Instructor Amy Wilderson and students, Intro to Wire Work and Jewelry Making, 2024

Vitality Arts at Mia

Mia’s Vitality Arts programs are five-week art-making workshops for adults 55 and older. These workshops, led by professional teaching artists, encourage older adults to tap into their creativity and connect with the museum’s collection. Past programs have included workshops in drawing, painting, performance, jewelry making, assemblage, street art, mural painting, and more.

Programming for older adults sparks creativity, creates lasting friendships, and celebrates older artists as vital to our community. While Mia collaborates with communities of older adults through these workshops, our staff are working in other ways too—through focus groups, staff and volunteer training, visitor evaluations, and advocacy work—to make Mia a more age-friendly museum.

The Vitality Arts Project for Art Museums, funded by E. A. Michelson Philanthropy, is a nationwide cohort of twenty-five museums working to provide meaningful arts programming for older adults “55 and better.” Vitality Arts at Mia started as a two-year program in 2022 and was extended for a third year in 2024.

Mia offers scholarships and sliding-scale ticket prices to accommodate all learners—and no experience is necessary. All materials are provided for the duration of the class. See current offerings, at left.



“It is difficult to fully capture how impactful and extraordinary this class has been for me. Community, expansion, expression of self and joy! I can simply say . . . you created an opening for my new creative life!” – Intro to Drawing participant


“It was like we discovered something in us that was hidden before, skills that we didn’t even know we had.” – Cultural Assemblage participant


Related Press

MPR News: “Drawing connection: Art class unites formerly unhoused men with case managers” September 11, 2023


Star Tribune: “Formerly homeless Minneapolis brothers develop passion for drawing in Mia class” November 3, 2023


Mill City Times: “Mia’s Lifelong Learning Programs For Adults 55 and Over”
June 1, 2024


Upcoming Events

Vitality Arts: Street Art Workshop with Luis Fitch

In this five-week workshop, students will explore the exciting world of street art. Led by artist Luis Fitch, students will be introduced to the history of graffiti and street art—and make their own!

Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m.
June 5–July 10, 2024

Vitality Arts: Intro to Mural Painting with Cadex Herrera

In this five-week workshop, students of all levels and backgrounds will come together for a collaborative art-making experience. Led by local artist and educator Cadex Herrera, participants will express their creativity by painting a 3 x 5 foot landscape acrylic painting on Polytab—each artist sharing a common horizon line.

Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
July 16–August 13, 2024

Vitality Arts: Drawing Workshop with Michael Gaughan

Designed for the beginner artist, this fun five-week class covers the skills you’ll need to start your own drawing practice.  Join us for the first of an exciting new Vitality Arts drawing workshop series led by artist and educator Michael Gaughan.

Wednesdays, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
July 31, 2024 – August 28, 2024


55 and Better: Vitality Arts at Mia

This exhibition celebrates the creativity of the older adults, 55 and better, who participated in seven Vitality Arts workshops from September 2022 through August 2023. The programs recognize the social, physical, and emotional benefits of engaging older adults in artmaking.

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