March 2019

MCAD Senior Show Visit

May 9, 2019 6:00 pm


MCAD Lobby, 2501 Stevens Avenue

Ticket Price: Free

Join us to check out the inspiring art from seniors at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an informal gathering at Agra Culture Cafe (Mia’s main lobby). 

Join fellow Friends on May 9 at 6PM (feel free to bring other friends) for a fun evening. We’ll meet at Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD)’s main building to take in all the talent of this year’s class. Then we’ll stroll over to Mia’s Agra Culture Cafe (first level) for refreshments.


April Friends Book Club: “Population: 485, Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time”

April 18, 2019 10:00 am


Mia Library

Ticket Price: Free

Join other Friends to discuss Michael Perry’s memoir “Population: 485, Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time”.

After a moderator-led discussion, we will have the enriching experience of a small group tour led by docents, connecting Mia works of art to Michael Perry’s memoir.

Writer and humorist Michael Perry returns to his rural Wisconsin town of New Auburn after being away for twelve years.  To reconnect with his past and get back into the fabric of the town, Perry joins the volunteer fire and rescue department.  Perry’s essays are structured around his EMT calls which range from a collision at the local laundromat to heart attacks, fires, and suicides.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Perry’s mosaic of small-town life also paints charming portraits of the town’s memorable characters, such as the One-Eyed Beagle, another firefighter.  Perry’s insights into the small-town mentality come from apparent contemplation, and he writes about them with good humor,…”.

There are spaces for 20 Friends.  Please call the Friends office at 612.870.3045 to make your reservation.

Please contact Jeanne Scheiderer, with any questions.

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

Join The Friends

May Lecture: Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Director of the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture

May 16, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

“The Challenge of Building a National Museum.”

Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture. His talk will explore the history and struggle to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture focusing on a variety of challenges including building on the Mall, conceptual frameworks, public expectations, and contextual terrain of race. 

Mr. Bunch will explore the strategies used to successfully navigate these challenges and in doing so he will update the audience on the current status and future projections for the Museum.  Ultimately, Mr. Bunch will explore how the National Museum will help the Smithsonian transition from a 19th century institution to a 21st century enterprise.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About it! Special Art in Bloom 2019 Newsletter Coming Mid-March

The Sacred Egyptian Bean, plate 31 from Robert Thornton’s “The Temple of Flora,” 1804 (1799-1807), Peter Henderson; Engraver: Thomas Burke; Engraver: Frederick Lewis; Publisher: Dr. Robert John Thornton, The Minnich Collection The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 19

But Art in Bloom 2019 links are available now on the Friends website! Click through to read more about Art in Bloom and to buy event tickets now!

Keep your eyes open for the special “Friends Only” Art in Bloom 2019 edition of the Friends Newsletter coming to you in mid-March! This special edition will  focus on our largest fundraiser and Friend-raiser, Art in Bloom 2019.

The special edition will list all the flowers, fun, and fashion that Art in Bloom 2019 will offer at Mia from Wednesday, April 11-14. It will also provide links available to purchase event tickets directly.

If you don’t want to wait, event links are already available on the Friends website! Click here to access descriptions, ticket links, and read all about Art in Bloom 2019. Many of the events sell out quickly, so buy early!

Can’t wait to see you at Art in Bloom!

Calling All Art in Bloom Volunteers!

Sign-up is now open for Art in Bloom 2019 volunteer opportunities.

Art in Bloom would not be possible without the many volunteers who graciously give of their time and talents.

Please consider signing up for a shift or two this year.  A variety of positions are up for grabs  including greeters, guides, ticket takers, program sellers, gift shop customer service attendants, ushers, florist greeters, and more.

Volunteer shifts range from 90 minutes to about three hours and include a variety of roles and tasks. There’s a place for everyone!

Although past volunteer experience is great, it’s not required, so please encourage fellow Friends, friends, and family to join us.

Click here to see what the needs are, choose what you’re interested in, then hit “submit and sign up” to secure your spot.

Volunteer training will be held Saturday, April 6, 10-11:30AM.  The training is optional, except for those handling sales of any kind. The training will be held in the Friends Community Room.
RSVP for the training to

Bachmans returns as major sponsor for Art in Bloom 2019

Bachman’s generosity never ends! Be sure to read all about and sign up for Beauty of the Nile, a workshop that benefits Art in Bloom 2019 or attend the annual Bachman’s Spring Idea House which also benefits the Friends of Mia! Thank you Bachman’s!

Bachman’s returns as a lead sponsor of Art in Bloom 2019. This family-owned business, which offers flowers, plants, garden supplies, gifts and home decor in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond, has been a sponsor of Art in Bloom since 2000, but stepped up to become a lead sponsor in 2014. Each year their active donations and artistry with flowers adds a heightened level of beauty to the Art in Bloom event.

Bachman’s presence at Art in Bloom is so much more than visual but that element is a key one for Art in Bloom. Bachman’s provides the large floral installations at the 24th Avenue entrance, in the Regis Fountain Court and at the entrance to Pillsbury Auditorium. At Flowers After Hours you’ll marvel at the floral couture on view that is inspired by the Art in Bloom signature piece. The Bachman’s Design team works closely with the Flowers After Hours Committee to plan and execute a fun and festive show of flowers and fashion!

Bachman’s also provides the centerpieces for the Preview Party tables as well as the Formal Luncheon tables. They make sure that kids get in on the floral act by providing flowers for the craft portion of Sunday’s Family Event.

As part of Art in Bloom, the Friends and Bachman’s partner on the Bachman’s Spring Ideas House as well as a Floral Design Workshop to be held at Bachman’s Lyndale Avenue location on Saturday, March 16 from 2-4PM. Bachman’s generously donates a portion of the proceeds to Art in Bloom! This year the Spring Ideas House will be running from March 7 through April 7 at the Bachman’s historic home on Lyndale Avenue and 20 percent of the proceeds benefit the Friends of Mia!. You’ll find inspiring ideas for revitalizing your home’s decor. Tickets are $5. Buy online at

Coincidentally, Mia and Bachman’s celebrated milestone anniversaries in 2015 when Mia turned 100 and Bachman’s turned 130! It seems fitting that together the Friends and Bachman’s bring art and beauty to life at this annual rite of spring — Art in Bloom.

Thank you to Bachman’s!

March Friends Lecture

March 14, 2019 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

“The Sunken Cities and Shipwrecks of Ancient Egypt’s Alexandrian Coast”  presented by Dr. Damian Robinson.

Dr. Robinson is part of the team examining the extensive assemblage of maritime artifacts from the sites of Thonis-Heracleion and Alexandria, some of which are on display in Mia’s current Egypt exhibition. 

He is a classical archaeologist who is interested in ancient seafaring and seafarers in the Mediterranean and beyond and an Associate Professor of Maritime Archaeology in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where he is also the Director of the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology (OCMA). 

Reserve your ticket at or by calling 612.870.6323.

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March Friends Only Book Club

March 15, 2019 10:00 am


Mia Research & Reference Library

Ticket Price: Free

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is the March book.

Join us to discuss Lisa See’s novel The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

A docent-led tour centered around works of art relating to the novel will follow the moderator-led discussion of the book.

In Lisa See’s moving coming-of-age novel, a young Chinese woman from the Akha ethnic minority finds her way to a productive life through the tea-cultivating traditions of her forebears.  A story of family, identity, and motherhood, this novel is a fascinating voyage through a little-known culture.

According to author Helen Simonson in a Washington Post review, “Just as properly aged tea from ancient trees has both flavor and a ‘returning taste’, so this story balances moving on with returning home.  Both Li-yuan and Haley must ultimately reconcile where they come from with who they are now, and they must compromise with the flaws of family and tradition if they wish to reclaim their roots.  A lush tale infused with clear-eyed compassion, this novel will inspire reflection, discussion and an overwhelming desire to drink rare Chinese tea.”

There are 20 spots available for this conversation and tour. Please contact the Friends Office at 612.870.3045 or to make your reservation.

Also mark Friday, April 19 on your calendar for a moderator-led discussion and docent tour related to Population: 485, Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry.

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

Join The Friends

April 11 Friends Lecture Canceled

Owing to a date conflict with Art in Bloom 2019, the April lecture has been canceled.

Please note that the Friends Lecture by Andrea Beyer, scheduled for April 11, has been canceled. That date now overlaps with this year’s Art in Bloom, and since Pillsbury Auditorium will be needed for our annual celebration of spring and biggest fundraiser of the year, we had to reschedule Ms. Bayer’s lecture, “The Unfinished in Art.” However, she graciously offered to come speak to us later in the year, and we look forward to hosting her in the fall.

An Event Update From the Friends Fundraiser Committee

Regarding: Creating a Landmark, Honoring a Legacy: Bell Museum and Mia

The architecture of the new Bell Museum on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus will be the focus of a Friends event on January 31 at the museum.

Thank you so much for your interest in the Friends Fundraiser featuring Bell Museum Executive Director, Denise Young and architect, David Dimond scheduled for January 31, 2019. Due to extreme weather Mia closed the museum, which resulted in the cancelation of our event. We are extremely disappointed that we couldn’t present this program, as it also included remarks by Ford Bell and offered related tours through the museum. The Friends are planning to reschedule in the fall.

In the meantime, you have two options for addressing the money you paid to attend. You can choose to have your money refunded or you can make a donation to the Friends Transportation Program, which buses school-age children to the museum. If no action is taken, the entire ticket price will be donated to this Friend’s fund.

Please call 888.642.2787 (toll free) to exercise the option you prefer. We apologize for this disappointment and inconvenience. We do hope you’ll be able to attend in the fall. Thank you for your interest and support of the Friends of the Institute.