Friends of the Institute
Founded in 1922, the Friends is one of the oldest and largest volunteer organizations in American art museums. Members sponsor monthly free lectures, contribute to the education programs of the museum, and provide a variety of other services (see Volunteer Programs below). All Mia members are invited to become members of the Friends. Call (612) 870-3045.
Visitor Experience Volunteers
Visitor Experience volunteers connect visitors with the museum’s collection, programs, and amenities. If you’re proactive, outgoing, and assertively friendly, you’ll fit right in our team of indispensable volunteers dedicated to welcoming and assisting all Mia audiences. For more information, call (612) 870-3176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or apply online.
Mia offers many volunteer internships. These range from one to twelve months in length and up to forty hours a week, with opportunities in each of the museum’s divisions: Curatorial, Education, Marketing and Communications, and Development. For information about internship possibilities, museum careers, and the application process, please contact the Intern Coordinator: (612) 870-3176; email@example.com
Docents are enthusiastic, creative, self-motivated volunteers who have excellent communication skills and a desire to interact with people of all ages. The required two-year study course trains volunteers to conduct inquiry-based, participatory tours of the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. Weekly sessions focus on the history of art with emphasis on the museum’s collection, and on teaching techniques that actively engage tour participants. Assignments include readings, oral presentations, and several hours of preparation outside of class. Those who complete the program are asked to give 40 tours per year for a minimum of three years. A college degree or college-level coursework and/or art history classes are recommended but not required.
We are not currently taking applications for the program. If you are interested, we will add your name and address to our data base of prospective docents. To do so, e-mail Volunteers@artsmia.org or call (612) 870-3176. We will notify you when the next application process begins.
Collection in Focus Guides
The Collection in Focus Program (CIF) is an evening and weekend volunteer opportunity for adults interested in learning about art and eager to share their enthusiasm with others by leading guided tours and facilitating hands-on Art Carts for museum visitors. CIF guides are enthusiastic, creative volunteers who commit to participate in the nine-session course on select Thursday evenings (6:30–9 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m.–3 p.m.) Coursework includes reading assignments, oral presentations, and several hours of preparation outside of class. Upon successful completion of the course, CIF Guides commit to volunteer for a minimum of 24 hours over one year on Thursday evenings and weekends.
Art Adventure Guides
This six-month training course prepares Art Adventure guides to lead thematic tours designed for children in grades K–6. The program was launched in 1991 to complement the museum’s highly popular Art Adventure school program. Art Adventure guides are enthusiastic, creative volunteers who enjoy engaging with children and facilitating conversation around art. Although some art history is included, Art Adventure guide training focuses on fostering curiosity, critical thinking skills and cultural responsiveness. Tour themes include topics such as Family, Friends and Community and Sources of Strength. The themes cover a rich variety of objects from around the globe.