The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Reviews | Glassdoor

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Reviews

Updated March 2, 2017
10 reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "A-changing with the times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've worked here about two years. There was a culture shift underway when I arrived, and it has accelerated rapidly since I've been there. You can tell the MIA has historically been siloed, but a lot of those walls between departments are getting torn down. Staff sit in on each other's department meetings, they've started ongoing working groups to get people on the same page, etc. More importantly, people just seem to trust and like each other. When I started it was kind of a chore to get people to a happy hour together; now it happens spontaneously every Thursday and involves people from across the museum.

    There's a strong (and apparently new) emphasis on experimentation and iteration, which comes right from the top ... a willingness to try new things, maybe fail spectacularly, get actual visitor feedback and data, then make changes and try again. You get the sense this was heretical when it was first introduced, but it's becoming more and more a part of the museum's identity, and it's helping it adapt rapidly. Which, of course, means there's never a dull moment.

    There's also been a huge amount of investment in technology infrastructure recently - modernizing and integrating systems. There are still some frustrating and antiquated online portals you have to deal with, but they're on the way out.

    Most importantly, the people who work here are just the best. The leadership team is smart, thoughtful, and trusts their employees. Staff are friendly and happy to be working there. Which makes for a great work environment, of course, but also bleeds into the museum's brand, which is evolving away from the stoic traditional museum to something much more welcoming and engaging.

    And of course, there's an art museum upstairs, a coffee shop in the lobby (that serves wine and beer in the afternoon), and a park outside.

    Cons

    You'll get paid more at a big corporation, but that's no surprise. For better or worse, salaries for most staff are controlled by union contract, so your salary is a function of your position and seniority, period. Still, for a nonprofit, the pay and benefits are solid, and the work environment and opportunities to grow are invaluable.

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving and shaking!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Emphasis Placed on Personnel Looks. Be fashionable, young, and thin."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service and Sales Representative in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Customer Service and Sales Representative in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very competent and helpful people on staff, for the most part. Wonderful cultural environment. Inspiring place to work.

    Cons

    Low wages. Undercurrents of age and weight discrimination in publicly visible positions. Supervisor disrespect, but also, supervisors were stressed because upper management demanded too much.

    Advice to Management

    Look for talent in employees, not mere appearances. Be less shallow. Train managers to manage correctly and to interact better and more instructively with their staff.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Very rewarding, but like all things it comes with a price."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Minneapolis, MN
    Recommends

    Pros

    To be surrounded by a world-class art collection. Most days are an on-going lesson in art history as well as contemporary works in the art world today. To make friends with staff employees—most of them are practicing artists themselves. Like all places, there are managers who know how to advocate for their employees, and there are some who don't. It all depends on which department head you work for in terms of learning more, doing more and being compensated for a job well done.

    Cons

    I suppose the biggest draw back is the fact that it is a union job, therefore creating an "us vs. them" mentality between the staff and upper management. There is a strong sense of hierarchy from the very top, starting with the Trustees. It is a trickle down effect and can be painful at times for those at the bottom—the salaries are there to prove it. The union was only able to convince management to allow for an average of a 2 percent raise over more than a decade. There is also a lack of cross-functioning opportunities—many departments work in silos. Technology upgrades have to be fought for through the IT dept. There are a lot of very intelligent people on staff, but with that comes a lot of egos to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    To level the playing field. There would be no need for a union if all work tactics, benefits and relations between all employees are above board and out in the open. The staff will continue to hang on to the union for as long as they feel the strong sense of hierarchy and fear they won't be treated with fairness and respect.


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  5. "Sales and Services Rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts part-time

    Pros

    great coworkers and supervisors, lively environment, surrounded by art day to day

    Cons

    long hours, work weekends and holidays


  6. "security"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts full-time

    Pros

    The greatest benefit is access to the artwork, both behind the scenes and in the galleries. Once an employee is made regular (joins the union), the pay is better than one might think, and the benefit package is very reasonable (Medica and Delta Dental).

    Cons

    Almost no opportunity for job growth regardless of employee's educational background, ambition, or skill-set. Additionally, management is adopting a faux-corporate workplace methodology better suited for shopping malls or event centers.


  7. "Summer Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great environment, very welcoming of young professionals. My supervisor was always eager to help me meet other people within the museum for networking and interviews.

    Cons

    Not too many cons -- the only thing that I found minorly tedious was the daily journal that they wanted intern to maintain.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Superficial in commitment to inclusion and being the People's museum"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    It is a beautiful and inspiring place to work. It is a privilege to be around the collection everyday. I am privileged to work with the other staff in my department. The are all well educated and smart. Most of them are are artists and their museum job supports that. I love learning about the visitors and what brings them to the museum.

    Cons

    The management style is something from the 1950's where everyone does what Daddy says without questions. It is hierarchical and very political protecting incompetence, discouraging collaboration and fostering feelings of entitlement and elitism. I have found that there is a culture change happening over the time I've been there and it is getting worse not better. In the almost 50 years that I have been working I have never been so micromanaged and disrespected. And I would have to agree with one of the other reviews that they are trying to get rid of older people, both employees and volunteers. Just this week they reorganized a department to get rid of someone who was a year away from retirement. Earlier this year they did the same to someone else. This whole rebranding they are trying to promote is part of this superficial attempt to make themselves look like the people's museum when they treat their floor staff like ignorant peasants

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees. they love the museum and what it brings to the community. Your employees are smart and well educated. You have people with PhD's walking the floor. Listen to them. They interact with the visitors everyday. They have insights and careers as excellent managers, educators and entrepreneurs. At least have the sense to invite them into the discussion.


  9. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Current Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends

    I have been working at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts as an intern

    Pros

    Good people, meaningful art projects. Everybody's willing to listen to one another and see how they can help.

    Cons

    No matter where you go, unpaid internships make for really fraught politics. While they're paid workers are unionized, and they treat their interns very well in terms of networking and community, the experience=currency model could be improved with a USdollars=currency model.

    Advice to Management

    The management is doing well. I am in no place to advice upper management, and my direct supervisor is the best I could have asked for.


  10. "Does not want older workers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    There are decent benefits and salaries.

    Cons

    There is discrimination of older workers


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Interesting case-study of the effects of power and manipulation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts full-time

    Pros

    When I first began my career at the MIA, what kept me coming back day after day was the people, and of course, my love of the job. The camraderie and pride of being successful in such a beautiful environment gave me great job satisfaction. Sure, the pay was mediocre, but the work environment helped even things out. When the leaderrship changed under the current director, the office atmosphere changed from inclusive and supportive to anxious and petty.

    Cons

    The lack of focus and unrealistic expectations and pressure on employees to embrace change is perhaps the biggest "con" of working at the MIA. The "Leadership" is flippant at best, and the office politics are reminiscent of a scene from the movie "Mean Girls."

    Advice to Management

    I have been in management for over 20 years and the behaviour I witnessed from the individuals on the MIA's "Leadership" team was both elitist and demotivating. My advice to the upper management at the MIA is to get real - you are not fooling anyone.