Mission, Vision & Values

Minnesota Museum of American Art Land Acknowledgement

Adopted January 18, 2019

 We acknowledge that we are within the traditional territory of the Dakhóta, here in Imni Ża Ska, now known as Saint Paul, a place name which refers to the white bluffs along the river. We recognize that, as a museum in the United States, we have a colonial history and are beneficiaries of this land and its resources. We support efforts toward truth-telling and addressing the harms that continue to impact all indigenous people. We thank the river, which flows just below us. We honor our shared home, our mother earth.  Our relationship to this land and its indigenous people will inform the museum’s work now and into the future.

This acknowledgment is a living document and is intended to be accompanied by direct action toward equity. We thank the Dakota community members who advised on portions of this text.

“Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.”

⁠—From “Honor Native Land: A Call and Guide to Acknowledgment.” U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. https://usdac.us/nativeland.)

Additional resources we acknowledge: Bdote Memory Map. Minnesota Humanities Center and Allies: media/art, 2005. Accessed 6 October 2019; Westerman, Gwen, and White, Bruce. Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012.

Our Mission
To explore American identities and experiences through art and creativity.

Our Vision
We believe the M, from its perch in the middle of the country and at the heart of a diverse city, can inspire understanding and our common humanity through the power of art, artists, and community engagement.

Our Values
Bold: We dare to respond to complex truths and envision a hopeful future.
Engaging: We build participation through fun and stimulating artistic experiences.
Relevant: We question, listen, and exchange ideas with our diverse communities.
Inclusive: We strive to make the M welcoming and accessible to all.
Respectful: We seek authentic relationships and act thoughtfully and transparently with resources in our care.

Minnesota Museum of American Art’s Equity and Inclusion Statement

Adopted September 25, 2019

Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M) seeks to explore expansively American identities through art, recognizing that the lived experiences and creativity of many artists, cultures, and communities have been historically, and presently are, underrepresented by museums. In order to do this, we will directly address issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and race in how we hire, develop exhibitions and programs, enter into relationships, create opportunities, eliminate barriers to participation, and authentically live our mission and values.

We are committed to advancing the richness of differences and the equitable inclusion of them. We recognize that this work is constant, ongoing, and will evolve over time.

Authors: Minnesota Museum of American Art’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, with contributions from the inaugural IDEA Committee and its Co-Chairs, Robin Hickman-Winfield and KaYing Yang. The IDEA Committee was established in July 2017.

IDEA Committee:

Community members: Gordon Coons, Robin Hickman-Winfield (former Co-Chair and M Trustee), Tommy Sar.

M staff: Ken Kornack

M trustees: Brenda Child, Bruce Corrie, Nathan Johnson, Michael Sammler-Jones.

In the coming months, we will be adding a glossary of key terms used throughout the M’s Equity and Inclusion Statement similar to resources offered by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.  We acknowledge the power of language and aim to be as transparent as possible about our current understanding of the following:

  • Accessibility
  • Culture
  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Inclusion
  • Underrepresented