Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia

aka The Museum of Russian Art

Minneapolis, MN


The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) is the only major institution in North America devoted to the art, history, and culture of Russia and its neighbors. Its mission, "Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia," reaches more than 30,000 people a year at the Museum's location in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Museum of Russian Art plays a critical role in promoting "Cultural Diplomacy" between the US and Russia, especially important during this period of cooling bilateral relations. An embargo on the exchange of cultural artifacts creates even more significant roadblocks during this time. Individual support, which comes from more than 1600 members, is crucial in creating and sharing the 8-10 annual exhibitions, and in creating 40+ events year round.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Any further questions or inquiries should be directed to The Museum of Russian Art at:

5500 Stevens Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419-1933

Ruling Year



Dr. Vladimir von Tsurikov

Main Address

5500 Stevens Ave S

Minneapolis, MN 55419 USA


Russian Art Museum





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Art Museums (A51)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The chief problem addressed by The Museum of Russian Art is the need for Cultural Diplomacy between the US and Russia. Today's bilateral climate is comparable to the worst decades of the Cold War. A cultural loan embargo that started in 2010 has worsened into sanctions and mutual expulsion of diplomats. During the same period, Russian area studies in the United States continues to diminish, and opportunities for peer-to-peer cultural exchange have never been so low.

TMORA is at the forefront of this field in the present day. In March 2018, Director & President Vladimir von Tsurikov, Ph.D., was honored in Washington D.C. with the "Silver Archer" award, in recognition of his role in creating activities promoting Cultural Diplomacy (over 30 total) during 2017. Vladimir has increased partnerships for TMORA across the globe since his start in 2014, and represents TMORA in conferences and presentations in the US, Russia, and in publications.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Interdisciplinary Student Research Symposium

Annual Exhibition Portfolio

Events at TMORA

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The Museum of Russian Art, in its decade-long history in South Minneapolis, has cemented its role as a conduit to Russian art, history, and culture. Membership, attendance, the number of events and exhibitions, and its organizational capacity continues to increase annually. This signifies a major goal for TMORA is already completed: it can sustain its operations because it has matured as an independently supported nonprofit with diffuse revenue streams.

This gives the organization solid ground from which to launch into its second decade with a more intentional focus on promoting Cultural Diplomacy. Events at TMORA have tripled since 2015 and exceed 96% of total capacity, and now the goal is to refine the offerings into more robust programming with articulated and defined educational outcomes.

These outcomes extend from a Strategic Plan, an considerable investment of time and resources and led by the Board of Trustees in an year-long process from December 2017 - December 2018. This strategic plan will be instrumental in guiding mission outcomes for TMORA going forward.

With a cohesive, organization-wide strategy set in 2018, the organization aims to continue maturing. A significant mortgage on the building has a plan to be retired via a capital/endowment campaign in the 3-year timeframe. Staffing "right-sizing" continues to pressure the organization.

All of the above is a pretext to the larger goals of TMORA. As the only institution in North America devoted to Russian art, history, and culture, we have a goal to reach audiences at both a local/regional level and also a national/international level as well. This means a stratification of audience needs are wound into the consideration of programs, activities, and overall strategy.

A concurrent goal in broadening access to Russian art and overall is a commitment to "accessible quality." By this we mean that the aesthetic characteristics of the art, the artist's narrative, the history surrounding the artwork, and ones relationship to those factors should be present and elevated in the Museum experience - and that, of course, the art on display should hold significant qualities of that list.

If we satisfy the two above goals in TMORA's operations while taking the necessary organizational steps iterated above, TMORA will accomplish its mission of "Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia."

1. Partnerships
Partnerships are absolutely vital to TMORA and extend into every corner of operations for the nonprofit.

This is somewhat predicated on the inherited sociopolitical environment. An embargo on the exchange of cultural artifacts at the state level has prohibited the exchange of artworks between the US and Russia since 2010. This means that the 50+ exhibitions since have been sourced through public and private partnerships, alternative routes that have yet to be charted in the post-Soviet world.

However, it has been a boon to TMORA to occupy this space, the exclusive entity on a national level in the enterprise of cultural exchange in the fine arts. Collectors nationwide plus universities and intellectual communities have taken notice, calling on TMORA (through both the Curator and the Director) to be experts and leaders in the field. Similarly, institutions in our local geography come to TMORA for all things Russia (music, film - not just visual art), leading to co-sponsoring relationships with organizations from the Minnesota Orchestra to The University of Minnesota's Adoption Medicine Clinic.

2. Frequency
Since 2015, TMORA has doubled the number of exhibitions and tripled the number of events occurring annually in the Museum. Membership has increased by nearly 100% during this period, reflecting a significant relationship between a frequent variety of arts experiences and a personal affinity for the work of the Museum (Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia - and what better token of this is there than becoming a member?).

Thus, quantity has a quality of its own. By offering many different points of entry, incorporating a variety of living artists, programs, and activities for all ages, TMORA has become much more successful at executing its mission.

3. Quality
Quality has its own benefits, chief among them a sense of authenticity that can only be built through years of consistently high achievement. Curator Maria Zavialova, Ph.D., and Director Vladimir von Tsurikov, Ph.D., have developed a robust three-year process for selecting and strategically positioning exhibitions. Both are subject matter experts with vast academic and professional experience prior to TMORA, and are today considered preeminent experts in their respective fields. Their credibility completes a natural alignment of quality and exclusivity that comes with being the only major institution in North America devoted to "Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia."

After a decade of operating experience, TMORA has marshaled a diverse and abundant pool of support for executing the goals enumerated above.

Pillar support comes from distinct areas: Trustee gifts, major individual philanthropy, state funding, and grants from foundations add up to roughly $1 Million in annual contributed revenue. This figure includes contributions from more than 1600 members.

Importantly, the organization stands on its own feet with such a diverse stream of revenue (when combined with events, rentals, admissions, and the Museum store). The Museum acts independently of private interest, a vital sign for a young nonprofit.

This level of care speaks to the intentional leadership of Dr. von Tsurikov and the commitment displayed by the Board of Trustees. Their strategic deployment of resources over recent years has already accomplished tremendous goals: doubling membership, doubling exhibitions, and tripling events, while also building co-sponsoring partnerships with more than three dozen nonprofits in our region.

TMORA employs 6 full time staff and additional part time employees, and benefits from major volunteer contributions. The volunteer Outreach Coordinator Carol Rudie for example, sees 3-4 groups per week around the region, amounting to tens of thousands in any year. An additional 45 volunteers assist TMORA with everything from the front desk and museum store to the docent program and museum tours.

TMORA defines certain key metrics as indicators of success in the goals and operations set out by the strategic plan.

In short, TMORA monitors the following metrics:
- attendance numbers monthly by category (capturing age demographics e.g. child, youth, student, senior, artist)
- membership by month, with an emphasis on renewals
- public reviews and feedback on sites like Facebook and Yelp (tremendously positive, just look!)
- visitor feedback and surveys conducted periodically
- events attendance (with geographic and age demographics as available)
- number of events at full capacity (currently 96%+ of seats offered are filled overall)
- website, newsletter, and social media traffic & clicks

There are less recurring metrics of success as well that TMORA is emphasizing in the coming years. This includes:
- Reviews in the Media
- Letters of recommendation by key figures in US and Russian government
- Progress in the capital campaign/major gifts
- Increasing number of family/small foundation gifts
- Number of corporate sponsorships

Coupled with the work of the board in quarterly meetings and the work of its regularly convened committees and task forces, this overall picture ensures TMORA is on the path of making progress in its mission, "Education, Enlightenment, and Engagement through the Art of Russia."

Over the last decade, TMORA has cemented itself in the community by establishing a broad portfolio of programs and support.

1600 Members
$1 Million in annual contributed revenue
8-10 Exhibitions
40+ Events
30,000+ attendees
Over 200 artists featured per year
1500 Children impacted through programs
A Dynamite 18-member Board of Trustees
8.6 FTE staff size, 45+ Volunteers
A balanced budget!

This materially represents a growing mid-size nonprofit. We are proud of the accomplishments made so far, and see it as a building block of our presence at a national/international level. Significant financial support continues to be the top priority of all leaders within the organization.

External Reviews




Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Race & Ethnicity

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
While not formally tabulated similarly to the matrix above, TMORA consciously measures and assesses diversity across the organization. Board members, Staff, Volunteers, Audience members, vendors, community partners - no person walks in without an identity, and thus it is critical to incorporate the vital information. We still have not found a sustainable way of capturing an illustrative demographic snapshot of the visitors who come to TMORA. Age is fairly easy due to ticket pricing, but racial, religious, and geographic characteristics escape the point of sale. Instead we rely on front line staff and volunteers to assess and report the information when required, which is not consistently applied.