Mingei International Museum is embarking upon a major renovation of its Balboa Park facility. With this major transformation, the Museum aims to redefine its relationship to Balboa Park, San Diego, the region and the world. This plan for the renovated Museum building expresses a dynamically renewed commitment to Mingei International’s mission and the community it serves. A primary goal of the project is increasing accessibility to the Museum’s collection, exhibition and educational programs for all ages. Mingei presents “Art of the People” and is determined to share that art with the people – as many as possible, regardless of income, experience or ability.

The transformation of Mingei International Museum will increase accessibility and the ability to share its mission with the community

  • Provide a flexible, lively, civic space that invites social interaction, engagement, relaxation and delight, with the entire Plaza Level free and open to all.
  • Create new public outdoor areas, a more porous and transparent relationship to the Plaza de Panama and a new connection to the Alcazar Garden.
  • Offer distinct new spaces for community events and educational activities, including a classroom and multi-purpose theater space.
  • Provide opportunity for expanded community engagement, as the Museum’s entire re-designed space will allow Mingei International to accommodate more collaborative meetings and programming for members and the public.

In addition to enhancing experience and accessibility for the Museum audience and staff, this project gives back to the City of San Diego through the restoration and improvement of a City-owned historic building in the following ways:

  • Deferred Maintenance. The Mingei transformation project will address several areas of deferred maintenance in the House of Charm, the building in which the Museum shares tenancy with The Old Globe Theatre and the San Diego Art Institute, two other arts-based nonprofits.
  • Restoration: This project will restore several historic attributes to the House of Charm building, originally built in 1915. The once-utilized upper terraces will be revitalized for visitor use; the building’s iconic tower will be opened for public use through the construction of a new stairwell; historic Alcazar Garden will be activated for a larger number of visitors with a new entrance into the Museum.
  • Environmental Impact. With the transformation project, Mingei International has extended its efforts to ensure a sustainable future for the Museum and the House of Charm by working to achieve LEED Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors.