Coming to Rochester Art Center May 25 – September 10, 2019

Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Health. The incidence rate may even be higher in Olmsted County, Minnesota, as nearly one-third of Olmsted County residents experienced a mental health condition in 2016, according to the county’s Community Health Needs Assessment. The breadth, reach and impact of mental illness presents a clear opportunity to build awareness of mental health and help increase understanding that mental illnesses are real, common and treatable.

Mental Health: Mind Matters uses immersive experiences and multimedia activities to help build understanding and awareness about mental illness. From a cultural and historical perspective, visitors have the opportunity to understand how mental illness has been treated in the past. Using medical and scientific research, visitors can learn the physiological bases of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. A resource center provides information on local mental health resources and options for seeking treatment.

In an accompanying art exhibition, Making It OK: Art, Bravery and Mental Health, four Minnesota artists reveal with honesty and hope what it means to live with mental illness or be affected by close family members struggling with mental health issues. The art exhibition includes paintings and drawings, sculpture, participatory art, comic books and video. Click here for more information.

In addition to the exhibit and accompanying art, a series of programs and special events related to mental health will be held for a variety of audiences. Stay tuned for an updated list of programs and events accompanying the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit.

The pain of mental illness is often invisible. Let’s make sure the answers are not.

Opening Summer 2019 at Rochester Art Center.

Mental Health: Mind Matters is hosted by Mayo Clinic and is presented by Olmsted Medical Center and the Rochester Area Foundation. The traveling exhibit was developed and produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota in collaboration with Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre and their partners, Ciencia Viva and Cite des Sciences & L’industrie.

Exhibit Information

General Admission

Mental Health: Mind Matters admission fee is $5.00 for adults and youth age 16 and older.

Children and youth aged 15 and under are Free.

RAC Members have Free Admission to the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit.

For Special Events, an Event Fee may be in effect. Please see Events for further details.

Admission tickets pay be purchased at the door in cash, check or credit card transactions at the time of entry.
Advance admission tickets may be purchase via our Eventbrite site at Mental Health: Mind Matters


Guided tours of the exhibit may be scheduled for groups of 8 or more. Please call (507) 282-8629 to learn more, including pricing and available times.


Sponsorship opportunities for businesses and organizations interested in hosting a speaker, discussion group, workplace gathering or other related events are available at RAC across the run of the exhibition. Please contact or call 612-282-8629 to learn more about ways your organization can contribute to the broader awareness of mental health in our community while advancing your firm’s human resources, marketing or community engagement goals.


In an accompanying art exhibition, Making it OK: Art, Bravery and Mental Health, four Minnesota artists reveal with honesty and hope what it means to live with mental illness or be affected by close family members struggling with mental health issues. Christi Furnas writes painful and funny comics Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia. Rochester artist Bobby Marines paints family photos where identities fade into prison numbers and children are separated from parents. Art has been Marines’ path out of crime, homelessness and the PTSD caused by his troubled youth. Melissa Borman’s Storms Are Part of Life at Sea relays the unstable world of a child whose mother is mentally ill. Jess Hirsch brings art and meditation together in three medicinal gardens for downtown Rochester in her Prescription Gardens.


Call To Mind: Spotlight on Childhood Trauma

This event will help audiences understand the detrimental health effects childhood trauma can have on individuals throughout their lives, and how that trauma can affect families across generations and whole communities living with toxic stress. Tom Crann, host of All Things Considered on MPR News, will moderate a panel discussion about childhood trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). This event is Free, but with prior Registered Attendees. To Register for this event, visit Call to Mind Registration

Rochesterfest Family Event

Join RAC and Community Volunteers for a celebration of Rochesterfest with Mental Health: Mind Matters. Participate in family friendly activities focusing on themes in the exhibition from 10a – 1p on Saturday, 29 June. Holders of Rochesterfest buttons will receive a discounted admission.

PostSecret Event

Join Frank Warren, the creator of PostSecret as he discusses how his project of intimate revelations on anonymous postcards has become a cultural phenomenon. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Rochester Public Library and the Rochester Art Center. Admission to this event is free, but limited to previously registered attendees through an Eventbrite link here.  Immediately following the PostSecret presentation, join us at RAC for a book signing and evening opening of the Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit.  We’ll also have a PostSecret postcard design station available for making your own PostSecret postcard of an anonymous Rochester revelation for potential display here at RAC!

On My Mind: A Mental Health Discussion Series

Join us at RAC on select Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for a series of panel discussions and community input surrounding current topics and issues facing Rochester’s mental health community. Program topics include bipolar disorder, chemical dependency, LGBTQ+ mental health, issues facing Abrahamic faith communities, gaining access to the mental health care system and building resilience as a coping strategy. All programs are preceded by an evening opening of the Mind Matter: Mental Health exhibit. Admission rates for these programs are the same as general RAC admission rates, with current RAC members getting a complimentary admission!

Check our Programs page for Eventbrite signup and pre-session ticketing and event information for each On My Mind event.