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THOUGHTS from Debbi and Kara

There’s been a lot going on at Mia over the winter months, and you are at the heart of it! In a recent staff debriefing after Mia’s successful exhibition,
In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now, we reported attendance of 2,164 participants
on public, private, and virtual tours. One visitor remarked: “I came away with a greater under-standing of the beauty and power of Native culture because of the artists' photos and their words, and really appreciated all that [the guides] did to share your understanding of it with us.” 


Public Tours

February was Black History month, created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. In-gallery conversations, along with one-hour tours offered on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., celebrated Mia’s expanding collection of art by African American artists. Artist Bisa Butler’s talk at Mia was a delightful highlight of the month. Guides and visitors have been enjoying discussing her stunning textile creation, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, as well as works in all the featured galleries.


In March, we acknowledge Women’s History month, which commemorates and encourages the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Guides are facilitating in-gallery conversations about “Women in Art,” focusing on the growing number of female contemporary artists represented in Mia’s collections. Visitors will be able to talk with guides about works by women from around the globe.


Book Tours

February’s book tour continued our celebration of African American artists with Gordon Parks’s autobiography, A Choice of Weapons. We chose this book to highlight works in the current photography show, American Gothic: Gordon Parks and Ella Watson, on view until June 23. We are also offering private school and adult tours of the exhibition now and up
to its closing.  


March’s book tour highlights women with tours of
The Sentence by favorite local author Louise Erdrich. The novel involves a bookseller who must solve the mystery of a haunting at a small independent bookstore while experiencing all that occurs in Minneapolis during a yea
r (2019-2020) of grief, astonishment, isolation, and reckoning. 


Spring School Tours

We are happy to report we have had great demand
for spring school tours. So many requests have been made, in fact, that we reached our capacity and had to shut down the request form for PreK-12 tours of the Permanent Collection! We are still accepting school tour requests for special exhibition tours (including American Gothic). We appreciate how guides have
been taking on extra shifts to staff the many tour requests received for February and March dates. It
is great to see the galleries filled with students each morning, and we anticipate a full schedule of morning tours through the close of the school year. 


Tour Office Update

As you know, we said a fond farewell to our Tour and Programs Coordinator Ashley Linarte, who helped us get our systems back online and working once again. We now welcome aboard Aisha Said, our Interim Tour Coordinator through the rest of the spring. Many of you may already know Aisha from her work as a Visitor Experience Lead. We are happy to have her on the team, and we look forward to having you get to meet Aisha in the coming months. She can be reached at and the Tour Office number, 612-870-3141. 


We hope everyone enjoyed the short-lived snowfall
of the winter and is looking forward to what appears to be an early spring. We deeply appreciate the important work you do, connecting our visitors
of all ages with the art at Mia!

Untitled (Black is Beautiful), 1970 (printed 2018)
by Kwame Braithwaite, photographer and
Bob Gumbs, designer. Archival Pigment Print.
The Shared Fund, 2019.67


Billboard by Grace Hartigan, 1957
Oil on Canvas • The Julia B. Bigelow Fund,57.35

A Choice of Weapons BOOK CVR.jpg
Field Trip at Mia.jpeg
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