Letter from the President
The Walker's Education and Community Programs Department received major support from Target Stores. Free First Saturdays were sponsored by Coldwell Banker Burnet and named "Best Kids' Museum Day" by the editors of MPLS.ST.PAUL Magazine. Teen Programs were made possible by the Surdna Foundation and Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Walker on Wheels was funded by the Medtronic Foundation and the Wallace Foundation. Artist residencies across disciplines and Free Thursdays were made possible by the Wallace Foundation. ArtsConnectEd, the award-winning educational Web site developed in partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, was supported by the Blandin Foundation and ADC Telecommunications.
       With support from Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson, the Design Department presented lectures by architect Shigeru Ban of Tokyo and product designer Constantin Boym of New York, both featured in the Walker-organized exhibition Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life, which traveled to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Type designer Matthew Carter, who created the Walker's own typeface in 1995, and Walker design director Andrew Blauvelt presented recent work to a capacity audience at the opening night of TypeCon 2003, a national typographic design conference held in Minneapolis. The department, in partnership with the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Minnesota, conducted its 18th consecutive Insights lecture series in March at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with five sold-out presentations by Paula Scher of Pentagram and Scott Stowell of Open, both of New York; the Twin Cities-based Aesthetic Apparatus; LUST from the Haag, the Netherlands; and Graphic Thought Facility of London. The department received six design awards this year, including two of three best-of-show awards from the AIGA. Its work was published in the Phaidon Press book Area, a showcase of the world's "100 most significant" graphic designers.
       With major funding from the McKnight Foundation, the Walker's New Media Initiatives Department continued to develop the mnartists.org Web site, a critical resource for Minnesota artists and a national model for the support of artists and arts organizations. In March, mnartists.org won Best of the Web for E-Services at the 2004 Museums and the Web conference.
       In June, the Walker presented its fifth Rock the Garden concert, headlined by David Byrne with the Tosca Strings. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and Barbara Cohen were also part of this energetic line-up. Rock the Garden was made possible by Target, with additional support from Summit Brewing and Metro Transit. Promotional assistance was provided by Cities 97 and City Pages.
       In closing, it is a great pleasure to thank all of the corporations, foundations, and individuals whose unrestricted gifts supported the Walker during this extraordinary period of transition. I also want to acknowledge the leadership of Walker director Kathy Halbreich, the rest of the Walker staff, and my colleagues on the board, and thank them for guiding this institution through such an unforgettable year.
Roger Hale, President



Photography Credit(s)
Gene Pittman (right)
Cameron Wittig (left)