In consideration of the health and welfare of visitors, volunteers, and staff, Mia is temporarily closed to the public. Learn more here.

Community Commons Gallery

Located on the museum’s first floor, adjacent to the Family Center, the Community Commons is a gathering area featuring art by youth studio students and artists participating in our community partnership programs. It’s an ideal space to check out some art, interact with one of our participatory activities, bring a coffee from the cafe and get some work done, or relax while recharging yourself or your device.


Artwork on view in the Commons regularly rotates, representing selections from our Youth Studio classes or Community Partnerships.

Work Space

There is flexible seating available for working individually or in small groups of up to 8 people. Phone/laptop charging ports are also located throughout the hall.


Artist and educator-designed activities can be found here, which explore ideas, themes, and materials found in the museum’s galleries.

Upcoming Exhibition

Maandeeq in Motion: Part 1: Created by Nimo Farah through the Somali Arts Language and Leadership Institute (SALLI,) Maandeeq in Motion: Part 1, provides Somali women an artistic form of reflection and representation. Photographers, Aamina Mohamed and Maryam Omar have created portraits that highlight historical and personal fashion styles and the stories behind them.
April 10-June 28, 2020

Past Exhibitions

Your Story, Our Story: Student Immigration Experiences

Artwork by: Ikran Ahmed

Artwirk by: Fernando Vargas Zavala

June 23, 2018–September 28, 2018

This exhibition features original artworks and stories by LEAP High School students, created as part of Your Story, Our Story, presented in partnership with the Tenement Museum in New York City. The national project invites individuals to share their personal stories of American immigration and migration through objects.

View their Stories on the Tenement Museum Your Story website.


Juxtaposition Arts: Contemporary Face Jugs
On view through September 27, 2018


Over the past months, Juxtaposition Arts’ teaching artists Sayge Carroll and Jordan Hamilton worked with apprentices to create the face jugs displayed here. As Folk art, face jugs have become a significant feature in the history of African-American art. Because formal ceramic skills to create face jugs were taught after America gained its independence, they are regarded as some of the first truly American pieces.* During the class, apprentices took tours of Mia’s African Art collection with artist Keegan Xavi, gathered inspiration from the face jugs created by African Americans who were enslaved during the 1800’s, and created ceramic pieces representing themselves.
*Patton, Sharon F. African-American Art. Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 1998.

About Juxtaposition Arts
Juxtaposition Arts develops community by engaging and employing young urban artists in hands-on education initiatives that create pathways to self-sufficiency while actualizing creative power. For more info go to

Creativity Academy

February 11 – March 12, 2018

Enjoy selected work by nearly 500 fourth-grade artists, all inspired by Mia’s collection. Creativity Academy jumpstarts creative expression through four lessons—two at the museum and two in classrooms at Andersen United Community School, Battle Creek Elementary, Bethune Community School, Hennepin Elementary, Prodeo Academy, and St. Paul Music Academy.

“Día de los Muertos”

October 26 – November 5, 2017

In partnership with Centro Tyrone Guzman, Mia presents a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altar by artist Monica Vega. Día de los Muertos is a cultural tradition from Mexico when families remember those who are no longer with us and, in doing so, keep their spirits alive. Community altars, such as this one, provide an opportunity for us all to connect with the rich historical and cultural roots of our ancestors.
This particular altar is designed to incorporate the four Aztec elements of fire (candles), water (beverages), wind (cut paper), and earth (flowers).
DdlM 2017

“Yes, and…”

November 2016 – January 2017

Artist Sam Gould created this activity in response to two of Mia’s current exhibitions, Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation and Resistance, Protest, Resilience.  You are invited to read the texts and to pose questions that are non-binary, that is, that aren’t easily answered by a simple “yes” or “no”.  Please write your question on the provided paper and tape it to the wall.

When something is binary, it has two parts, often opposites. Sometimes we think and talk about things in binary terms, when there are actually many more subtle ways to consider an idea. The topics of gender and right/wrong often get discussed in binary terms.

We encourage you to carefully read the texts in this space, add your own text, and notice how people gather and interact here. These can all be acts of shared transformation.