New Ways to Do Co-Working Spaces: Art, Inspiration, and the MIA

Urban currents

New Ways to Do Co-Working Spaces: Art, Inspiration, and the MIA

Sarah Lutman, Principal, Lutman & Associates

In 2012 the Minneapolis Institute of Arts published DNA: Dynamic New Approach after considering the social, economic, demographic, technological, and political trends affecting museums. MIA leaders announced the plan, saying that a new museum model must be forged that meets the expectations of today’s audiences by offering them opportunities to participate in the creation of the museum’s content and brand and by engaging them through their preferred communications channels. The model must also incorporate additional ways to raise revenue. They also said that to establish this new model, “MIA staff members and supporters will adopt the practices of thinking creatively, leading collaboratively, and taking measured risks.”

The announcement of DNA and conversations between MIA Director Kaywin Feldman and colleague Sarah Lutman led to a partnership between Lutman and the institution, where Lutman now serves as Entrepreneur in Residence. Together they are piloting the development of a unique coworking collaboration that draws creative enterprises to the museum as a workspace, and encourages them to find connections to the museum's collections and exhibitions. During the initial 12-week pilot period, programs as diverse as Climate Hack Twin Cities, Chris Farrell's gallery talk on creativity and aging, Sing the Museum, and an FD:13 performance by Jen Rosenblit were enhanced by authentic connections to different elements of the MIA and the collection. “Hothousers” also held dozens of business meetings, planning sessions, and retreats using the museum's conference facilities and participated in regular roundtables with museum staff to explore subjects of mutual interest.

Lutman and Wright are in the process of planning Phase Two of the project. Who knows, they may announce next steps at the Urban Currents breakfast!