Meet a Friend: Connie Sommers

Connie Sommers has been an active volunteer at Mia for over 20 years—as a Friends member and, more recently,  an Art Adventure Guide.  This month we get to know this mother (to an adult daughter and three-year-old rescue pup), a little better.

Connie Summers

Tell us a little about yourself.  

I have a lovely daughter, Whitney, and a terrific son-in-law, John, and a Cuban Havanese puppy, Oscar.  I’m a former elementary education teacher and taught in both the US and Canada. I also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for a bit. My last teaching job was with the No Child Left Behind program in South Mpls. A corporate move brought our family to the Minneapolis area in 1994, and we never left this beautiful city.  I became a volunteer because we moved so frequently and it’s been a great way for me to meet people, make friends, and feel an attachment to a new community. The Friends have really anchored me to the Twin Cities.

How long have you been a Friend?  

Since the late 90’s when friends brought me to the museum. My first volunteer job for the Friends was working in the little room in the Friends office taking reservations for Art in Bloom with Carol Burton and Jane Johnson. My first Board position was working with Pauline Altermatt as Hospitality Chairs.  

What’s the most memorable Friends Lecture or event you’ve attended? 

There have been so many! The first event and my first visit to Mia was in 1997—the Chihuly Exhibition. It was magical.  One of the memorable lectures I attended was the Lonnie Bunch Lecture. He was so genuine and interesting.

Do you have a favorite artwork? 

My sentimental favorite, because of my first visit, has to be the Chihuly Sunburst, located in the third street lobby. 

Finish the sentence: I love being a Friend…

because of my Friends friends! 

What do you wish everyone knew about Mia? 

Mia fills your soul.  The art, the beauty, the knowledge, the staff, and the volunteers, all are wonderful.   

How are you adjusting to our current circumstances?

It’s a challenge, but taking it day by day.

Oscar is a cutie. How did you pick his name? 

His eyebrows reminded us of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. It’s not his personality.