Letter from the President

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

Ruminations on Arts

Connie SommersI love art; however, I am not an art major, docent nor an art adventure guide, but I am a member of Mia and I am in the Friends office…. a lot. So I guess our newsletter editors, Terry and Fran, felt I was qualified to write an article about my favorite piece of art at Mia. I’ve put a lot of thought into making a choice and ruminated a great deal. I came to the conclusion, I couldn’t possibly choose just one favorite work of art out of all the fabulous art in our museum. When I gaze at art, it can inspire me, it can make me feel happy or reflective. Art can remind me of fond memories and encourage wonder. There are many factors, light, color and genre that draw me to a particular piece of art. I just can’t give them a tidy answer, tied up with a yellow bow.
Recently, I was fortunate to join a tour with Jennifer Komar Olivarez through the Period Rooms at Mia. Tom Savage had just lectured about how museums are working to reinvigorate their period rooms for 21st-century museum visitors. And in my estimation, with the recent addition of photographs in gallery 333, Mia is rejuvenating our historic rooms. Anthony Marchetti, the photographer, approached the project in such an inventive, unique way. His interpretation illuminates our historic period rooms creatively yet respectfully. I wonder, how did he think of this interpretation. Anthony’s creative genius has touched me. Art is amazing!

A Letter from Friends President Connie Sommers

Hello Friends!
Connie SommersThe days of summer have arrived, but they are neither lazy nor hazy in the Friends office. As a new board begins their work, the Friends lecture series kicks off with a new slate of speakers on September 10th. Tickets will be available beginning August 15th. Kate, our office administrator, celebrates her one year anniversary with us. I am honored to begin my term as your President.
July marks the halfway point of the MIA’s 100 Birthday Year’s celebration and surprises. The excitement around the museum is palpable and continues to build. Friends can be proud of their $500,000 support of this once in a lifetime experience. It’s not over yet, and in many ways just beginning. I look forward to the second half of this celebration year.
Plans are progressing for a full calendar of events for Friends’ friends. There will be something of interest for everyone. So please stay in touch and drop by the Friends office. We’d love to see you. Coffee’s always hot and the chocolate dish is full.
Enjoy the remainder of summer,
Connie Sommers

A Letter from Friends President Pamela Friedland

Portrait of Friends President Pam FriedlandI look back at the last two years of my life and of course recall all the personal fortunes in my life such as moving into a new home my husband and I helped design and welcoming our first grandchild Greyson, into our lives. This would certainly be enough to fill anyone with happiness it would seem. But I have had the good fortune of continued fulfillment by leading the Friends of the Institute through an incredible two years. Doing it with the most loyal, diligent, and genuinely warm group of board members I have worked alongside, has so greatly added to these successful two years. Seeing our Office Administrator Kate Smith everyday, has given me great support and introduced me to someone with the most amazing smile ever and incredible competency to boot! Our Friends Lecture Series has enjoyed a year of tremendous success. As the auditorium fills each month, our members have learned an incredible amount about so many different art topics. We continue to be grateful to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund for its generosity in supporting this enormous endeavor. We look forward to a stellar lineup, beginning once again this September. Our Transportation Fund this year is spending nearly $17,000 for 90 buses bringing almost 4,500 schoolchildren through our doors for guide-led tours. Our goal in the next year is to offer transportation to older children also, exposing and capturing their future interest in the arts. We continue our long tradition of decorating the front MIA lobby with lovely fresh flowers weekly calling upon the generosity of the Harris/Phelps Fund. This year, like so many others, we generously provided via our Friends Endowment for Education Fund over $80,000 to the Learning and Innovation Department, allowing them the proper outreach to the community the museum prides itself on. Our Children’s Fund works closely with this department also targeting specific projects. Perhaps Friends is most proud this year of speaking up first to become one of the MIA’s three top Presenting Sponsors honoring the museum’s 100th Birthday Year. We are proud to say we have now paid off $250,000 of our $500,000 gift to the museum! We have our members to thank for helping raise this kind of money. Your belief in our mission, tireless support of our fall fundraisers and our annual community favorite Art in Bloom, as well as countess volunteer hours, allows us to be this generous. This organization is nonexistent without all of you, not only your time, financial support, but personal interactions so important to the success of a volunteer organization. We certainly have the MIA staff to thank also. Our partnership with everyone in the museum is cherished and enjoyed. I leave you all in great hands as Connie Sommers takes over as president in July. I certainly hope I may speak for all of you, as we plan to bop into the Friends office often to see Connie and Kate, and continue to be a part of the growth and success of the Friends.
With very warm wishes, Pamela Friedland