Mingei International Museum


Art of the people from all eras and cultures of the world.

During this stay at home period, the staff of Mingei International Museum has seen the importance of human creativity and how it keeps us connected. The Museum’s Education team was quick to shift traditionally in-person programs to the Museum’s digital platforms. This sparked an eagerness to participate in the Museum’s at home art-making activities, indicating there is still a need and want to create. Family Sunday, a free, family-friendly art-making program typically held at the Museum or local library, is experiencing immense success in the at-home setting. With support from the ResMed Foundation, the Museum is mailing supplies – free of charge – directly to participants’ homes. The Museum’s Manager of Education hosts the event live on social media, allowing participants to create their artworks together. Participants share their creations on social media, and the entire experience brings us closer together even while we are six feet apart.

While Mingei’s Education Team is connecting with the community through art-making, our Collections Team remains steadfast in caring for and preserving works that further the understanding of “the art of the people” (mingei) from all eras and cultures. With support from donors such as Ann Craig, Mingei staff members continue reviewing and digitizing the over 10,000 beads in the Museum’s collection. Currently, the Museum’s Bead Committee meets virtually to examine and discuss each bead, diligently working to accession and catalog every item.

As the Museum continues its transformational building renovation, Mingei staff are also working to create a refreshing and inspiring new home for the creative community. We look forward to opening a space where people can come together to experience art in innovative and engaging ways. The support of over 400 capital campaign donors has been vital as construction work continues on the Museum’s building. Mingei moves forward with the understanding and expectation that great new spaces will inspire great exchanges.

Our new building, our mission and all of our work means nothing without you. Without community, objects become obsolete and lively programs become silent. To those who have been and continue to part of the Mingei community – thank you. As San Diego begins to find its way out of this challenging time, our citizens are going to need arts and culture. Maintaining funding will help ensure that when we are ready to convene and celebrate and thrive again, cultural institutions like Mingei will still be here. We need your help to ensure our vibrant, essential creative community sustains itself and thrives again.


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Esteban Villanueva