It's pronounced 'MEE-uh': The Minneapolis Institute of Art is changing its name


The Minneapolis Institute of Art would like you to call it Mia.

The century-old museum announced Thursday that it is rebranding itself, asking that it be referred to as Mia (pronounced MEE-uh), instead of the acronym M-I-A.

“Mia … embraces and reflects the warmer and friendlier aspects of the museum’s identity,” the launch announcement said, according to MinnPost. It “signals the role as the people’s museum. It is the hope that everyone who visits the museum, whether for the first time or the hundredth, will feel that Mia belongs to them.”

In a post on Facebook, the museum says Mia "has positive meanings in cultures all over the world: mine, my own, beloved," and it hopes that people who visit the museum will feel that "Mia is mine."

Museum officials told MPR News the MIA acronym has a "long association with Missing in Action," so the name change is an attempt to get away from that.

The museum is also dropping the plural "arts" in its formal title – now it's just Minneapolis Institute of Art, WCCO notes. The plural form was used as part of its original name because initial plans included a symphony, theater and other performing arts, MPR News notes.

Mia's name change comes as the museum celebrates 100 years. As part of the anniversary festivities, the museum launched a "52 Surprises" initiative, which includes a new event for each week throughout 2015.

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