming, but I sincerely do thank you for your support and friendship.

Connie Sommers