Minneapolis Institute of Art Unveils Innovative New Digital Initiatives To Personalize Visitor Experience

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Minneapolis, MN, June 6, 2016 — The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) today unveiled a series of new digital initiatives designed to augment and personalize visitors’ experiences within and beyond the museum’s galleries. From innovative mobile apps that facilitate a customized journey through the museum, to in-depth multimedia explorations of Mia’s treasured artworks, as well as new features on the museum’s website, these new digital platforms will enable visitors to more deeply engage with Mia’s collection and create shared art experiences in unprecedented ways.

“At Mia, we’re always looking for ways to incorporate the latest technologies to create a more meaningful and dynamic visitor experience,” said Douglas Hegley, Mia’s Director of Media & Technology. “In the past several years, as digital platforms have continued to grow and evolve at an incredible rate, museums are taking advantage of the many opportunities to betterconnect with their audiences. With these new digital platforms at Mia, we’re poised to make that connection even stronger—and we are committed to delighting our audiences by fostering a unique art experience that enables engagement on a deeper, more personal level.”

Journeys is a mobile app designed to facilitate a custom tour through the museum that can be created, shared and followed. Users can search the collection, identify and save a selection of artworks for later reference, and introduce a theme that connects objects with each other by artist, time period, location, genre, medium, or subject matter. The app then identifies and maps the relevant works within the museum; as visitors curate their trip through the collection, the app encourages new discoveries and leads viewers to works they might not have found on their own. To download Journeys, visit the App Store.

Designed by the Minneapolis office of Sapient Nitro, Journeys has already received several design awards: Gold and four Silvers in Minnesota (http:/ /2016book.theshowmn.org/) and Gold in Region 8 (MN, WI, ND, SD) http://www.aafd8.org/.

Overheard is an innovative, site-specific, narrative audio experience inspired by conversations overheard in museums. Using a mobile app that responds to peoples’ movement through the museum, visitors are able to eavesdrop on the comments of fictional museum-goers as they experience and discuss the works of art on view throughout the galleries. Developed by creative technology studio Team Luxloop—awarded Mia’s inaugural 3M Art and Technology Award in 2015 to implement the project—Overheard includes adaptations of  snippets of real conversation overheard by Mia’s visitors and staff, which have been gathered through a hotline for submissions, and each narrative is tailored to a museum location and the moment. Through the observations of these fictional Mia visitors, the app seeks to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of the works of art on display, make art historical narratives more accessible, and equally encourage personal reflection and conversation among listeners. The app will be available for iOS on June 9. More information about the project and 3M Art and Technology Award is available at http://new.artsmia.org/art-tech-award/. Year two of the 3M Art and Technology competition coming up – entries can be submitted from June 9 through July 31, 2016.


My Mia is a new feature on the museum’s website that allows members to create a customized digital dashboard that offers access to a personal profile page, giving history, activity log and content tailored to their interests. Users can log in to receive advance museum news, member rewards, discounts on tickets and store purchases, and opportunities to support the Minneapolis art community. The My Mia section of the website will expand and improve over time as more and more people use it to engage with the museum. http://new.artsmia.org/stories/


ArtStories is the museum’s digital storytelling platform. Mia has published nearly 100 engaging, multimedia stories crafted to delight audiences and encourage deeper experiences of the museum’s encyclopedic collection. ArtStories offers online, smartphone and tablet access to in-depth explorations of Mia’s collection highlights and hidden gems—including intriguing details and secret backstories. The recent reinstallation of the museum’s Japanese and Korean galleries has spurred a new phase of ArtStories, introducing additional themes and approaches to understanding Mia’s permanent collection. ArtStories is available on iPads in the galleries, and optimized for smartphones and home computers at http://new.artsmia.org/stories/


Support for Overheard

Overheard is the winning project of the inaugural 3M Art and Technology Award at Mia.

Presented by: 3M

Generous support provided by Accenture