Advancement Team

Joan Grathwol Olson

Vice President of Institutional Advancement



Joan joined the MCAD staff in January 2010 as Vice President of Institutional Advancement after 16 years as Director of Development at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Married to a fine artist, she finds herself energized by MCAD’s work environment and inspired by MCAD students, faculty, and its future goals.
During her tenure at the MIA, Joan led Minnesota’s largest capital campaign for a cultural organization, raising $103 Million in capital and endowment funds for the museum.  Prior to joining the MIA, Olson served as director of development for WomenVenture, director of development for Northwest Ballet, and as
manager of special projects for Twin Cities Public Television. She began her fund-raising career as a development associate with Minnesota Public Radio.
Joan is a member Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and currently serves on the board of the Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts in North Minneapolis. She is a past president of the Art Museum Development Association.
Joan earned a B.A. in Economics and French from the College of St. Catherine and a Baccalauréat Degree from the Lycée d’Etat de Pont-à-Mousson, Pont-à-Mousson, France.