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New website showcases Airport Foundation MSP

The many things the Airport Foundation MSP does to help make MSP one of the best airports in North America are now a lot more visible to a larger audience, thanks to a redesigned website that launched this summer.

"We made a lot of improvements in the way the content is presented – it's really much more dynamic and user friendly with rich, marquee slides that rotate key messages, and it's more intuitive to navigate, resulting in a better user experience," said David Rivard, director of marketing and communications with the foundation. "We really just wanted a first-rate website that speaks to an expanding base of followers, and one that reflects the investments we're making in our programs."

Among them are the many art exhibits at MSP – including the recent installation of The Aurora interactive light sculpture – and the popular Animal Ambassador program that brings dogs and one cat to MSP to ease the nerves of wary travelers and entertain others.

Expanding reach
While frequent travelers and the MSP Airport community may be familiar with the foundation's work, other frequent travelers may not be. And that's where the new website opens a clearer window into the foundation's role at MSP, which is the only airport foundation of its kind in the world.

For example, the website allows people outside of MSP's Terminal to view the many videos shown at the see18 screening space – located between Gates C18 and C19 on Concourse C – and the art work on display. Also included is background information about the art and artists such as the Okee Dokee Brothers (pictured) who will be performing at Terminal 1 Oct. 20 at the beginning of the MEA travel weekend.

"What we heard from our base that there's a desire to have the ability to enjoy the imagery that's presented by our arts and cultural programs, and to learn about new installations inside and outside security, regardless of whether they were traveling through MSP," said Rivard.

The website was developed under the guidance of Youa Vang, the former performing arts coordinator who recently left the foundation. Rivard, who recently retired after a 31-year career with Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, will oversee the site going forward. He joined the foundation in April 2021 and assumed its marketing and communication duties in June.

A recruiting tool
"In addition to showcasing foundation programs, the site is also being used as a recruiting tool to bring more artists to MSP and to attract more volunteers for the foundation," Rivard said

Several of the 600 or so volunteers from 2019 – including many retirees – stepped away from their duties due to Covid, and are slowly returning to their posts. To help fill the gap, call-outs for more volunteers and artists are now prominently displayed on the sliding marquee images on the homepage.

The new site also has an improved portal for current volunteers so they can see the volunteer schedule, sign up for shifts and complete online training. Next up is adding tourist information to help promote MSP and the region as a destination, beginning in 2022.

"This all ties back to our mission of enhancing the experience at MSP Airport," said Rivard. "We're going to keep our eye on the ball and continuously improve our programs and the way we feature them on our website."