Walker Art Center

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Ameriprise Financial and Medtronic: Keeping the Free and Fun in Saturdays

For more than two decades, the Walker’s Free First Saturday program has paired free admission with art-making, artist projects, films, and performances designed for a widening range of families to enjoy together each month. Thanks to Ameriprise Financial and Medtronic Foundation, it is one of our most popular and well-attended events, serving nearly 30,000 people each year.

Medtronic Foundation has provided critical support for the Walker’s family day for nearly 20 years, helping staff create more opportunities for creative learning and interactive play. As a result, the Walker has been able to partner with more local artists and organizations (54 last year alone) for these events, which not only strengthens the community but also greatly assists in keeping activities fresh for frequent visitors.

Ameriprise Financial helps maintain free gallery admission during these busy days, providing an important gateway to our exhibitions and programs. Since 2009, Free First Saturday participants have comprised a greater portion of the Walker’s gallery audiences overall (now 20%) and are among its most diverse.

“We deeply appreciate the wonderful support that Ameriprise Financial and Medtronic Foundation provide us,” says Walker executive director Olga Viso. “Access programs such as Free First Saturday have been especially important the past few years to ensure that people of all backgrounds can explore the art of our time.”