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By Lavender November 20, 2008

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MIA Receives $750,000 Wallace Foundation Grant

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) received a Wallace Foundation Grant of $750,000 as part of The Wallace Excellence Awards. The foundation works with exemplary arts organizations in selected cities throughout the country. As one of the eight organizations to receive this award in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MIA is being recognized for its innovative efforts to introduce increasingly more people to rewarding arts experiences. This grant enables MIA to expand and strengthen the participation level of adults between the ages of 20 and 45 years, and to deepen the museum experience for new and current visitors.

Leann Standish, MIA Assistant Director for Institutional Advancement for the MIA, said, “It is a terrific honor for MIA to partner with The Wallace Foundation in their pursuit of Lila Wallace’s desire to see that the ‘arts belong to everyone.’ All of us here are excited about the opportunity to test new audience engagement theories, and invite our community into a true dialog with the arts. What an exciting time to help facilitate an interaction with the world’s cultural perspectives!”

The Wallace Foundation grant provides MIA with the resources and time to focus on engaging the “next generation of art lovers” in museum life. The project strategy will work across three areas of engagement: the individual experience, the social experience, and the virtual (or online) experience. With Wallace support, MIA will test new ways of presenting art to create more meaningful museum experiences; leverage current programs to provide events that attract and engage next-generation art lovers; and utilize networked communications and emerging technologies to increase interactivity among the museum and its audiences. These strategies will help to further MIA’s mission—as a free-admission museum—to enrich the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.

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