President’s Letter

President’s Letter

Summer Greetings!!

August is here and with it comes the State Fair, school supplies, whiffs of autumn and the stirring feeling that while something is ending, another something is beginning. I am Julie Holland, serving you as President of Friends of the Institute. On behalf of our hardworking board and committees, I welcome you to a new year of opportunities to appreciate the human condition through the lens of great art.

Please join us for our kick-off lecture via Zoom on September 9, at 11 AM, given by the singer, rapper, writer, poet, songwriter and one-woman powerhouse, Dessa. Our tickets are free but numbers are limited. As a Friends member you are entitled to secure your free ticket on August 16, four days before sales open to the general public.

While the Friends pride themselves in our engaging programming, we are also profoundly committed to supporting Mia and extending its influence into our richly diverse community. My decade as a member of the Friends has greatly enhanced my life through learning and friendships. I hope your membership does the same for you. Enjoy reading about upcoming events. Note we start our grand Centennial celebration on January 20, 2022!

Best regards,

Julie Holland

President, Friends of the Institute


President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

What a year! It’s no surprise that Friends adapted quickly and made the most of it. Lectures went on via ZOOM and thanks to the Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Fund and no spatial limitations, expert speakers and meaningful monthly lectures drew many from all over. Much gratitude goes to the Friends Lecture committee and the strong support of Mia’s staff. 

Friends Only programs offered members engaging monthly curator-led tours that were recorded, uploaded, and archived to the Friends of the Institute webpage for viewing by the public.

Friends Only Book Club gave members the chance to discuss the museum’s monthly book selection led by a docent, who blended in a thoughtful tour of complementary artwork. Chairs worked hard to promote these activities to the Friends membership. 

Members could also count on the Friends Newsletter for a good read and a wide range of information about upcoming activities as well as happenings at Mia. Each issue included fun articles that fit a monthly theme selected by the editors to pull together an excellent newsletter. All newsletters are available for reading on the Friends webpage.

The Centennial committee continues to work hard to prepare and plan a fitting celebration of one hundred bountiful years of the Friends of the Institute, beginning in January of 2022.  

The Membership committee has made great strides to grow Friends membership. And to help celebrate the hundredth birthday, Friends is offering complimentary membership to our members and the public. Come January 2022, membership dues will resume and be payable every January in the future. A common renewal date in January for all members will greatly simplify the process.

Last but not least, Art in Bloom 2021 was a resounding success! The public received the unique virtual presentation of the thirty-eighth floral festival with great acclaim. Events were well attended, the gorgeous displays by commercial florists at their store locations drew much praise and,  even though virtual, the Pedestal Floral Artist’s creations were as spectacular as ever and could be viewed worldwide. All in all, this year’s spring event was a worthy welcome to spring, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated committee of volunteers and the expertise and steadfast support of Mia’s staff. See results from Barb Champ below.

There’s more to come in May and June. Don’t miss the May lecture with Native American artist-photographer Cara Romero, whose piece was part of the 2017 world-renowned Hearts of Our People exhibit at Mia.

Friends Only, Friends Book Club, and Art and Architecture all have excellent and fun programs planned. Be sure to read about the May goings-on in the Newsletter and register for the lecture activities.

Please mark May 27 on your calendars. I look forward “seeing” all of you at the 2020-2021 Annual meeting. It was a very different, but productive year for Friends.

Friends would also like to thank office coordinator Lizzi Ginsberg, who kept us all organized and in touch with Mia’s staff. Her contribution to Friend’s success this year cannot be underestimated. Lizzi is off to Chicago with exciting plans to begin graduate work at the Art Institute of Chicago. Mia and Friends thank her and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.

President’s Letter

Dear Friends,

My Thanksgiving celebration will be very different this year. Nonetheless, it’s still my favorite holiday when I eat my home-made cranberry sauce, and give thanks for the opportunity to slow down and see the good that surrounds me.

Thank you to the fall season,and for beautiful colors.

Thank you to Mia for the wonder of art.

Thank you to Friends members for their support.

Thank you to Rochester and St. Cloud Friends for their loyalty.

Thank you to the Friends board and volunteers for their dedication and hard work.

Thank you to the Friends office administrator for her expertise and good cheer.

Thank you to Mia staff for their friendship and willingness to help.

Here’s one I’ve grown to appreciate more and more – thank you to technology that ties us together.

My list could go on and on.

 Finally, I am grateful for the love of family and friends. I’ll always cherish my childhood memories of Thanksgivings at my grandparents’ home, when even creamed corn and cranberry jelly straight out of the can could be delectable. My very favorite was “clam paste” – a clam dip eaten with potato chips that was made with cream cheese, canned chopped clams, and Worcestershire sauce.

 I wish you a Thanksgiving holiday full of gratitude, fond memories, and good food. 

A Letter from the friends president

Maria Eggemeyer, Friends President

Dear Friends,

You won’t want to miss the photography exhibit that opened on January 4. “Just Kids” shows us two hundred photographs, many from Mia’s bountiful collection that are of, by, or for children. Visitors see the exhibit through the eyes of children who were invited to give their ideas, write about some of the works, and help shape the exhibition.

Guides at Mia get to hear children’s unique interpretation of art on their tours. One docent recalled her group of fifth-graders looking at A Fishing Party Off Long Island, who commented how “unsafe these guys are because they’re not wearing life jackets and are standing up in small rowboats.” It would not have occurred to many adults to make this observation about Junius Brutus Stearns’ nineteenth-century painting.

It is a gift for us to learn how children see the world, sometimes so different from what adults see. It’s a gift for them to make a connection with the art, with the museum and with their powers of observation and interpretation.  

In its ninety-year history, Friends has brought children to Mia in its mission to support, enhance, and sustain the collection, programs, and influence of Mia. Two funds have made a significant impact on this initiative: 

The Friends Transportation Fund began in 1996 with an endowment from Roberta Mann Benson. Since then, the fund has grown to provide busses for about 8,000 school children to come to Mia for guided tours each year. 

The Friends Children’s Fund was a gift from Glenda Struthers in 2007. This initiative provided an opportunity for every second and third-grade student in the Minneapolis Public School System, over 5,000 children, to visit the museum for Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) tours designed to enhance critical thinking in all areas of learning. 

We’re grateful for these gifts and want to build on them, so this year our primary fundraiser, Art in Bloom, is making the Transportation Fund its centerpiece.  We hope to boost funding for school busses to bring even more children to Mia in the future—building tomorrow’s museum-goers and supporters.  What could be more important? 

Your friend,



Maria Eggemeyer
President, Friends of the Institute