Join & Invest / Friends Funds

Friends Generosity: Acquisitions, Gifts, Training, and More

Friends gifts have helped secure important artworks for the MIA’s collection. Significant acquisitions include:

View a complete list of accessions made possible by the Friends.

Friends support made possible:

  • Updated computer technology for the Art Reference Library and Internet access with e-commerce capabilities for the Museum Shop
  • Seven Treasure Hunt brochures designed to create dialogue between children and their adult companions
  • Collection in Focus tour guide program
  • The renovation of Pillsbury Auditorium and the 24th Street Entrance doors
  • The Friends’ annual Holiday Tree with more than seventy-five needlepoint angels
  • Sponsorship support for various museum exhibitions
  • Fresh floral arrangements on visitor reception desks year round
  • The Friends Community Room, a multipurpose room in the Michael Graves addition

Supporting Education

Friends Children's Fund: Established in 2007, the Children’s Fund provides enriching opportunities for young people to experience and be inspired by the world of art. Meaningful exposure to art can benefit children in many ways, from developing their critical thinking skills to broadening their worlds to inspiring their imaginations. The fund especially strives to provide educational and engaging art experiences to children who likely otherwise would not receive them.

Friends Transportation Fund: Established in 1996 to cover transportation costs for approximately 3,000 children, grades 1-8, annually from Twin Cities schools who visit the museum for educational tours. Please contact the Friends office for more information: (612) 870-3045;
Contributions to these funds in any amount are welcome. Names of donors and persons honored are published in the Friends newsletter unless donor anonymity is requested. To make a contribution, please contact the Friends office: (612) 870-3045.

Friends Endowment Fund for Education: Established as part of the MIA’s New Beginnings Campaign (1991-94), the fund generates $100,000 annually to enable the museum to provide educational offerings to members and the community.


Friends Presidents' Gift and Remembrance Fund: Established in 1991 to honor past or current Friends presidents. Contributions to this fund will accumulate and be used to purchase permanent gifts for the MIA.

Friends Plants and Flowers Gift and Remembrance Fund: Established in 1945 in part from a bequest of Mrs. Louise R. Phelps in 1931 to beautify the MIA with plants and flowers year-round and with holiday decorations.

Friends Funds

The Friends have donated well over $8 million to the Institute over the years. A variety of Friends Funds target special needs and priorities, such as providing ongoing support for the museum’s educational programs.