The Minneapolis Institute of Art, known fondly as Mia, has worked to fulfill its mission of inspiring wonder for the last 90 years. It opens a door to the world for its visitors, showcasing art from different countries and time periods as well as hosting events to promote art in the community. It’s also a great place for any group, offering tours and programs to help immerse students in art, culture and history. For educators looking for a field trip that stands out from the rest check out what Mia has to offer.

Experience the World on a Budget

Every art museum aims to show you the world from a different perspective, but not all of them do so as effectively as Mia. Divided into eight areas of focus, the institute features a tremendously expansive collection of 89,000 objects whose creators span the globe – your group can head to the Far East while viewing the Japanese and Korean Art section and afterwards experience works from Africa and the Americas. Your group can also experience art based on type; from decorative arts and textiles to photographs and prints, Mia has a variety of material no matter what your group is learning about.

MIA Building and Environs, spring 2009

Not only is Mia a great place to take your group, but it’s also easy on your wallet, thanks to the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts.  When the group was founded in 1883 by 25 citizens of the city, they had one goal in mind – to better integrate art into their community. They did so by creating the institute which, in keeping with the society’s original ideal, has been open to the public for free since it opened its doors in 1915, though special exhibits and programs do come at a fee. To see what options are available to your group, check out MIA’s website at

Where Students Can View and Make Art

In addition to its general collection, Mia showcases art of other forms, including film screenings, concerts and tours based on popular books such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Your group should also be sure to wander over to the Wells Fargo Center, a space occupying a skyway that features rotating Modernist exhibits from Mia’s permanent collection.

Third Thursday:

Third Thursday:

Groups wanting a more interactive experience may take part in one of Mia’s educational programs. Younger visitors may participate in Art Adventure, a program designed for students in grades K-6 which stimulates creativity and critical thinking by giving students an in-depth look at works of art that they may evaluate and define in their own terms. Meanwhile, teenage groups can take part in Mia’s Rated T program or one of the youth studio programs led by an art instructor, where they can learn about art history and create their own works of art inspired by the institute’s collection. The best creations from these programs are displayed for the world to see in the Community Commons Gallery, giving students a boost in confidence and self-esteem.

Customize Trips for Your Group

Mia offers educators several resources to make planning their trip as effortless as possible. When reserving tours for the group, teachers may select from one of several specialized topics that Mia provides with a new focus every month – popular choices include a discussion on how artists use color and texture in their work and a look at Mia’s most impressive pieces. Alternatively, the institute’s staff can help educators customize a tour based on their own lesson plans. Need some travel assistance? Applying with the Friends Transportation Fund can help you cover transportation funds for your trip.

Rated T: Summer Daze

Rated T: Summer Daze

For those who cannot make the journey, Mia offers ways to bring the institute to you. Mia’s website offers lesson plans that teachers can integrate into their curriculum with a different theme each month, as well as teacher workshops throughout the year that give educators ideas and activities for their classes that connect with Mia resources. Whether you can make the trip to Minneapolis or not, these options will give your group a way to experience the institute’s collection right from the classroom.

Many people choose art museums for their field trips, but few places can offer the exceptional experience the Minneapolis Institute of Art creates, with ways to promote both academic and personal growth in your students. Whether you’re looking for educational programs, customized tours for your group or ways to extend these lessons into your classroom, Mia helps your group view the world from the eyes of the people who see it best – its artists.